This has seriously had me screaming long streams of swear words but I finally sussed it out. What was I trying to do? Well I recently installed Windows 7 and therefore did a fresh install of Outlook 2010 as well. I had saved my old PST file so now I had just done “File->Account Settings->Data Files” and then added it there. It seemed ok but then I started getting phone calls from people asking why I hadn’t replied to their emails. Turns out I was a doofus and thought that my PST file would also hold the account settings. Wrong!
So then I removed the data file from Outlook and created a new account with the same name. The idea here was that I would then close Outlook and replace the new PST file with my old one. Didn’t work. Outlook just created another new PST file with “(1)” at the end of the name.
Attempt number three saw me trying the import functionality “File->Open->Import->Import from another program or file” at which point I picked my old file and tried to merge it with the new one. That was also a no go as it would not allow me to create the same folder structure. Basically, if the folder did not already exist in the new account then I could not add it. The account in question is an IMAP one and the folder structure can’t be changed. I could add new ones if I logged in to my email accounts web interface but they had to be sub folders of the Inbox which is not what I wanted. Also, no calender or task support. Again, epic fail.
Then I finally worked it out. Originally when I was creating the email accounts in Outlook I used the wizard. That was my mistake. As usual, the solution was very simple. “File->Account Settings->New->Email Account” and then instead of filling in the Email Account fields I chose “Manually configure server settings or additional server types” and then on the next page “Internet E-Mail”. Fill in all the details and then on the right hand side there is a section that says “Deliver new messages to” and under there are two options “New Outlook Data File” and “Existing Outlook Data File”. At this point I picked the second option and browsed to my old PST file. Then it was just a case of doing Next a few times to save the settings. That’s it, now I have my email account setup and it is using my old PST file. Hoora!