How to Migrate CategoryList from One PST file to Another via MAPI? RRS feed

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  • Do you see the updated list after you restart Outlook?

    Have you verified with MFCMAPI or OutlookSpy that the categories were successfully copied?

    Dmitry Streblechenko (MVP)
    Redemption - what the Outlook
    Object Model should have been
    Version 5.5 is now available!

    Tuesday, June 4, 2019 3:33 AM
  • Hi, Dmitry,

    Thank you for your reply.

    No. After I restart Outlook, I still see the old list instead the updated one. I check the target PST file and can see the new created message with the proper message subject, message class and the PR_ROAMING_XMLSTREAM contents completely identical to that in the source message.

    I guess the problem may be:

    1. The GUID in the original XML may need to be changed?

    2. Outlook may have some implicit requirements on the IPM.Configuration.CategoryList, other than the know ones, including:

    2.1 It should be an associated message.

    2.2 Its subject is "IPM.Configuration.CategoryList"

    2.3 Its message class is "IPM.Configuration.CategoryList"

    2.4 Its PR_ROAMING_XMLSTREAM contains the categories.


    Tuesday, June 4, 2019 6:27 AM
  • Is the PST file opened as the primary store?

    Dmitry Streblechenko (MVP)
    Redemption - what the Outlook
    Object Model should have been
    Version 5.5 is now available!

    Tuesday, June 4, 2019 2:24 PM
  • Hi,

    I try to close all other PST files and replace the only and the main primary store with the target PST file containing the new created associated message with the XML stream.

    Then I try to open the Outlook and check the items with color categories. I find the location where the color category appear will become a blank block. I check the category list and can only see the default category names, not the new category names. (I try to rename several default category to a new name, for example, "Blue Category" to "Blue Test", "Red Category" to "Red Test", etc.)

    I try to follow the instructions in to click "Upgrade to Color Categories" button. This time, I can see there is a new added category called "Red Test(Not in master list)". But the categorized items do not show color categories correctly.

    By the way, do you have a coupon code for OutlookSpy? I plan to purchase a license. Thanks

    • Edited by tempc Wednesday, June 5, 2019 9:42 AM
    Wednesday, June 5, 2019 9:41 AM
  • But do you see the updated categories in the Calendar folder (click IMAPIFolder , go to the "Associated Contents" tab)?

    Send an email to for an OutlookSpy coupon.

    Dmitry Streblechenko (MVP)
    Redemption - what the Outlook
    Object Model should have been
    Version 5.5 is now available!

    Wednesday, June 5, 2019 4:25 PM
  • Hi, Dmitry,

    Thank you very much. I just purchased OutlookSpy with your coupon code.

    The source file can be downloaded at

    In the following image, you can see there are 6 test messages, each is categorized with different color category. I also rename the color categories, for example, "Blue Category" -> "Blue Test", "Red Category" -> "Red Test", and so on...


    I use OutlookSpy to check the "Calendar" folder and see IPM.Configuration.CategoryList message as below:

    You can see the PR_ROAMING_XMLSTREAM propery contains the category data.

    I then create a new target PST file, which can be downloaded at

    I then use MAPI to create an associated message in "Calendar" folder and copy all the properties of the IPM.Configuration.CategoryList message from source file to target file.

    Then I open the target file in Outlook. But find the color categories are missing, as below:

    When hovering mouse on each message, I can see there is a blank block in the location of the color category, but it is blank. And I cannot see the renamed categories in the master list.

    I then use OutlookSpy to check the IPM.Configuration.CategoryList in the "Calendar" folder in the targe file, as below:

    I find the "IPM.Configuration.CategoryList" is correct and its PR_ROAMING_XML_STREAM contains the correct XML category data, copied from the source file.

    So why the categories do not appear in the target file? That's really strange.

    Thank you very much.

    • Edited by tempc Thursday, June 6, 2019 8:11 AM
    Thursday, June 6, 2019 8:10 AM
  • It seems the problem is really difficult.
    Friday, June 21, 2019 8:24 AM