How To Backup Outlook Express Emails

Dear Computer Lady,

Two years ago, my pc crashed and I lost all the email folders and the files in each of the many folders.
I was devasted.

Now I have a 2 year old dell which i like and I have a lot of outlook express folders with files within each one. I would like to know how I can back these up so if something does happen I won’t lose all those very valuable folders and files.

My tech who came over 2 years ago to reinstall windows on the older pc did not know how to back up outlook express folders and files. He backed up everything else but I lost the emails. There must be a way to do this. Please help. I am 79 years of age and not a techie and love your newsletter.


Dear Pat,

There is a way to backup Outlook express files and folders, it is just not easy to do.

Here are the directions to make a backup copy of your Outlook
Express e-mail files:

1. First, you need to find the location of the files. To do this, open Outlook Express, click on “Tools” in the menu bar, then click Options.

2. In the Options window, click on the Maintenance tab, then click on the button that says “Store Folder”.

3. A small window will appear with the location of your e-mail files. Highlight the folder location, and then press CTRL+C to copy the location.

4. Click Cancel, and then click Cancel again to close the dialog box. Close Outlook Express.

5. Now, you want to open the folder that contains your mail files. An easy way to do this is to click Start, and then click Run.

6. In the Run window, click in the box that says “Open” and press CTRL+V to paste in the location, and then click OK. The window containing your files will now open.

7. In the window containing your mail files, go to the Edit menu, click Select All. This will highlight all the files in the window.

8. Again, click on Edit, then click Copy to copy the files, and then close the window.

9. To create a folder to store your saved files, right-click any empty space on your desktop, click New, and then click Folder.

10. Type mail backup for the folder name, and then press ENTER.

11. Double-click the Mail Backup folder to open it.

12. In the open mail backup folder, click on Edit, then click Paste. The e-mail files will appear in the window.

13. Close the Mail Backup window, and burn the whole folder to a CD, or save to a thumb drive or some other type of external media.

The next step is to save the address book. We do this by exporting it.

1. Click on “Start” then point to “All Programs”, point to Accessories, and click on the “Address Book” icon.

2. In the open address book, click on File in the menu bar, point to Export, and then click Other Address Book.

3. Click Text File (Comma Separated Values), and then click Export.

4. In the Export window, Click Browse.

5. Locate the Mail Backup folder that you created.

6. In the File Name box, type address book backup, and then click Save and then click “Next”.

7. Click to select the check boxes for the fields that you want to export, and then click Finish.

8. Click OK and then click Close. You can now backup the file, or it will open in Word or excel and you can print it.

If the Address Book is shared with Microsoft Outlook, you are not able to export from within the Address Book on the File menu. This option is dimmed or not available.


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