Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Outlook Express and Outlook run on the assumption that you will keep emails within the programs data folders. Saving them to your documents creates a difficult retrieval situation.
Hi Leo. I bought your Maintaining Windows XP guide and was most satisfied with my purchase. I subscribe to your newsletter and I have referred lots of people to Ask Leo! – keep up the good work. You refer to a new publication Maintaining Windows 7 – I doubt I am alone in wondering when this will be released. Please give your readers more details as many of us eagerly await its release.
My question: I now run Windows 7 Professional after using XP for years. I also upgraded to MS Outlook 2007 after being a die-hard Outlook Express user. No issues with either Windows 7 nor Outlook, but most surprised and frustrated to find that I cannot open my literally hundreds and hundreds of Outlook Express emails saved into various folders in My Documents over the years to keep OE small and stable. What to do? Many saved OE emails have attachments too. Googling showed that I am not alone in this, but presented no clear solution to open the OE files and attachments on my present system. The only workaround I have hit on is to save all the files to a pen drive and then forward them to my new PC via another PC still using OE. Not really practical at all. Any suggestions appreciated.
Keep up the good work and bring on your next guide.
In this excerpt from Answercast #24, I look at a case where Outlook Express files have been saved into the My Documents folder structure and the difficulties in retrieving them from another email program.
Well, thanks for the kind words on the Windows XP Guide.
As for the Windows 7 Guide: the first volume on backing up... I'm hoping to have out within the month. I was actually working on it before I started recording this particular Answercast.
So, the Outlook Express issue: unfortunately, I'm going to disappoint you.
The problem here is that there's no real standard way of saving emails to a folder as you've done. My assumption is you probably dragged and dropped, but I'm not sure exactly what format the resulting email message is in. Clearly, it's not necessarily in a format that Outlook itself can understand natively.
What was intended by the programs (both Outlook Express and Outlook) is to keep all of your emails in the Outlook Express folder structure; because Outlook can import all of the Outlook Express emails as long as they're still in Outlook Express' folders.
Now, one thing that I just thought of that you might try:
I'm hesitant to really suggest that, because my suspicion is that it's not going to work or not going to work very cleanly.
Unfortunately, I really don't have a good solution for this other than, as you said, moving them to a different machine that has Outlook Express and forwarding them on.
If you've got Windows 7 Professional, you might consider installing XP mode, which will not only run Windows XP within a window in Windows 7, but it comes with Windows XP own copy of Outlook Express.
You may be able to manipulate the files somehow that way and get the data
out of them that you want. Unfortunately, like I said, there just isn't a clean
solution for this problem that I'm aware of.
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