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Transferring data between email programs can be tricky. You may have to re-organize.

I exported and imported addresses on to a new PC, but the new PC shows addresses with no folders or groups – just a long list of hundreds of names. Is there a way to import it as was in the old Outlook Express?

In this excerpt from Answercast #25, I look at the way email programs store and transfer data; unfortunately, some structure may get lost in the switch.

Changing email programs

So unfortunately, you haven't specified exactly what email program you're importing into; but my belief is the answer to your question is a very unfortunate no.

Most of the export formats that email programs provide don't have a way to specify folder structure within an address book. They simply are an export of the actual address book entries and nothing else.

If the folders don't export...

The implication is, then of course, that when you import into another email program, that information just isn't there. The other email program has no way to reconstruct the folder structure that you used in your original address book.

  • Unfortunately, I'm really not aware of a good solution to this problem.

Look on the bright side...

The fact that you were able to get your hundreds of address book entries over there is great all by itself.

Best I can suggest is that you take a few minutes now, recreate your folder structure by hand, and start dragging and dropping things into their appropriate folders in your new address book: in whatever email program that might happen to be.

End of Answercast #25: Back to Audio Segment

Article C5452 - June 11, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

3 Comments
Mauro Lembert
June 12, 2012 11:11 AM

Thunderbird does not have a subfolder structure like Outlook Express does. Any hints on how to copy contacts and then replicate the structure I´ve set at Outlook that helps a lot in terms of organizing different contact groups? Tks&rgds

Annette Collins
October 21, 2012 5:45 AM

I have a Dell Dimension running Outlook Express which I keep upstairs. I have recently purchased an HP laptop running windows
Live Mail. Is there anyway I can receive e-mail on both at the same time. If I leave OE on upstairs all e-mail goes there first so I have to keep checking both. I have ticked share on both computers.

Mark J
October 21, 2012 6:43 AM

@Annette
If you set your email program to use IMAP instead of POP3, you can synchronize your email on several computers and devices such as smartphones and tablets. If you email provider doesn't support IMAP, the procedure is the same for OE and WLM. Go into "Account settings" click the "Properties Tab" then the "Advanced" tab program on each computer and change the setting to "leave copy of message on server". (In OE, "Accounts" are found under the tools menu.)
How can I read my email on more than one machine?
You might also want to consider switching from OE to WLM on your XP machine.
Why Outlook Express Must Die

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