6. Outlook Configuration

The way Outlook has been setup for you is called your Outlook profile. As well as accessing your mailbox there may be other settings that you rely on that you will need when migrated to the Oxford Nexus system.

In case you need to re-apply any settings they are detailed in these pages.

6.1. Outlook Data Files

You may know Outlook data files as ‘pst’ files or archives.

Definition: An Outlook pst file is a single data file potentially containing many Outlook items (mail, calendar, folders, contacts, tasks etc.).

It is important to understand if your data is currently in a pst, what that pst file is called and most importantly where that pst file is located.

A pst file can typically contain a similar folder structure to your main mailbox. Items can be moved to a pst file using the Outlook Archive, AutoArchive processes or they can be moved manually.

Important: A pst file may contain many items (within that single file), this single file and the data it contains does not reside on your current or future mail server. A pst file will reside either on the local hard disk of your computer OR on a network drive your computer connects to.

When viewing your Outlook folders you see your own mailbox, any other mailboxes added to your Outlook profile and data (pst) archives. In this example ‘IT Services – Dummy Room’ and ‘Student Admissions’ are other mailboxes and ‘Outlook Data File’ is a pst.

Outlook folders list

To check your archive (pst file) properties.

Right click ‘Outlook Data File’, select ‘Data File Properties’, ‘Advanced’.

Advanced data file properties dialogue box

Note that ‘Name’ is the display name within Outlook, ‘Filename’ is the filename including the full path.

Note also that name and filename MAY NOT be the same (so it may display in Outlook as ‘Archive 2010’ but the filename could actually be ‘archive.pst’).

Email data currently within your mailbox will be moved to the Nexus system. Any pst files you currently use need to be opened within your Outlook profile so you can continue to access this data.

Important. As the data in any pst file is NOT part of the email system, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is backed up (so if it currently resides on your local hard drive, how would this data be retrieved if this disk failed?). It may be that this file resides on a network drive. Please check with your IT Support Staff if you require further clarification.

A pst file can simply be moved like any other file if it requires moving.


Please check your current setup. If you have any pst files in your Outlook profile note their display names and location.

After migration, if you cannot see any of these archives, simply open Outlook, select File, Open and browse to the required pst file.

Note: The migration to Oxford Nexus will not do anything to these files.

6.2. Message Processing Rules

You may have rules that take action when you receive or send a mail (e.g. move a mail received from someone to a particular folder). These can be exported to a file:

  • Within Outlook go to Tools, Rules and Alerts then Options.
  • Select 'Export' and save your rules to a file.
    A save location for your rules file
  • After migration simply re-run the process and import the rules from your saved file.

Note - It is possible that the import process can fail so it is important to have a manual record of your most important rules.

6.3. Outlook Remembered or Cached Addresses

When you create a new mail and you type the first letters of a previously used email address, Outlook prompts you for the rest.

cached email address popup

Note that this is a remembered or cached address, NOT a contact.

If you have any addresses you require you will need to add them to your contacts folder.

Once the address as been added to the To field, right click and select 'Add to Outlook Contacts'.

Adding person's details to contact list

If, after migration, sending to this address fails (and you have NOT made it a contact) you may need to delete this remembered entry by simply pressing the delete key once the address is selected and BEFORE it is entered in the To field.

6.4. Outlook Signature

Your signature at the bottom of an email message is typically stored as a file on your local disk drive but can be re-created from your sent items.

  • Within Outlook go to Tools, Options, Mail format and then Signatures.
  • You can then save the contents.
    Copying signature details

Alternatively you can save the files for later.

  • On Windows XP the signature files are found C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application
  • On Windows 7 the signature files are found C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Signatures

To see this folder you must have 'View hidden files and folders' enabled or you can simply copy and paste the above paths in the address bar in Explorer to directly open the folder.

Note that your one signature will generally consist of three files and a subdirectory.

To contact the migration team

Please email nexusmigration@it.ox.ac.uk. Please note that the migration team may be dealing with a large number of requests, and your email will be placed in a queue. It will receive a response, but this may not be immediate.

Up: Contents Previous: 5. Migration checklist Next: 7. Known issues: User noticeable changes