“Select folder to export from:” dialog box is blank – Outlook 2003

Got stung by this one today while trying to export some contacts from Outlook 2003 to send up to my Gmail contacts.  Looks a pretty widespread problem going by the number of people posting that they have encountered it.

While trying to use the Import and Export Wizard from Outlook 2003 the first thing I got was:

which suggests that I didn’t have the required translator installed.  So I said yes and it seemed to install ok.

Then when I got to the “Select folder to export from:” dialog box the area where you are supposed to be able to select a source folder to export from was blank.

Some advice here http://www.outlookbanter.com/outlook-installation/38076-select-folder-export-dialog-blank.html suggesting a Help | Detect and Repair in Outlook will fix it but sadly it did not fix it for me.

Other suggestion has been to export to a .PST file … interestingly if I do this the source file list shows up ok, and exporting to a PST works fine.  But still if I go back and try to export to a CSV file the source list dialog is still blank.

Eventual solution for me was to create a totally new Outlook profile and then it worked.  I pointed the new profile to my existing .OST file so that I didn’t have to recreate it from scratch since it’s over 1GB in size.

I use Outlook from 2 machines at work, and work uses roaming Windows profiles so I suspect that my problem was that I was using my “roaming” Outlook profile that was created on my other machine.  Creating a new profile on the 2nd machine seems to have been the answer.  Outlook profiles can be a bit sensitive to changes in environments and you can never any real insight as to why they are broken. 

All fixed now.

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