How To Transfer OE to Windows Seven

Dear Computer Lady,

I am barely computer literate when it comes to having the necessary skills to perform most operations on my desktop and laptop PCs. I am a constant and avid reader of your columns and hope you might be able to help me.

Can you please tell me if there is any way to copy some folders that I created in Outlook Express. I have several folders that I would like to have on my Windows 7 laptop as well as remaining on my Windows XP Pro desktop PC.

I have been unable to transfer my Outlook Express program to my laptop. I have Windows Easy Transfer 7 installed on both of my computers but it doesn’t seem to work for this purpose.

Thank you so very much for your columns.


Dear Joanne,

Windows Easy transfer probably isn’t working for you because Win7 doesn’t support Outlook Express, but instead uses the newer program, Windows Live Mail.

There is a way, however, that you can find your messages in outlook express and import them into the email program that you are using in windows seven.

You will need a USB data stick to follow these directions.

1. The first thing you need to do is find your mail files in Outlook Express.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 open, containing 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. To make it easier to copy, I like to click on the “Up” button. Now you can see the Outlook Express folder.

8. Click on “Start” then “My Computer” and double click on your USB backup device to open it.

9. Arrange the two windows on your desktop so that you can see the contents of each of them.

10. Drag the Outlook Express folder to your backup device.

Now you have your Outlook Express email files on the backup device, and you are ready to import them into your new email program. I’m guessing that you are using Windows Live Mail since that is what comes with Win7. Here are the directions.

1. Insert your USB drive in the new computer.

2. Open the drive by clicking on “Start” then on “Computer”, and double click on the drive.

3. Use your mouse to drag the Outlook Express folder that you copied in the tutorial above to your desktop, and close the computer window.

4. Open Windows Mail. Click on “File” in the menu bar (if the menu bar is not visible, tap to Alt key) point to “Import” and click on “Messages…”.

5. Click to select the format you want to import from (in this case Outlook Express) and click “Next”.

6. Click the “Browse” button and scroll down to find your folder. Click on it, and click “OK”.

7. Click “Next” to import your messages.

You should be able to select which folders you want to import. You can choose all or some of the folders.


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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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