Knowledge Base

How to Migrate from Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail

Windows Live Mail is the successor to Microsoft's Outlook Express mail client. Windows Live Mail provides access to Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! and any other email account that could be used in Outlook Express. Users of Windows XP can upgrade to Windows Live Mail and import their Outlook Express settings into Windows Live Mail. Users upgrading to Windows 7 will need to back up their Outlook Express data before installing the new Operating System, as Windows 7 does not ship with Outlook Express. Both scenarios are detailed below.

If installing Windows Live Mail on a computer that has been using Outlook Express, email messages and address books can be imported into Windows Live Mail.

1. For messages, open Windows Live Mail and click File, then Import Messages, then Microsoft Outlook Express 6.

2. To copy your Address Book click Tools, then Contacts, then File, then Import, then Address Book for Current Windows User.

3. If Outlook Express had been used on an older PC and a new one is purchased with Windows Live Mail, or if upgrading the current Operating System to Windows 7, backing up Outlook Express's DBX files is required. For each folder in a mailbox, Outlook Express saves its messages in a single compressed file with an extension of .DBX. For example, all messages in the Inbox will be in a file named Inbox.dbx.

4. DBX files can be located within Outlook Express by clicking Tools, then Options, then Maintenance, then Store Folder. Typically the Store Folder is named Outlook Express; be sure to backup the DBX files contained within the Store Folder to a location that can be easily accessed when the reinstall is completed. Or if it is a new PC, backup the files to removable media. Then follow the import directions above.

5. To export the Address Book, open Outlook Express. Then click Addresses, then File, then Export. Outlook Express will present a series of prompts which give options for exporting different types of address books. Choose to export as a CSV (comma separated values) file. The resulting file will be a plain text list with the address book information separated by commas.

6. When saving this file, be sure to include the .txt extension in the file name. Follow the import instructions above to import this information into the Windows Live Mail Address Book.