Migrating Outlook Express To a New Computer

May 19, 2010

I was on-site yesterday visiting a client and discovered I needed to transfer their email and Address Book from their failing hard drive to the new hard drive I had setup for them. She uses Outlook Express, and it is not a simple process to migrate email data between hard drives or computers, especially when the data hasn’t been exported before the hard drive started to fail.

Once I had the new hard drive setup and working running Windows. I hooked up the old hard drive via an external hard drive USB enclosure to the new computer. I was thrilled that it was able to read it! I did some Google searches and found the exact locations of where Outlook Express stores its data, and the process in which to import it.

I opened up Outlook Express for the “first time”, and setup the client’s email account.

In my research, I found the the first thing to know in this process is that you can’t simply copy and paste the Outlook Express files from the old hard drive location to the new hard drive. The data must be imported through Outlook Express for it to be recognized.

Since these files are hidden, the first thing to do is unhide them. Go into the Control Panel -> Folder Options, and select the ‘see hidden files and folders’ option, and click ‘ok’.

In Outlook Express, Click on File -> Import -> Messages.

Navigate to the old hard drive and find the
C:\Documents and Settings\<User>\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\ {GUID}\ Microsoft\ Outlook Express folder.

Cick ‘open’. Outlook Express should find the files it needs automatically and import them.

To import your Address Book (contacts), open the Address Book program on your computer. It can be found by going to Start Menu ->Programs -> Address Book.

Next, go to File -> Import -> Address Book, and navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\ {Username}\ Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book and click ‘open’. All of your contacts should be automatically imported, and show up in Outlook Express as well.

This process honestly wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. I have honestly heard it can be a real nightmare. I suspect I got lucky when I found the right Google results. Most of the results pointed to articles describing the fairly simple process of exporting the correct way and then importing, not going to where the actual files are stored.

I can only hope this article helps many, and I strongly encourage you and potentially your clients to upgrade to Windows Live Mail after you finish setting up Outlook Express, and the latter is over a decade old.

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Backing Up Outlook Express

March 3, 2007

There are two parts to this: backing up messages and backing up the address book. To find your message store click Tools, Options then select the Maintenance tab. Click Store to find where Windows is putting your mail. Backup that folder. You can save the address book using the File>Export command. Details are in the Microsoft knowledgebase: [http://Support.microsoft.com/kb/270670]

Or you can use the tool Amic Email Backup.

source: callforhelptv.com