Windows Vista forum

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How do I transfer my Outlook express email files to Vista?

by TVSALES / March 12, 2007 10:47 AM PDT

I just bought a new Computer that came with Vista Home Premium and I can't find Outlook Express there.

When I click on email it takes me to this place that says Microsoft email.

I have a lot of email files in my Outlook express (on XP Home) that I want to be able to access other Vista email program.

How do I transfer my Outlook Express email files, on XP Home to Vista?


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Microsoft Mail replaced Outlook Express...
by John.Wilkinson / March 12, 2007 11:46 AM PDT

It's part of the "Windows Live" rebranding plan. There have been a few changes, but under the hood it is more or less the same Outlook Express of XP. The easiest way to transfer everything over is to use the Export command in Outlook Express to save all messages and contacts to separate files, copy them over to the Vista PC, and then use the Import option (from the File menu) to bring the data into Windows Mail.

I would also like to note that the free program Windows Live Mail Desktop, currently in a stable public beta test, is intended to be a replacement for both Outlook Express on XP and Windows Mail on Vista. (Development fell behind, which is why it's not pre-installed in Vista.) You may want to consider 'upgrading' to it.

Hope this helps,

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by TVSALES / March 12, 2007 12:37 PM PDT

Thanks, that is helpful.

I think though that what you are suggesting will save ALL of my past emails/contacts and I wanted to be kind of selective (like just save/transfer) in this. Is there a way to maybe group say from 1 year ago to now and just save/tranfer these?

Also, you wrote:>
"You may want to consider 'upgrading' to it".
I can't find how to (in Vista) do this particular "upgrade" just by inself. And also, is there a charge to "upgrade"?

thanks again

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What you can do...
by John.Wilkinson / March 13, 2007 10:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Upgrading

There are two ways to go about it:
1.) Open Outlook Express, sort by date, select the most recent message you want to delete, scroll down, then shift + click the last message you want to delete and press delete. Empty out the deleted mail folder and then perform the backup.

2.) In Outlook Express, go Tools->Options->Maintenance and click Store Folder. Copy the location it displays, then enter it into the address bar of Windows Explorer (My Computer). You can then copy individual files and folders, and sorting by date will make it much simpler. You would then have to perform a similar process in Windows Mail, pasting the files instead of copying them.

As to Windows Live Mail Desktop, it's free of charge. Microsoft considers it an upgrade, but it doesn't actually replace Windows Mail. Instead, both can be run side-by-side, with Windows Live Mail Desktop having additional functionality. You can download it by clicking here. It is still technically a beta, but it is extremely stable and ready for general use.

Hope this helps,

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Saving email files
by TVSALES / March 14, 2007 8:06 AM PDT
In reply to: What you can do...

Thanks for your reply.

I did what you said and it led me to a number of files that looked like registry files such as, {9D16FC3B-D236-4907-A0B2-CF0E8F2Z0A8D}.

The email files seem to be in these but they have a .dbx extension.

Not being sure of that, I tried something else.

I created a folder on my desktop (email backups),then I opened one of my email folders in Outlook Express and selected a number of those emails.

From there, I simply dragged those selected emails into the folder on my desktop.

Sure enough, they copied right into that folder - attachments and all. (my emails contain a lot of pictures and graphics)

The extension on these copied email files is .eml which is what I expected.

From there, I copied one of the emails that had an attachment and then I went to my other (Windows) email, created a folder and pasted that email into that new folder.

When I double clicked on it, in the new folder, it opened and was complete, with the attachment.


Since this worked so good for me, I thought that I'd pass this on to anyone that might benefit from this info.

Thanks again,

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Tried Charles method but still have a problem
by vishalg77 / March 28, 2007 4:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Saving email files


I faced same problem like Charles did. Thanks to him for coming up with the brilliant method. My problem is that I have many giga bytes of old emails and many folders and if I do it his way, it would take a lot of time to copy the email .eml files. The advantage with the old .dbx files was that firstly it contained the contents of the entire folder so that it was not necessary to create folders and secondly it was in a compressed form (less memory) so it was easier to transfer. The new Windows mail don't seem to use .bdx format. Can anybody guide me what should I do now? I will really appreciate some help.



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Charles' method was the only thing that I got to work
by rose.johnp / April 4, 2007 6:06 AM PDT

vishalg77, I had the same problem as well. What I ended up doing was what Charles recommended. Windows mail was suppose to be easier, but in the end was a pain in the ***. I usually transfer my Outlook using a ".pst" file, but I could figure how to do it in Windows Mail.

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re: Charles' method
by Robbie_S / April 23, 2007 7:06 AM PDT

Hello guys,

Same problem here again. Are we sure that there is no simpler method? This will take me literally aaages...


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You can import mail from Outlook Express
by sherryg / April 23, 2007 1:16 PM PDT
In reply to: re: Charles' method

I have moved mail and addresses from Outlook Express on Windows XP to Windows Mail on several machines. The easiest way is to network the two machines and create a shared folder on your XP system. Or you can copy the files if they fit on a CD.

You can find out where your messages are stored by going to Tools, Options, Maintenance and clicking on Store Folder. Highlight and copy the file name, then click Run and paste the name & click OK. You will now open all of the files which contain your mail. Copy these to a folder (MAIL) in your shared folder that you created above.

Go to search and find your address book by looking for a .wab file. Again, copy this to the shared folder.

Now go to your Vista system and open Windows Mail. Go to File, Import, Messages, Oulook Express and point to the MAIL folder in your shared folder. Click OK and this should import your mail.

Go to File, Import, Contact, Windows Address Book and point to the .wab file. Click OK and this should import your address book.

I hope that the import directions are close enough to follow as I don't have a Vista system available to me right now.

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This isn't working for me
by AlinaBB / May 9, 2007 2:07 AM PDT

When I go to import in Vista mail the file is blank. I can't also figure out how to make it see all files as I can in XP.


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Vista Windows Mail cannot find content of messages
by vista victim / December 3, 2007 1:26 PM PST

Several months after purchase of a Dell laptop with Vista, and after operating Windows Mail successfully, I finally tried to import several years of message history from OE6 on tne older laptop into Windows Mail on the new computer - where I had several months of new Email sitting. After a bit of difficulty, I finally got to the Import step and ended up in the swamp. The imported messages ended up in an Import folder. So far, so good. Then everything disappeared, both existing and imported messages. The messages still exist, according to the Properties tab on the folders, but the link to the content is not there. I was able to get the subject lines back by trying one of the fixes found on another forum that involved deleting the WindowsMail.MSMessageStore file and re-establishing it by restarting Windows Mail, but am still divorced from the content of the messages. The specific error message reads "Message cannot be found. The contents of this message cannot be found. Windows Mail."

I have copied the entire Windows Mail Folder to a backup location on the C: drive, and can open and read any of those backup copies from within the backup folder by choosing Windows Mail, but can't see any of the content within the normal use of Windows Mail. That will suffice in a pinch, but there is an ongoing project where I really need the thread of the discussion across a couple of years. Any suggestions?

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outlook 2003
by JKK_FINN / May 24, 2008 12:45 AM PDT

I have outlook 2003 and I can not find from Tools, Options --> Maintenance where Store Folder should be. Where is it, please?

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Import mail from Outlook Express
by lhadpn / June 25, 2008 4:33 AM PDT

I your reply you describe how to import the files in Windows Mail. But it appears to me that in Windows Mail, Import the programme Outlook Express does not appear. And from other replies it appears to me that the two programmes do not have the same file extension. So I still do not see how to transfer the messages.

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It worked for me too
by bifera / April 25, 2007 10:54 AM PDT
In reply to: Saving email files

Thanks...I used your method and worked.

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a true scholar and a gent
by spiderman1008 / March 8, 2008 9:08 AM PST
In reply to: Saving email files

Charles, you are a genius! thank you.

Whilst I appreciate everything and more that the ever advancing technology brings us, and those who know how to use it, It is nice to see that the old cut 'n' paste or drag 'n' drop still holds sway.

This worked a treat for me transferring my wife's emails from XP laptop to new Visat laptop here at just after 1:00am.

keep up the good work

your friendly neghbourhood


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xferring outlook express to mail
by garthur08 / June 18, 2008 2:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Saving email files

That's all & good but you have to individually select each e-mail & move to an e-mail folder in windows mail. that's pretty tedious. isn't there an easier way?

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transfer outlook to Vista Mail or Microsoft Outlook on Vista
by domenico greco / July 1, 2008 12:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Saving email files


I tried your suggestions and it did work.

However once you have transfered the mails you cannot not arrange by date anymore as "last modified date" is all the same, being dat of copying.

The only way I see to solve this is to keep a copy of the folders at hand, where you can easily trace an old file....(sic)...

Any other suggestions ??


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Thanks a BIG BUNCH!!!
by cgarrity / May 7, 2007 2:19 PM PDT
In reply to: What you can do...

I've been spinning my wheels trying to recover my XP email to my new Vista drive. Step 2 in your procedure showed me the correct steps to take. In only a few minutes I recovered all my XP email to my new Vista Mail program.

I had come important mail and am very happy to have access to it again. IMHO, MS really drops the ball in not clearly explaining this process.

Thanks again...

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Exported files store folder
by katsirof / May 21, 2007 8:02 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks a BIG BUNCH!!!

Hello everybody,
Do you have an idea of how I can find the exported e-mail files?
I export from outlook express but neither it doesn't ask me the destination folder nor I manage to find them afterwards, even though the export is completed succesfully.
Thank you in advance.


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stuck with outlook 2003
by JKK_FINN / May 24, 2008 1:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks a BIG BUNCH!!!

I cant find where "stored folder" is in my XP Outlook 2003. Need to transfer old e-mails to new Vista Windows Mail. Export doesnt work, I try all possibilities from there and Vista dont recognise any.

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Transfer Windows Mail (Vista) to Outlook (Vista)
by Tom Geimer / April 25, 2007 2:35 AM PDT


i read your help to someone regarding transferring Outlook files. Do you, by chance, understand why it is impossible to transfer Windows Mail (ex Outlook Express) to Outlook? I tried to use the export (from W Mail) option, choosing Exchange option, and end up with a MAPI error. I save as WMail file and put on new computer that also has WMail, as well as the Outlook that I use, put cant import WMail into Outlook? Tom

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Outlook Express emails and address book transfer into Vista
by Frankster1970 / May 7, 2007 5:19 AM PDT

I recently got a new Dell computer that came loaded with Windows Vista Home Premium. I also got a Belkin transfer cable to transfer my files from my older Dell computer (running on XP), specifically my emails and address book in Outlook Express onto the new computer. I went through the file transfer instructions, but cannot find my Outlook Express emails or address book in the Vista email program. Can anyone help? I need pretty detailed instructions. Thanks.
Frank Smith

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You can do it yourself...

While the transfer wizard may glitch from time to time, you can perform the transfer yourself fairly easily. On your old computer, launch Outlook Express and use the File->Import/Export option to export your messages, and then repeat for your contacts. When prompted for a location, save them to a folder on either a floppy or flash drive. Transfer that drive to your new computer, launch Windows Mail from the Start menu, and use the File->Import option to import the messages, followed by the contacts. Just select "Outlook Express 6" and the folder on the floppy/flash drive and it should do the rest.

Hope this helps,

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Ouilook Express emails transferred into Vista Mail
by Frankster1970 / May 7, 2007 10:33 PM PDT

Thank you very much John. Did not think about doing it that way.

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A difference in Outlook Express (XP) & Windows Mail (Vista)
by orlbuckeye / May 7, 2007 11:22 PM PDT

With Outlook express you could read internet mail like AOL, hotmail and other internet email services along with SMTP mail servers such as road runner. With Windows Mail you can't read internet mail clients. But Windows Live Mail desktop will read the internet email clients. I set up Windows Live Mail to read my road runner email for the RR server and it worked fine for awhile but then one day. It stopped getting the mail and gave a message that the server was slow responding and asked if I wanted to wait 60 seconds. When Windows mail attempted to receive the email it came in fine. I just stopped using Window Live Mail although I did attempt uninstall and reinstall ones with the same result.

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Win xp transfer to win vista on my new computer woes!
by oceanamoon / May 18, 2007 4:50 PM PDT

Hello All,

I recently purchased a new HP pavilion with windows vista home prem. My old computer is an HP with win XP on it. I had purchased a transfer program in advance. {detto-Intellimover). which when I actually went to use it? Inadvertently discovered the code was invalid on the registry thing. Annoyed with that~! As I purchased it from a seller on eBay more than 6 mo ago, with no info. now or record of who it was and no recourse anyway after all this time. Ok, so that being a bust!!I decided to try the easy transfer with vista and XP. found that to be a challenge as well! No matter how many times I tried and followed every step, I had to use my flash drive, I didn't want to buy yet another usb cord and program to register, all it seems I do lately?! is spend more + more $ since I got the new system! seeing how the one from intellimover is useless now.

So sorry I'm rambling sooooo much!! I want to make sure I give all the facts. Plus, I'm just so frustrated! I'm trying to get my old computer cleared and ready for another person to use that needs a computer. Anyway, I managed finally last eve. to actually transfer some old files, photos and music. But I'm still having a problem with the old OE6 express emails and thunderbird mozilla mailboxes files/emails as well. I tried the methods here a few have mentioned, I cant seem to get the last few steps to work right! maybe its operator error?! For one thing? on the export feature on my old xp system? It only allows an OE6 export to Microsoft outlook or MS exchange? Anyone? please help?! any suggestions? All help appreciated and thanks in advance! Jess

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Outlook Mail Conversion to Vista
by shatsu / June 8, 2007 12:20 AM PDT

I got myself a Dell Latitude with Vista Ultimate.
I tried to import Outlook e-mails from my old XP-computer into Windows Mail. I can select the to-be-imported format "Outlook", but then the error message of Windows Mail is "cannot import messages from MAPI-client". What does this mean? I'm not even asked for the location of the files.
Thanks for help, Steffen alias Shatsu

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Windows Mail
by Dblanchard / July 9, 2007 9:50 AM PDT

I tried what has been written here and my folders show up, however I keep getting the message 'folder could not be displayed' 'low disk space' 'low memory'. This is a brand new computer. If I click on any of the folders, I can't get into the messages and display them.
Help! Thanks

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re: How do I transfer my Outlook express email files to Vist
by clairnew333 / October 23, 2007 4:55 PM PDT
In reply to: Windows Mail

I known best solutions for transfering message database from Outlook Express to Windows Mail. You should use Message Synchronizer for Outlook Express. First download synchronizer and install. Run synchronizer on computer with Outlook Express. After that run synchronizer on computer with Windows Mail. Thats all.

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Transfer Outlook Express e-mails
by lhadpn / June 25, 2008 6:12 AM PDT

I can see how you can syncronise e-mails for Outlook Express and to a similar programme but are yuo sure you can transfer these files to Windows Mail with the extension of .dbx. It appears not.

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An error occured while initializing MAPI.
by MJR. / June 13, 2008 11:05 PM PDT

Hi John,

I have been working on this on and off for days. I was about to try and see if it's possible to delete the program in Vista and add Outlook to my new Dell. I followed your directions and copied the addgess book to the desktop (where I'll sent it to a jump drive) but can't get the messages our. I keep getting "The export could not be preformed. An error occured while initializing MAPI." Any ideas?


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