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I'll show you how to move from Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail on Windows 7 (the easiest moving option), step by annoying step.

I get variations of this question a lot since Microsoft made the decision to remove Outlook Express - or any email program for that matter - from Windows 7.

Unfortunately, Outlook Express is not available for Windows 7.

That means it's time to migrate to a different email program.

In this (lengthy) article, I'll show you how to move from Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail (the easiest moving option), step by annoying step. With lots of pictures.

I'm going to assume that you're also switching machines. It's OK if you're not; you'll get to skip a few steps, but for the most part this process applies equally whether you're moving from one machine to another, or just upgrading an existing machine to Windows 7.

In Windows XP

Don't worry if you've already upgraded to Windows 7 and XP's no longer around. I'll address that in a moment. Particularly when you're moving machines, though, there are a couple of things you can do before the upgrade to make life just a tad simpler.

In Outlook Express, locate the "message store" folder. Click on the Tools menu, Options... menu item, Maintenance tab, Store Folder... button:

Outlook Express Store Folder

You can actually click-and-drag to select the store folder name therein - just make sure to drag to the far right to get it all, then right click on it and you can select copy:

Outlook Express Store Folder selected for copy

It'll probably give you something very similar to this:

C:\Documents and Settings\LeoN\Local Settings\
  Application Data\Identities\
  {99ABF0C2-AAC3-40FD-939D-73857B3D056C}\
  Microsoft\Outlook Express

(Though all on one line, and of course some of the specific text will be different.)

Open up Windows Explorer (Windows Key + E is easiest), and paste that into the address bar and press Enter:

Windows Explorer open on the Outlook Express Store folder

This entire folder, including all the files and subfolders within it must be copied to your Windows 7 machine. It really doesn't matter how you do it; you can burn a CD or DVD, copy to a flash drive or removable hard disk, or even copy directly over the network. What matters is that the entire folder is somehow copied to the Windows 7 machine.

Next, your address book.

In Outlook Express, click on the Addresses toolbar button, then in the resulting Address Book Window, click on the File menu, Export menu item, and Address Book (WAB)... sub-menu item:

Exporting the Windows Outlook Express address book

Enter a file name and save the address book export in some location. (You may need to repeat this once for each identity you use if you use more than one - be sure to select a unique name for each.)

All of these exported address books must now also be copied to your Windows 7 machine.

Finally, you'll need to note, save or record your email account configuration, as there is no automated process to transfer it to your new installation.

In Outlook Express click on the Tools menu, Accounts... menu item, Mail tab. For each account listed there click on the account and then the Properties button.

In the General tab:

Outlook Express Account Properties: General

Take note of your Name and E-mail address configured.

In the Servers tab:

Outlook Express Account Properties: Servers

Take note of all your settings here. If "My server requires authentication" is checked, then click on the Settings... button and note all your settings in the resulting dialog.

On the Advanced tab:

Outlook Express Account Properties: Advanced

Take note of all your settings in this dialog as well.

If You've Already Left Windows XP

If you no longer have access to Windows XP - presumably because you've upgraded to Windows 7 in place, then you'll need to:

  • Locate your Outlook Express store on your machine. You may be able to infer its location from the examples above. Another alternative is to search your machine for the file "Folders.dbx" - the folder containing that file is likely the folder you'll need to use below. No need to copy it, simply note its location for use later.

  • Locate your old Windows Address Book. In Windows XP its in a folder similar to:

    C:\Documents and Settings\LeoN\Local Settings\
    \LeoN\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book\LeoN.wab

    All on one line, and with your login name instead of mine. If you had multiple identities in Outlook Express there may be more than one. I find it easiest to once again search, this time for "*.wab" to locate all the Windows Address Books. And once again, no need to copy, simply make note of where you found them.

  • You'll need to remember your account configuration, or get it again from your ISP or email service provider.

Windows 7

Windows 7 does not come with an email program, so you'll need to download and install one.

We'll go get Windows Live Mail, which is similar to Outlook Express, and a free download from Microsoft.

Visit Windows Live's download page:

Windows Live Download page

Download and run the Windows Live installer. (You may have to confirm with Windows 7 UAC.) It'll present you with a list of optional components you can install:

Windows Live Installer

Uncheck everything except Mail. (That is, unless you know you want some of the other components. You can also add them later.)

Click Install. Upon completion of the install (it can take a while), uncheck all the additional options you're offered - we just want mail. (Unless, of course, the options are actually things you want. If you're not sure, uncheck them - you can add them later once you decide.)

It's also up to you if you want to create a Windows Live ID. Given that we're moving your existing email accounts, it's not required that you set up a new one.

Off the Start menu, under All Programs you'll find Windows Live, and within that Windows Live Mail. Click that to launch Windows Live Mail (WLM).

The first time you start WLM it'll launch the "Add an E-mail Account" process. Complete the process with the information that you saved from your Outlook Express account configuration above. Upon successful completion it may immediately download new mail - that's ok. It will also create an Inbox and other folders for your newly configured account.

Coming from Outlook Express, you'll probably be much more comfortable with a traditional menu bar in place. On the right side of the WLM window is an icon, shown below. Click that and then click on Show menu bar:

Windows Live Mail Show menu bar option

Now, click on the File menu, Import menu item, Messages... sub menu item. In the resulting dialog box:

Windows Live Mail import format selection

Choose Microsoft Outlook Express 6 and click Next.

In the next dialog - "Location of Messages" - click the Browse... button and navigate to the folder that has your Outlook Express messages that we saved or located above. This can once again be on external media, or directly on your machine. Simply locate the folder containing the infamous ".dbx" files. Click Next, make sure "All folders" is selected in the resulting dialog, and click Next again. WLM imports your email, after which you can click Finish.

Your messages have been imported - but where did they go?

It's not obvious, what WLM does is set up a new "Imported Folder" folder within the "Storage Folders" in the program:

Windows Live Mail showing Imported Email in the Imported Folder folder

All your messages are here. You can now manage them as you see fit, perhaps leaving them there, perhaps dragging and dropping them into other folders - whatever you like.

Last but not least: the Address Book.

In Windows Live Mail, click on Contacts in the lower left:

Windows Live Mail contacts

That brings up the Windows Live Contacts application, into which we'll import the old Windows Address Book.

Click on the File menu, Import menu item, Windows address book (.WAB) sub menu item. It'll then prompt you for the location of your ".wab" file. Navigate to the location containing the .wab file you copied or located earlier and press OK.

Windows Live Contacts import complete

That's really all there is to it. Your contacts are imported. You may need to repeat for multiple .wab files if you have them.

Caveats

As complicated as all that may seem, conceptually it's fairly simple: move mail, move address book, copy account settings.

There are a couple of lingering issues.

  • Windows Live Mail is not Outlook Express. It's similar, but there are differences, and the differences will take a little getting used to. About all I can suggest is that you be patient and embrace change.

  • In particular, advanced usage of Outlook Express - such as using Identities - may not be preserved. Windows 7 pushes the concept of completely separate Windows user accounts over Identities within Outlook Express.

The good news is that after having set up Windows Live Mail on your Windows 7 machine, it makes migrating to other email programs such as Thunderbird or Outlook that much easier should you decide to switch again later.

Article C4318 - May 19, 2010 « »

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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?

62 Comments
kevin carroll
May 25, 2010 8:32 AM

Hi Leo!

I've done this on a few occasions; once when I installed a new hard drive (then it was just from xp to xp); then when going from xp to vista, and finally recently on a new machine going to Win 7.

It's as you say! I did find though, that instead of taking the details of my email accounts (3) I went into Outlook Express, Options (I think), Acconts, and from there could simply "export" the email account. Then on Win 7, when it asked me to set up a new account I declines, but continued the process, and then imported the email accounts, and all the settings, passwords etc were intact!

KC

Alan Evans
May 25, 2010 9:18 AM

Excellent, clear article for transferring OE data and settings from XP to Windows 7. A lot of people have trouble with this.

I have just one comment - you said transferring your e-mail account configuration is not an automated process but I do this regularly. In OE, click on Tools - Accounts - Mail tab - Export. This will export the whole account with pop and smtp settings, user name and password as an .iaf file. Then reverse the process importing the .iaf file directly into Windows Live Mail from its stored location.

Alan

Larry Brown
May 25, 2010 10:05 AM

Great article, and very clearly written. How different is the process using Windows Mail to Windows Live Mail?

Gord Campbell
May 25, 2010 10:59 AM

Thunderbird can import Outlook Express messages directly. When I switched to Linux, I installed Thunderbird on my Windows XP machine, then copied all the Thunderbird data over to the Linux machine. I have thousands of messages archived in different folders, and it has all been preserved through four hard drives on three computers.

Eddie
May 25, 2010 12:53 PM

If you have Windows 7 (except for the Home and Starter editions), Microsoft allows free download and installation of Microsoft Virtual PC and a legitimate version of XP. If you take the few minutes necessary to go through this procedure, you can continue to use Outlook Express within the virtual machine. Installation and use is simple (Microsoft guides you through the whole process). To answer the question, "Why go to all the trouble?", here are my answers: (1) It's not much trouble; (2) keeping a copy of Outlook Express working alongside Windows 7 allows you to keep both Outlook Express's "Identities" feature, which a lot of us don't want to give up, and its neat, uncluttered, and straightforward interface; (3) Mail Rules. If you use mail rules to sort your messages as they arrive, the rules can be directly imported from your old installation to the new one. As far as I know, this can't be done with either of the other programs (and setting up new mail rules in Live Mail is torture); and finally (4) speed. Even on the semi-crippled virtual version of XP (only 512 megs CPU RAM and limited video RAM), OE still blows away Live Mail and Thunderbird in speed of downloading and sorting new messages. Don't ask me why -- I'm just a user, not an engineer. (I'll probably get a lot of flack about that observation.) The other e-mail option, Microsoft Outlook, is not really an option for a lot of people because of its cost.

I've actually written about that technique in the past: What is Windows 7's "Windows XP Mode"? (And can I use it to get Outlook Express back?)
Leo
26-May-2010

Msnfy
May 30, 2010 7:36 PM

Thank you so much. I was searching everywhere on the web for exactly what you provided. I was driving myself crazy because I couldn't find the "file" tab to click on...and if you hadn't mentioned to "show menu bar" I wouldn't have found it. Thanks--you saved me hours!!

Karthikeyan
June 19, 2010 3:58 PM

It's a very useful article for me. Because in our company we have upgraded few systems from windows xp to windows 7 on one month before. Thanks.

Spencer Collins
June 28, 2010 10:49 PM

Thankyou for a great article Leo! I have transferred my Outlook Express folders and address book to Windows Live Mail successfully. I have one problem though, I can't get the folders from the "Storage Folders" to my primary email account folders. Do you have any hints or suggestions on how to do this? I have tried dragging and dropping, there doesn't seem to be anyway to highlight and copy these folders.

Carlos Coquet
June 30, 2010 12:28 AM

Wouldn't it be nice if Microsoft, just once, spent its resources in delivering something new !!!! Over and over I see them investing resources in creating the illusion of progress by rearranging things or adding to Windows things that existed long before or that others are already handling way better. Over and over I see MS stealing ideas from others and ramming them into Windows so everyone has to pay for them whether they want them or
not. (Did you notice how much more expensive Windows is than it used to be?)
Examples. I find Thunderbird a wonderful program, easily movable from machine to machine (because of its flat file system), and well featured. If it were only eMail, I would not say much but it with everything. We already had Remote Desktop in the 90's. It was called pcAnywhere and it ran under DOS !!!! If you needed it, you bought it, if you did not, you did not buy it and it did not cost anything. How about browsers? We had Netscape's Navigator and others. Microsoft squashed them by forcing IE on us building it into Windows. I could go on but Leo would say I am just ranting way off point!!

Mark Caff
July 15, 2010 1:37 AM

When there are lots of folders created in OE for filing purposes you don't seem to be able to simply drag a folder to the new mail account in WLM, only the messages contained in those folders. This means recreating all your filing folders prior to moving messages - do you know if there is a way aroung this.
Thanks

JT
July 23, 2010 12:01 PM

It would be nice if Microsoft left some things alone so that you didn't have to relearn so much with every new computer you get because of the changed operating system. Makes me want to move to a MAC.

Chris
August 7, 2010 3:38 PM

you are a genius!you have guided a complete technophobe brilliantly with the required result!Thank you very much for being so generous with your giftedness, it is much appreciated.

Cassi
August 17, 2010 12:31 PM

I understand that you have to have separate identities with windows live. We have multiple email addresses going to one mailbox. In OE we select our name from the drop down to send a new message. Will we be able to do the same with Windows Live?
i.e. sales @ yourcompany.com, cassi @ yourcompany.com, accounting @ yourcompany.com

rupert
September 6, 2010 1:30 PM

thanks, this was a huge help, however i seem unable to send any mail through the new set up. i can recieve everything without a hitch but i get an error 250 every time i try and send one. any ideas gratefully recieved

Miriam
September 10, 2010 11:58 PM

Thank you so much,you saved my life,lol.
I spent hours trying to figure it out,it was really helpfull!!
Regards from Israel :o)

Rietta
September 11, 2010 6:26 PM

Thank you. This was such a huge help. I loved your step by step process. Everything appears to have transferred successfully.

Stephen
October 15, 2010 5:48 PM

Good article, all the steps worked OK. But there's a 2 Gb limit on importing .dbx files into WLM, so create additional folder(s) in Outlook Express 6 before saving, then import the .dbx files individually. You can move the emails into a single folder (e.g. Inbox) once they've been imported to WLM.

Stig Christensen
October 31, 2010 8:28 AM

Hi
great article, but what about rules?
I have some mail that are moved from 'inbox' to a folder structure based on the contens,
how do I move this structure from my Vista to windows7 ?

Regards
Stig

Unfortunately I'm not aware of a tool to automate that. Best I know of is to re-enter the rules manually on the new system
Leo
01-Nov-2010

Jerry Killion
November 6, 2010 8:35 PM

When I move from Outlook Express to Window 7 Live, will have have to change old Outlook Express e-mall address to a new "live" address?

Your email address is associated with the email service you use, not the email program you use on your computer. You should be able to switch computers and email programs - even operating systems - and keep your existing email address.
Leo
07-Nov-2010

Howard Philipson
November 23, 2010 8:16 PM

Leo
I appreciated your article. Note that my individual concern was addressed in your
answer to another reader's comment, which
was about keeping my current e-mail address.
That is most likely an important feature to
many e-mail users, as its my contact info for
the govt, financial firms, banks, and so forth,
not just personal contacts (which are easy to
update). Again, thanks.

Steve C Gardner
December 6, 2010 5:07 AM

My PC died but it was backed up on Norton Ghost. My new laptop has Windows 7 and Live Mail. I restored the back up and found my .dbx files in Documents. I assembled them all, including Folders.dbx, in a single folder. I imported this folder into Live Mail. It shows as Imported Folder, but it is empty. Any ideas as to where I have gone wrong please?

Steve C Gardner
December 6, 2010 6:13 AM

Further to my post today about an empty Imported Folder I now find it contains subfolders for deleted items, drafts, inbox, outbox and sent items. These are all empty bar the inbox which has a single welcome message from the Outlook Express team dating from 2000. My many other subfolders are simply missing. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Gerald Phillips
January 7, 2011 10:54 AM

I read and profited from your article but I have a slightly different challenge with Windows 7. I have a client who will only contact me via Outlook or Outlook Express. Since Windows 7 blew them away - is there any way I can install Express along side Windows 7 or ???. I need to contact and work with this client.
Thanks
Gerald

Outlook and Outlook Express are NOT related. Outlook (part of Microsoft Office) is alive and well and works just fine in Windows 7. Outlook Express is not available.
Leo
11-Jan-2011

mark myszyn
January 24, 2011 12:36 AM

are the iaf files (stored oe information on mail accounts) useful in migration?

Mike B.
January 24, 2011 2:10 PM

After I change over my email from Outlook Express on XP, to Windows Live Mail on Windows 7 on a new pc.....
can I still keep my same email address at "@verizon.net" ??

Yes. The email address you use is assigned by your ISP, and not dependant on what email *program* you use.
Leo
25-Jan-2011

Dea C.
January 27, 2011 6:57 PM

Thanks Leo, for the awesome step-by-step instructions for moving our outlook express from our XP machine to our new Windows 7 machine for Windows Live Mail. This is actually for my husband who will be thrilled he did not lose his emails with the switch. I am using Windows Mail on my laptop with Vista.) Now we will have to learn the new bells and whistles with WLM, but within the short time I used it, it seems to be no real big deal. Thanks again. I recommend this article to anyone who is not a computer expert. You made it all so very clear.

Lily Cundiff
January 30, 2011 5:13 PM

I have several email addresses in Outlook Express (OE). Your instructions were perfect and work great for my default email identity in OE. How can I retrieve the emails and assoicated files with each email address identity? This is what I have done so far without success. I moved the different OE files to the new Win 7 machine, set up the new identities in Live mail, clicked on one of the other email address, did the File - import, and received "No messages can be found in this folder or another applicaiton is runnig that has the required file open." I verified that the file had the OE information it it, I tried it with another identity, received the same results. I confirmed each identity with its corresponding identity number, saw the file folders related to each email, etc.
I am receiving emails on the different identities I set up in Live Mail, but I really need the other emails and the folers assoicated with them installed on the new machine. Can you help. Thank you.

Liz
February 5, 2011 8:06 PM

I had Outlook Express with a sympatico acount (i do not have a password!) and now have windows live. My contacts have been tranfered into live as have emails that were in my inbox before the change, but I cannot recieve new emails and cannot send emails. Is there any way you can help me?

david
March 4, 2011 8:43 AM

All very clear,useful and helpful, switch was pretty painless and worked fine, thank you. Maybe make it clearer for dunderheads like myself that when copying OE messages only copy the 'Outlook Express' folder with the .dbx files..... I gathered this after unnecessarily trying to copy 5.5GB of system folders etc....

Kathleen Corazzini
March 7, 2011 8:45 AM

thanks for your instructions. I have my Outlook Express Account but cannot access it because of my password. I just want to ask for a new password. How do I do that. Trying to switch from Yahoo.com to Outlook. Thanks~Kathleen

It's not an "Outlook Express Account" - it's an account with an Email Provider that you happen to use Outlook Express to access. You need to contact your email provider for instructions to reset or change your password.
Leo
07-Mar-2011

Mark
March 19, 2011 9:54 AM

Windows Live Mail is the replacement provided by Microsoft, and while it is similar to Outlook Express it is NOT Outlook Express. Outlook Express is simply NOT available for Windows 7. There's one convoluted way of making it work, but it's frequently not worth the work: What is Windows 7's "Windows XP Mode"? (And can I use it to get Outlook Express back?)


18-Oct-2010

Can you please answer your own comment... if you run win7 in XP mode, then is there a way to install and run OE ???

You don't run Windows 7 "in XP mode". You run XP mode which brings up a separate virtual machine that *is* Windows XP running within Windows 7. Within that Windows XP is Outlook Express. I strongly recommend against this approach, as it's convoluted. Bite the bullet now and move to a better email client. Read the article that covers the topic:
What is Windows 7's "Windows XP Mode"? (And can I use it to get Outlook Express
back?)

Leo
19-Mar-2011

Mark J
March 19, 2011 10:20 AM

Outlook Express come already installed in XP mode. No installation is necessary.

Michael S
March 22, 2011 6:39 PM

I disconected my old computer(xp) and set up my new one(windows7). I realize that outloox express is not available anymore and I am fine w/ that. However Can I get my old address book from my outlook account?. I actually called microsoft before disconnecting my old machine and I could have sworn the tech told me that once I signed up w/ Windows Live mail I would be able to export my contact info. I have called Microsoft 5 times and my calls are getting droped or sent to limbo. Also is it possible to keep my old e-mail address?. Thank-You very much for any info/ advice...Mike

Your email address is independant of what email program or operating system you use, so yes, you can keep using it wherever you go. There are scenarios where you can copy your contact list - typically it means exporting the contact list from your old machine, copying the export file to the new computer, and then importing it into whatever email program you use now.
Leo
24-Mar-2011

Celia
April 7, 2011 6:59 PM

Wonderful! Finally someone who knows what he is talking about. Thank you so much. I did everything already, but did not know how to import into MLE. There are others out there jumping thru hoops on the same issue, I think. Thanks again.

john singleton
May 31, 2011 9:20 AM

thanks, Leo. Isn't something one does every day, but when you outlined procedure so well and detailed, it came back to me. MS site info is OK, but harder to navigate than yours for procedures like this.

RobE
June 2, 2011 5:18 PM

Very helpful article, thanks. I have 50 .dbx files and trust they will all be handled properly.
But, one area not dealt with is the use of mail rules - I have 20 of them for separating my incoming email. Is my only choice to reconstruct them in Windows Live Mail (assuming that function exists there)?

I don't know of a way to transfer rules. Sorry.
Leo
03-Jun-2011

IcB
July 3, 2011 9:26 PM

Not good enough ! It does not say how Windows Live Mail can correctly import Outlook express email messages from a saved folder on the same hard drive or an USB external flash drive !!!

Andre Louis
July 31, 2011 2:33 AM

Greetings. One point not made in the article or at least to me, incorrectly made was that it is indeed possible to save your mail accounts without needing to write down all the information before hand.
I did not find this article until a few weeks after I installed Windows 7, or rather it was forced upon me when I bought a new laptop.
As I still had my XP machines around, and am far too familiar with formatting, I found in Outlook Express, Tools >Accounts, the way to export all the account settings for each account to .iaf files.
You can then use the same method in Windows Live Mail to import them back in, thus saving you a lot of time and effort, and no need to call the ISP for your settings.
As I use Imap in OE and about 5 or 6 different accounts, I was glad to have discovered this little export function many years ago. It's survived many formats, machine-changes and the like, and works perfectly well every time. I was of course extremely glad that in Windows 7, Windows Live mail was able to read these files, and my accounts, being Imap, came up with all my messages stored server-side, no fuss whatsoever.

Hopefully I didn't just waste all your time with this information, and someone didn't say it before me. I only read a few of the comments not all, and so it is naturally possible this was already covered, but the article not updated to reflect this.

Oh well, thanks for reading in any case.

Locate me and my boring world of geekery and family right here for what it's worth.

Sandra
August 14, 2011 10:54 PM

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! your detailed steps saved me! I've been on my new computer for HOURS! Could not have made the move without your help! Glad this transition is over....

Ron
August 26, 2011 3:29 PM

Ditto to Sandra's comment. I had no idea how I was going to do the transition...what a great help!

Mrs Joy Dean
September 25, 2011 12:04 PM

Thank you very much. I am so glad that I found your advice, and the import of emails and of address book have both worked :-)

Ginger
October 8, 2011 2:23 PM

Excellent. Just what I needed. It worked perfectly and I LOVE Windows Live Mail. I thought I liked Outlook Express but WLM is way better!

I was so successful in this because I saved everything from my old XP Windows computer to an external drive before I plugged in my new Windows 7 computer. I had it all on my external drive ready to be imported.

Thank you!

Becky
October 9, 2011 5:28 PM

Finally someone that could give me an answer that works!!! I have tried this, that and everything else, only if I had found yours first.

Thank you very much.

Helena
November 20, 2011 9:56 AM

So very grateful - finally I got this done!! Thank you very very much. Regards from Stockholm

Patricia
November 21, 2011 8:36 AM

I need to import my Outlook Express date files to Outlook in 3 different e-mail accounts which I have set up. I still have the Windows XP computer in another room.

daniel
December 14, 2011 3:38 PM

Thankyou So much. you have helped me

Lucy
December 27, 2011 2:09 PM

best advice I have found to date, keep it up

Madeline Whalen
December 31, 2011 1:37 PM

Thanks for making my email transition so easy! I was leaving that for last as I moved from Outlook Express on XP to a new laptop with Win 7. No glitches encountered!

John in Vancouver
January 5, 2012 11:05 AM

Great article, thanks. I want to move from OE XP to Outlook on a new computer. I assume that I can follow all the steps here to move OE to WIn7/Win Livemail and then install Outlook and import the Win Live stuff into Outlook. Is that right?

I also have a few identities, so could I repeat the process for each identity by uninstalling and then reinstalling a new copy of WinLive each time?
Thanks.

1) sounds right. 2) Identities are poorly handled and don't transfer well at all to any email program. You cannot have more than one installation of Windows Live Mail, so no that won't work. At best you can import the email, and would have to set up different accounts within Windows Live Mail.
Leo
06-Jan-2012
John in Vancouver
January 6, 2012 8:22 PM

Re the above to which you kindly replied. IN terms of the identities, I had mentioned that once I had converted the first set of emails from Winlive to Outlook, I would then uninstall WinLiveMail from the computer and the reinstall and start same process with next identity. Tedious but assuming one can uninstall WinLiveMail then it should work? Tnks again Leo.

tiffany in winter park, fl
February 6, 2012 1:07 PM

Leo, I read your article and feel encouraged however I am concerned there might be system requirements in order to update windows since my computer is so old. I have a desktop with XP for home and outlook 2003. I have no idea what version of explorer we are running. We are trying to put off replacing this dinosaur until after August (bonus check time, yeah!) After reading the above and not being too techie myself I worry that since our computer was built in 2003 that it might not be able to "handle" windows 7. And to clarify, does upgrading to windows 7 upgrade my explorer version? I have no idea what version I have but I do know that various sites we visit recommend updating our browser. We've just been scared to make a leap for fear of crashing this old dinosaur. Is there anything we should first check before switching to windows 7 and transferring our outlook? Thanks so much!

You can check the Microsoft site for Windows 7 System Requirements to see if your machine can do it. Do note that the article you just commented on is about Outlook Express, not Outlook - they are two different things. (How do Outlook and Outlook Express relate?). And finally this is an article worth reading: What are the Steps to Upgrade Windows XP to Windows 7?
Leo
07-Feb-2012
connie
February 6, 2012 5:12 PM

@Tiffany
Here's another article on Ask Leo! that will answer many of your questions:
Steps to Upgrade Windows XP to Windows 7

Kevin in Monaco
April 23, 2012 3:48 AM

I did everything as described, also made sure that the .dbx files are NOT "read only", but the Live Mial just show an empty folder where I stored my OE files, and tells me that there are no mails to import when I try. What am I doing wrong?

Mark
April 26, 2012 5:53 AM

Nice clear instructions but unfortunately it did not work for me. I am trying to import Outlook Express .dbx email message files from a defunct internal hard drive now connected via USB in an external case to a Windows 7 laptop. I can see all the .dbx files but using the import function in Windows Live Mail it won't recognise them as email files. Do you have any other advice/suggestions? Thanks, Mark

Tim Dorse
May 28, 2012 10:06 AM

Thanks Leo,
Momentarily I'm going to buy a new HP Laptop (Memorial Day Sale...) with Windows 7. My old desktop is MS XP with Office Professional and Outlook/Outlook Express.
Your article looks like the best way to do the change/transfer.
Sincere Thanks again Leo!
Tim Dorse
{email removed}

Texi
June 11, 2012 6:20 AM

Very useful article - thank you.
With a new PC build to replace old fried MB & HD, the plunge was taken to go with Win7. Oh, the niightmares of incompatability, not to mention having to adapt & accept changes. My greatest concern here with WindowsLive is that messages appear 'read' when details are shown in the preview pane. Not sure if this is the same as having been 'opened'. In OE, one had the choice to deny any message becoming automatically read. For messages that 'appear' to be clean but contain malitious content, doesn't WindowsLive leave you vulnerable?
Norton Internet security is installed and running.

Mark J
June 11, 2012 10:17 AM

@Texi
Viewing an email in the preview window doesn't make you vulnerable to malware as long as you don't change the default setting concerning downloading pictures. Malware can enter when you open an attachment which contains a virus or clicking on a link in the email which points to a malicious website. Here are a couple of articles on email viewing tnad the risk of infection.
Can just opening an email download both viruses and spyware?
Can I really catch an email virus just by looking?

george woody
August 16, 2012 1:27 PM

Thanks Leo for the info.

Greg
September 28, 2012 9:17 AM

Thanks, Leo. It worked just as you described, and I had a LOT more confidence going through the process since you described everything so clearly.

Eric Hellman
October 4, 2012 10:08 PM

Congratulations, Leo... on your excellent, clear directions. There were some slight differences for Windows Live Mail 2012, but in general things went really smoothly because of your precision and clarity. Many thanks!!!

Tane
October 7, 2012 5:22 PM

I have been using vista for a while and then decided to try the Windows 8 pre release. When I first loaded the pre release I thought that I had lost all my emails (Outlook 2007) but then when I reinstalled Microsoft Office 2007 and all my emails came back. (Phew)
Naturally when the final release for Windows 8 was made available I thought Great and updated my version. Again my emails were gone
This time however after reinstalling Microsoft Office 2007 my emails are still missing
Found WAB in windows.old but for some reason it is empty which leads me to believe that it is a new WAB and not the original
Can you PLEASE help
Tane

Bob
February 21, 2013 3:10 PM

I have multiple folders and groups on my outlook express address book. When I export the to WAB I do not get the groups or the folders. What do I do to get these so I can place them in the new greater than nothing Live Mail??

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