Chapter 6. Transferring Email and Contacts

If you use your PC for email—hey, it could happen—there’s good news: Switching to a Mac doesn’t mean you have to lose your stash of messages, reconfigure your email accounts from scratch, or manually retype everything in your address book. This chapter covers the secrets of moving your entire email life over to the Mac—messages, addresses, settings, everything—with as little hassle as possible.

As you read this chapter, it’s important to keep straight the two leading Windows email programs, which many people don’t realize are actually two entirely different beasts:

  • Microsoft Outlook. This program is part of Microsoft Office for Windows. It’s a sprawling, network-based email, contact, and calendar program that’s ubiquitous in corporate offices and many schools. You, or somebody who employs you, paid good money for this software.

  • Outlook Express. This Windows program is a free, scaled-down version of Outlook. It comes with Microsoft Windows, and is therefore sitting on practically every PC sold. It doesn’t have a calendar, a To Do list, or other bells and whistles of Outlook—but it’s free.


In Windows Vista, Microsoft renamed this program, calling it Windows Mail. Most people moving to the Mac these days are doing so to avoid having to do the whole Vista thing, so in this chapter, let’s just use the old name: Outlook Express.

Unfortunately, each Windows email program requires a different method of exporting its email and addresses. Each Macintosh ...

Get Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.