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Transferring Your Outlook and Quickbooks Data to Mac OS X? 50

rollthelosindice asks: "I recently picked up the new 1GHZ eMac with Superdrive with the intentions of it being purely a video editing machine, but of course I changed my mind once I started using it, and wanted to import my email over from Outlook and my business accounting over from Quickbooks, however Apple's Mail can't import form Outlook, only Outlook Express. The same goes for Quickbooks, where they can only migrate over Quicken. I've tried all sorts of importing and exporting to/from different file formats (CSV, etc) to try and make it work, but there seems to be no solution other than running both machines right next to one another. I even tried VNC for a few days, but that got frustrating. Has anyone come up with a successful work around for these importing short falls? I'm sure there are others like me in this or a similar situation."
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Transferring Your Outlook and Quickbooks Data to Mac OS X?

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  • I was going to load up Outlook Express and use that to convert everything to OE format and then use my new Mac [] to then transfer it all over. Seems kind of overly complicated, but whatever works! Note: I have't tried it yet, but I can't see it not working.
  • tab delimited text!

  • Use Eudora (Score:5, Informative)

    by 2nd Post! ( 213333 ) <gundbear@ p a c b e> on Monday June 09, 2003 @02:00PM (#6152365) Homepage
    I've been suggesting this for years, and have done it several times myself.

    Export from Outlook/Outlook Express into Eudora, and from Eudora into Mail.

    I used Eudora for a looong time exactly because it was cross compatible across platforms and versions. My mailboxes from 1996 are still readable in Eudora in 2003 :)

    But Mail is just too darned convenient, so I switched last year; same with Mozilla/Safari.
    • Re:Use Eudora (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I tried to use and like Mail but I had so many problems like pitiful feedback when the mail server is having a problem. It took me days the first time to be sure that there was server problem. Recently it was eating outgoing messages and not reporting problems. Some times it gives bogus password errors. Configuring for more than one account can be confusing if you use different outgoing mail servers. Did I mention that it's unbearably slow when you have a lot of incomming mail ?

      Use Eudora or PowerMail inst
      • Re:Use Eudora (Score:3, Informative)

        by MoCycleGeek ( 543150 )
        First, on the original topic. I agree with the Eudora conversion suggestion, It's worked for me in the past.

        Now: I'm not sure where you are getting unbearably slow. I just converted my local mail files on a NetBSD server to IMAP (1gig of mail, 180k+ messages of list traffic and such).

        Sure it took about 20 hours to sync the first time (I have Mail caching all of my mail and attachments to the local disk so I can get at them offline) but once that task was over I find mail to be quite responsive. Esp whe
  • Try Outlook2Mac (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2003 @02:01PM (#6152377)
    For the Outlook side of your problem you might want to consider Outlook2Mac by Little Machines []. I used this app to successfully get my cousin to switch over... The time is saved me was well worth the $10.
    • I successfully migrated over two gigs of mail from Outlook PST files to using Outlook2Mac. I also converted a lot of contacts. It's a great tool--reliable and accurate. Converts attachments and everything. Only problem, it runs in Windows.
  • by sunya ( 101612 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @02:08PM (#6152432) Homepage
    Try libdbx from :
    libdbx on freshmeat []. It includes a utilty that will convert from Outlook to mbox. Then import it in your mac... works fine for me...

    • yup did that too for my mom. Worked mostly OK except for a few messages that were encoded in Traditional Chinese or something. libdbx choked (this was around last Thanksgiving; maybe it's been updated).
  • by rgrimm ( 89215 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @02:16PM (#6152498)
    Import your mail from Outlook into Mozilla for Windows. Mozilla stores all email in the mbox format, which is easily imported into Apple Mail. You obviously still need to transfer the files to your Mac, but that should be easy. Look for the mbox files in C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\default\some weird string\Mail.

    If you want to spend money, try Outlook2Mac (
    • by Bob Wehadababyitsabo ( 629809 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @04:49PM (#6154385)
      I can vouch for Little Machines. I have over 30,000 pieces of mail in my Inbox alone, and Outlook2Mac worked almost flawlessly.

      You can also try this hint [], but I couldn't get it to work.

      To the previous poster suggesting libdbx []: it converts Outlook Exprees data files, not Outlook .pst files. For conversion of .pst files to mbox, you'll nedd libPST []. Only problem is, the released version of libPST doesn't support little endian machines w/o a code rewrite. The maintainer did release an OS X friendly version (0.4) but M$ threatened with a cease and desist letter.

      Hope some of my blabbing has helped...


  • by __aaevmb228 ( 14439 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @02:19PM (#6152526)
    I switched last year, and moving from Quicken '99 on Windows to Quicken '03 on OS X was the most painful part of the process.

    Now given, you asked about Quickbooks, not Quicken, but based on my experience, you'll have to jump through some hoops to get there. I had to export my Quicken data to QIF, in the process losing my loans, memorized transactions, scheduled transactions and some other minor stuff. Then I imported this file into Quicken Mac and had to go back and fix everything.

    QIF isn't Quicken's native file format. It's simply for transactions. One would think that after a decade of Quicken, Intuit's Windows and Mac engineering teams would share as much code as possible, but it just doesn't seem that way to me.

    Quicken Mac '03 itself is an awful product. It lags the Windows '99 product feature-wise, lacks polish and has many bugs. Most of them are of the irritating UI variety, but I've had it crash on me several times and it can't seem to keep track of my home loan without getting the balance out of whack.

    Unfortunately, momentum is keeping me with Quicken for now. I'm hoping that '04 is a big step forward. Otherwise I may look at switching to something else, like Moneydance.
  • GnuCash (Score:2, Interesting)

    by struan ( 165737 )
    Can Quickbooks export a QIF or OFX file? If so, you might want to look at GnuCash [] for your finance package. It takes a bit of work to get all the dependent packages taken care of, but using fink [], or fink + FinkCommander [], it's not too bad. I ended up not using the QIF import, though, and just started cold-turkey, inputting data into GnuCash. Worked fine for me.

    I can't say much for MoneyDance, the other main financial package option.
  • same problem (Score:3, Informative)

    by minus_273 ( 174041 ) <> on Monday June 09, 2003 @02:28PM (#6152635) Journal
    I had the same problem the other day .. just got my girld friend to switch to an ibook and also got a old G3 myself :)
    we both used outlook. The way i got her mail over to eonturage was by copying it to imap folders.
    now theonly problem is how to get the calendar data and contacts (using csv was a pain)
    also anyone know a good way to sync a pocket pc :-p pocket mac isnt too good (and costs $$$) and synce isnt done yet. Sigh i guess it is missing sync then
    • MissingSync [] looks promising. Due out soon.

      I have also read the reviews of PocketMac and am disappointed and frustrated that it seems to be expensive and worthless at the same time. The concept of Missing Sync is different and appears to be more Mac orientated. let's hope it works.
  • by jjarrard ( 674444 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @02:38PM (#6152777) nual_download.html
  • Use IMAP and .Mac (Score:5, Informative)

    by gjh ( 231652 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @03:15PM (#6153204)

    Try this...

    • Make sure the mail that you want is in a personal mail file (.pst) on Outlook.
    • Reconfigure your outlook client to use 'Internet Mail' - this is a complete mode change and will enable IMAP and disable exchange support.
    • Configure imap. The server you want is probably your .Mac account on imap on
    • Drag all your folders to the IMAP server
    • Fire up your preferred Mac mailer and either just use the mail in IMAP or drag it to a local folder heirarchy.

    It is of course a piece of lame commercialism that make M$ choose to make Exchange and IMAP connectivity mutually exclusive in Outlook.

    Regards... Greg

    • It is of course a piece of lame commercialism that make M$ choose to make Exchange and IMAP conectivity mutually exclusive in Outlook.

      Outlook 2002 lets you use IMAP and Exchange concurrently.

  • by babbage ( 61057 ) <> on Monday June 09, 2003 @03:30PM (#6153402) Homepage Journal
    From everything I've read, it seems like the canonical best way to transfer a collection of mail folders from one application to another application is almost to try using IMAP for the translation: have your source application (Outlook in this case) export all it's messages to the IMAP server, then use your new mail application ( here) to import messages back from the server. Ideally, you could even leave the messages on the server, so switching from one mail client to another becomes as trivial as switching web browsers for accessing the same sites.

    If your ISP or job *ahem* doesn't provide you with access to an IMAP server, then you can use Fink [] to install a copy of UW-IMAPD [], and just run that on localhost or somewhere on your home network -- sudo fink -y install uw-imapd

    If you had other questions, I'm sure some sysadmin at work *ahem* would be willing to answer any questions... :-)

    • you can use Fink to install a copy of UW-IMAPD, and just run that on localhost or somewhere on your home network -- sudo fink -y install uw-imapd

      This is the best solution. IMHO.

      IMAP is going to be your best solution seeing as how you've fought CSVs with no luck at all. I've been down that road myself and didn't have any more luck than the OP did.
      You have complete control over everything by running IMAP on your box.

      I went so far as to trim the fat on my mail down to the stuff I absolutely had to keep
  • Gosh, that seems like so much trouble. Why do you need to keep all that email anyway? Is it really that important?

    If you really what to keep it safe, I suggest printing it out and renting a security deposit box at your local bank.
    • Gosh, that seems like so much trouble. Why do you need to keep all that email anyway? Is it really that important?

      What you're saying isn't totally off-base though. How much of that E-Mail over the years do you really need accessible immediately? I have a ton of messages from when I used OE, and even more from KMail. When I switched to Mail app I just decided to leave it all behind. If I need a message from either of those I just load Kmail from my old Linux box over X11, or start up Windows in VPC.
  • by jdawg ( 21639 ) <jmf&mac,com> on Monday June 09, 2003 @03:58PM (#6153705) Homepage
    There's a nifty lil' shareware Java app out there called Emailchemy that's practically a Rosetta-stone of email data. It's not free, but it works quite well [and is cross platform].

    For QuickBooks data, why not just use QuickBooks? There is a Mac OS X native version.
    • QuickBooks Windows and QuickBooks Mac will not share data. At best, you could take an old QB Mac file and bring it up in QB Windows. Intuit just loves pokin' and jabbin' every chance they get. They claim to be dedicated to the Mac platform, but there's been absolutely no update from them since the release of QB Pro 5.0 for Mac (Pro my ass, it's more like QB 2000 plain jane for Windows).

      But it won't be long before Intuit is toppled if they don't learn to play nice with their customers. Sorry, didn't mean

  • Oh - man, after about 6 months out of being telephone support for apple I am forgetting everything... but, I do remember this little script inside the scripts folder (you mighs search for scripts in the nifty finder) there is a applescript that will parse through your outlook address book and perhaps (memory fails me) it does the mail too? Again, its been a while.. but you should have some luck looking into that script, maybe you can edit the script to do what you want it to do? Hope that helps... maybe app
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Convert your email account to IMAP vs POP3. That way all the content sits on the server. Then access the account from Mail. All will be downloaded to the Mac. Convert back to POP3.

    As far as contacts, drag them out of outlook into a folder. This will create VCF files. They can be burned to CD and dragged right into Address Book on the Mac. Do not try to Export the contacts because this will create one large text file only readable by M$ clients. You want a bunch of little VCF cards, instead.

    Very simple sol
  • Before fussing with importing QuickBooks accounting data into the Quicken personal checkbook product, I would buy a copy of QuickBooks for OS X [] (Click the "Products" tab and then "Pro 5.0 for Mac" on the left side).

    As for importing mail, the best thing to do is use an IMAP (not POP) mail solution, like .Mac [] and then you can access the mail from any computer and where, via IMAP or the Website.

    Buy Macs for the Karma
  • Long ago, I transferred e-mail from a tired old Windows laptop to an OS 9 laptop via IMAP. This seemed to be a pretty universal solution, so it could work for you.

    First get access to an IMAP e-mail account (if you don't have one already, you might be able to run an IMAP server on OS X). Then access the IMAP account from your Windows PC. Create appropriate folders within the IMAP account using your Windows mail client (I'm pretty sure Outlook can do this). Then drag messages into those folders. Outlook shou
  • I'm still waiting for M$ to release their update to entourage, which is supposed to handle the Exchange/Outlook thing. In the meantime, I've had some luck with Outport ( ) for moving calendar information around. There are a couple of things I found I had to clean up for iCal to take the calendar from Evolution to iCal, but that's the beauty of OSX. Perl is right there for you.
  • I dont know if you just want to transfer your email from outlook but if you want to transfer your contacts there is a program the can help you that I used. It's called outpod and is made for exporting contacts to the iPod. But it can also be used to export contacts to the adressbook.
    You can get it at

    Good Luck.
  • A while ago, I found out a way to try out different mailers without having to migrate my mails:

    I have an IMAP server running on my system. Its inboxes are being filled using perl scripts that get the mails from my POP3-accounts, sorting spam, mailing lists, etc. via POPFile.

    Just took me an evening to set up, and now I can use any IMAP compatible mailer I desire. (As a bonus, I get complete access to all my mails from both my dektop and laptop.)
  • For the Outlook problem, you may be able to avoid doing a conversion. I run my own mail server for various reasons, and access it through IMAP. As you probably know, IMAP allows you to store email in folders on the server, rather than just being a download protocol. It's supported by both Outlook and Mail, and in fact I use both clients with the same mail repository.

    My own system uses a separate Linux box running sendmail to download the mail, then a separate imap daemon to allow access to the mailboxes, b

  • These data files are nothing but formatted text files. Zip them up if you have to.


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