Creating Outlook PST - Forums Group - the Free Speech Platform

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Creating Outlook PST
Migrating YahooGroups Posts from Outlook
Microsoft Outlook is a very popular email system that can store very large numbers of emails and sort them into user-defined folders. There is a very high likelyhood that at least one member of each YahooGroup has been collecting all the posts made in their outlook system. It is an easy matter to create a rule that automatically moves incoming messages from a YahooGroup into a dedicated folder and all you need is to have one long-term or founding member to have done this, for a complete archive of the groups posts to be available. As can also process the original posts from the YahooGroups MBox files, the two can be combined to obtain a very complete archive of the groups posts that we can restore online in a forum.

This is especially important for any posts made in the respective YahooGroups after December 16, 2019 when YahooGroups officially took their online archives offline.

If an Outlook archive of the posts, including those made in 2020, can be found and provided to us in an outlook PST file, then we can include those posts in the restored archive on the new forum as part of the migration. This allows groups to have a contigous online record of past discussions that can even be added to with new posts.

On this page, we explain how to create an empty PST file in Outlook, copy the messages into it and then disconnect the file from Outlook so that it can be sent to us for processing. The examples given here assume you are using Microsoft Outlook 2019 on a Windows PC. Other versions of Outlook and on different operating systems should be similar.
Creating an Empty posts.pst File
Open Microsoft Outlook on the system that has the message archives stored on it. The first step is to create an empty Posts.pst file that you can copy the messages from your YahooGroup (or any other platform) into.

Note: YahooGroups provided a download of all the posts in MBox format in a file called In order not to confuse the MBox download file with our Outlook PST file that also contains the messages from the group, we are naming the file to store the Outlook messages into posts.pst and the zipped version to avoid confusion.

As shown below, select the Home tab, then New Items / More Items / Outlook Data File...

A dialog window opens, select Desktop on the left and type posts.pst in the "File name" field and then click on the OK button.
An empty posts.pst file will now be created and Outlook will show you the contents of the empty file like this:
Now switch to the folder that contains all the messages from your YahooGroup and select any message in that folder. In this example, you can see the messages from the Rife Yahoogroup.
Press and hold the Ctrl-key and then press "A" - you can then release both keys (this key combination is usually described as Ctrl+A or ^A, where the ^ symbolises the Ctrl-key in this case, which is pronounced "Control A").

Ctrl+A or ^A is the shortcut command for "Select All"

Other useful shortcut commands are:
  • Ctrl+C or ^C = Copy the marked item to the clipboard
  • Ctrl+X or ^X = Cut (copy the marked item to the clipboard and then remove the marked item)
  • Ctrl+V or ^V = Paste the contents of the clipboard into the cursor location.

Those commands originated back in the 1980s and were used in the very popular WordStar text editor that so many people used, that these commands became the defacto standard shortcut commands. A number of those commands still work in modern text editors including Microsoft Word and are always worth trying.

If there are a lot of posts in your group, it can take minutes before they are all marked and you will see a rotating circle during this time, for example.

Once all the posts have been marked, press Ctrl-C to copy all the messages into the clipboard.

Then switch to the empty posts folder and press Ctrl-V to paste all the posts from the clipboard. Again, be patient as this can take some time before all the posts have been inserted into this folder.

We suggest the owner or moderator of the group look through the posts and remove any spam or other undesirable posts that should not be restored on the new forum.

YahooGroups is also known to have unintentionally duplicated some posts, so it makes sense to check for that and remove any double postings as well.
Exporting the completed posts.pst file
Once you are satisfied that the list is in a state suitable for migrating to the forum, you now need to close the database file.

Right-click on the folder and select the Close "posts" command. This removes the posts.pst file from being shown in Outlook.

If you prefer to keep this file in Outlook, that is possible and you need to at exit Outlook until the next steps are completed).
Preparing posts.pst for Upload to Forums.Group
Once posts.pst has been disconnected from Outlook (or Outlook has been closed), use windows explorer to display the desktop and select posts.pst

Right-click on the file and use your archiving tool to pack the file into a zip or rar archive file (Windows can do this natively or use WinZip, WinRAR, etc. for this function).

Although archiving the file is optional (you could just upload the PST file), zipping the file will considerably reduced the size of the file to upload. In our example, posts.pst is 1.09 GB and is just 278 MB which is only about 25% of the size of the original file.

Please submit to us, along with the other archive files, when asked for during the ordering process for plans 3, 4 or 5 with WeTransfer. It is possible to submit up to 25GB to us that way, which should be more than enough space for the zipped archive.

Note: contains the MBox format version of all the posts from the YahooGroup whereas contains the Outlook PST file of your message archives. If available, please upload both versions for us to work with.
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