Migrate your Outlook 20xx profile to 2013

This blog will show you an easy way to migrate your Microsoft Outlook 20xx profile from any version below 2013 to Microsoft Outlook 2013 with RES Workspace Manager and Liquidware Labs Profile Unity.

The reason that a customer asked me to look for a fix is that their users had a lot of maiboxes connected and when they would get a new profile they had to do a lot of manual work.


Microsoft has changed the profile location  of Outlook since the release of 2013, the good old HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrent VersionWindows Messaging Subsystem is gone. 
With Outlook 2013 this has become HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftOffice15.0OutlookProfiles.
This is much easier to remember but with my background the first one is hammered in my brain it will get used to stop looking there.

How this works

I’ve done this quick and dirty for I wanted to test the working before I made something nice out of it.
Let’s tell you about the process I had in mind, the result is clearer then.
  1. Export the registry tree that was used in the old Outlook version, this can be done before you are migrating
  2. Automate the replacement of the location of the profile from the old version location to the new version location
  3. Import the registry hive to the Outlook 2013 location.
Next step, to make it nicer, would be to let step 3 check if step one and two are finished before it starts. For now I assume that you have a migration project at hand and before you change to Outlook 2013 you first execute step 1 and 2 and later on you disable that and execute step 3. Are you still with me 🙂
Let’s build this!


Oke we need a few things here.

First we need a tool to replace the location of the profile in the exported registry file.
I found FNR at http://findandreplace.codeplex.com, it is a no-install tool that works instantly.
So download this tool and copy it somewhere, I copied it to the Netlogon share for it’s nice and central.

Export profile

There are two different command used here, the first one is the actual export of the profile.

%windir%regedit.exe /E H:outlook.reg “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWindows Messaging Subsystem”

Replace location

The second one is the replacement of the profile location.

“rbedc01Netlogonfnr.exe” –cl –dir “H:” –fileMask “outlook.reg” –excludeFileMask “*.dll, *.exe” –includeSubDirectories –find “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWindows Messaging Subsystem” –replace “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice15.0OutlookProfiles”

Import profile

The next command is used to import the profile to the new location
%windir%regedit.exe /S H:outlook.reg “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice15.0OutlookProfiles”

Liquidware Labs ProfileUnity

With Liquidware Labs ProfileUnity we just have to enable the pre-written office rule set to make this happen. ProfileUnity uses this rule to find out which office version is running on the virtual machine or computer and puts the settings in the correct spot.

I had some contact with Liquidware Labs to verify this because it sounded to easy, at first I thought I misunderstood them but after they explained it three times (I’m a hard learner 😉 ) I was convinced. Depending on the office version it detects, the correct paths are used. There is no scripting needed and no hassle with files. It works out of the box.

HTML tutorial

RES Workspace Manager

With RES Workspace manager it’s a bit more work but it’s still possible, we have to create two scripts to accomplish this task. RES Software doesn’t have an built in option to migrate between versions.
In the console you go to Execute Command and create a scrip to capture the profile.

At the command line you add %script% to be able to add a script to the script tab.
On the script tab you add the script I mentioned before.

The other command to add is the command to set the outlook 2013 profile.
We do not want RES ro create the profile for that would mean the user would have to reconnect all the additional mailboxes and stuff like that.

Create the task so that it will run once per user and at logon to make sure it’s there before Outlook will start.

Again we add the script as mentioned before on the script tab.

The result

After the first script has ran, the reg file we exported is edited and the profile location is changed.
After the second script has ran the profile is ready to be used with Outlook 2013.
One small remark, I don’t know if this will work with all migration for any kind over Outlook versions…Share your experiences and we all learn.
Hope this article helped you in a migration project or otherwise.

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