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How to Back Up and Recover Outlook Express Data


There is also a program called Outlook Express backup Wizard (OEBW) which does all of this automatically for you (but it's not free - last time I looked it was US$39.95 to buy from www.outlook-express-backup.com)

SUMMARY

This article describes how to back up and restore your messages, Address Book, mail accounts, and news accounts in Outlook Express 5 and later. If multiple Identities are in use for Outlook Express, these steps should be repeated for each Identity and the backup data segregated accordingly. This will facilitate restoration of each Identity.

MORE INFORMATION

Before you start

Microsoft (by default) puts your email information into a STUPID location where it is hard to find and where it gets trashed if you have to reload windows so it's a good idea to MOVE it to a better location first.

To change your default email folder and move all of your existing data to that location

  1. At the MS-DOS prompt type MD C:\Email to create a new email location
  2. On the Tools menu in Outlook Express, click Options.
  3. On the Maintenance tab, click Store Folder.
  4. Click on CHANGE
  5. Change the location to C:\Email (or another sensible location)
  6. Apply your changes, exit Outlook Express and Restart Windows
  7. Go back into Outlook Express and your email location will have changed and the existing data copied

To backup Outlook Express data:

  1. Copy mail files to a backup folder
  2. Export the Address Book to a file
  3. Export the mail account to a file
  4. Export the news account to a file
  5. Export the Block Senders List to a file
  6. Export the Mail Rules to a file
To restore or import Outlook Express data:
  1. Import messages from the backup folder
  2. Import the Address Book file
  3. Import the mail account file
  4. Import the news account file
  5. Import the Block Senders List file
  6. Import the Mail Rules file

Exporting Outlook Express data

Copy Mail Files to a Backup Folder
To make a backup copy of your Outlook Express e-mail message files:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Maintenance tab, click Store Folder.
  3. Select 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.
  5. Click Start, and then click Run.
  6. In the Open box, press CTRL+V, and then click OK.
  7. On the Edit menu, click Select All.
  8. On the Edit menu, click Copy, and then close the window.
  9. 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. On the Edit menu, click Paste.
  13. Close the Mail Backup window.
Export the Address Book to a File
NOTE: This step is very important when multiple Identities are in use. A .WAB (Windows Address Book) file is used by Outlook Express 5.x and 6.0 versions, even if multiple Identities are used. The individual data for each Identity is stored in a folder, by user name, within the .WAB file in use.

Exporting this data, while logged in to a specific Identity, is the only means of segregating the Address Book data. If the .WAB file becomes dissociated from the user Identities, the data can only be exported in total - not folder by folder.

Another reason to export the .WAB file to a .csv file is that if the .WAB file is shared with Microsoft Outlook, the addresses are stored in the *.pst file in Outlook. When you export the file from the Outlook Express File menu to a *.csv file it exports the correct contacts. 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.

To export your Outlook Express address book:

  1. On the File menu, click Export, and then click Address Book.
  2. Click Text File (Comma Separated Values), and then click Export.
  3. Click Browse.
  4. Locate the Mail Backup folder that you created.
  5. In the File Name box, type address book backup, and then click Save.
  6. 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.
Export the Mail Account to a File
To make a backup copy of your Outlook Express mail account:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Accounts.
  2. On the Mail tab, click the mail account that you want to export, and then click Export.
  3. In the Save In box, locate the Mail Backup folder on your desktop, and then click Save.
  4. Repeat these steps for each mail account that you want to export.
  5. Click Close.
Export the Newsgroup Account to a File
To make a backup copy of your Outlook Express news accounts:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Accounts.
  2. On the News tab, click the news account that you want to export, and then click Export.
  3. In the Save In box, use locate the Mail Backup folder on your desktop, and then click Save.
  4. Repeat these steps for each news account that you want to export.
  5. Click Close.

Importing Outlook Express data

To restore data, you may need to re-create the Identities for each user, prior to using the following steps. Repeat each step, as needed, for each Identity.
Import Messages from the Backup Folder
To import your Outlook Express e-mail messages from the Backup folder:
  1. On the File menu, point to Import, and then click Messages.
  2. In the Select an e-mail program to import from box, click Microsoft Outlook Express 5 or Microsoft Outlook Express 6, and then click Next.
  3. Click Import mail from an OE5 store directory or Import mail from an OE6 store directory, and then click OK.
  4. Click Browse, and then click on the Mail Backup folder on your desktop.
  5. Click OK, and then click Next.
  6. Click All folders, click Next, and then click Finish.
Import the Address Book File
To import your Outlook Express address book:
  1. On the File menu, click Import, and then click Other Address Book.
  2. Click Text File (Comma Separated Values), and then click Import.
  3. Click Browse.
  4. Locate the Mail Backup folder on your desktop, click the address book Backup.csv file, and then click Open.
  5. Click Next, and then click Finish.
  6. Click OK, and then click Close.
Import the Mail Account File
To import your Outlook Express mail account file:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Accounts.
  2. On the Mail tab, click Import.
  3. In the Look In box, locate the Mail Backup folder on your desktop.
  4. Click the mail account that you want to import, and then click Open.
  5. Repeat these steps for each mail account that you want to import.
  6. Click Close.
Import the Newsgroup Account File
To import your Outlook Express news account file:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Accounts.
  2. On the News tab, click Import.
  3. In the Look In box, locate the Mail Backup folder on your desktop.
  4. Click the news account that you want to import, and then click Open.
  5. Repeat these steps for each news account that you want to import.
  6. Click Close.

How to Backup and Restore Outlook Express Blocked Senders List and Other Mail Rules

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry

SUMMARY

This article describes how to back up and restore your Blocked Senders list and other mail rules in Outlook Express 5 and later. If multiple Identities are in use for Outlook Express, these steps should be repeated for each Identity, and the backup data segregated accordingly. This will facilitate restoration of each Identity.
MORE INFORMATION
WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.
How to Back Up Blocked Senders List and Other Mail Rules
The Blocked Senders List
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and click the following registry subkeys (save each key to a different file):

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities\{Identity Number}\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0\Block Senders

  4. On the Registry menu, click Export Registry File.
  5. In the Save In box, change the location to your desktop.
  6. In the File Name box, type blocked senders.reg (for the Block Senders key), and then click Save.
Other Mail Rules
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and click the following registry subkeys (save each key to a different file):

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities\{Identity Number}\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0\Rules\Mail

  4. On the Registry menu, click Export Registry File.
  5. In the Save In box, change the location to your desktop.
  6. In the File Name box, type mail rules.reg (for the mail rules key), and then click Save.
  7. On the Registry menu, click Exit.
NOTE: For additional protection, copy the registry key files from your desktop to any of the following locations:
How to Restore the Existing Blocked Senders List and Other Mail Rules to Function on the Newly Installed Operating System
  1. Open Outlook Express on the new computer, and complete the Internet Connection Wizard to set up your Identity and account information. If you had multiple identities in the previous installation, complete these steps for each Identity. To do this:
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type notepad.exe.
  4. Click Open on the File menu, and then locate the Block Senders.reg file that you created.
  5. In the second line of text, select the text after "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identity\" that includes the braces {}. On the Edit menu, click Copy to copy this text to the Microsoft Windows Clipboard.
  6. On the Edit menu, click Replace. Click your pointer in the Find what box, and then click Paste on the Edit menu to paste the text into that box. Do not close the Notepad application until you are directed to do so later in this process.
  7. Start Registry Editor on the new computer (as in step 1 of "The Blocked Senders List" section), and locate the HKEY_Current_User\Identities folder. Double-click the User ID key in the right pane, and then click the Value data.
  8. Press CTRL+C to copy that value to the Windows Clipboard. Click Cancel to close the Edit String dialog box, and then close Registry Editor.
  9. In Notepad, click your point in the Replace with box, and press CTRL+V to paste the text. Click Replace All to replace all instances of the text strings.
  10. Scroll through the entire list to make sure that all registry keys have the new text string, rather than the old string. On the File menu, click Save, and then close Notepad.
  11. Double-click the Block Senders.reg file, and then click Yes when you are prompted: "Are you sure you want to..." to import the Block Senders list to the registry for the new computer.
  12. Follow steps 2 through 11 above on the mail rules.reg file to update that file with the new Identity information.