This article describes how the custom categories for a user whose data you exported to PST and then imported to the new mailbox on Smarsh Hosted Services Exchange server can be copied over.

Starting with Outlook 2007, the Master Category List (the custom categories) is stored in the .pst file. To build the Master Category list, right-click the mailbox name and select Data File Properties > General > Upgrade to Colour Categories.


Outlook will look through the entire mailbox for categories and when found, it will add them to the Master Category List. That way, when you import the .pst file to the new mailbox, all custom categories will show correct corresponding colours.

Note: If the solution above does not work for you (for example, if you're using Outlook 2003 to export the data), colour categories should be restored to their default colour name, i.e. Blue Category, Green Category etc. before data pull is started.

If categories are not renamed, they will not be transferred over, while renaming increases chances of them being moved correctly.

To rename categories in Outlook:

  1. Click Categorize icon in Tags section of File ribbon.
  2. Select All Categories.
  3. Choose category to rename and click Rename button.
  4. Click OK.