How to create an Outlook Express Backup

By: Emil Malmberg

Most Windows users should be familiar with Microsoft Outlook Express. This email program is usually installed with the Windows operating system and is probably among the most commonly used email program today. While using Outlook Express is fairly easy, finding and backing up the emails can be a little more complicated. Since there is a large number of files and folders on a normal computer running Windows the first problem is to find the files containing your emails. Outlook Express stores emails in .dbx files and there might be several different dbx files depending on how many email folders you have created in Outlook Express. If you are using Windows 98 you can probably locate your emails somewhere in the Windows directory. In Windows 2000 emails are usually stored somewhere in the user data folder.

Locating the email store folder
The easiest way to find out exactly where your emails are stored is to start Outlook Express, go to the tools menu and open the options dialog. In the option dialog select the maintenance page and click on the Store Folder button.

Here you can find the path to the folder containing your emails. To open the folder, copy the path and paste in in the address field of the windows file manager. You should see a number of dbx files and possibly some other files too. When using WinBackup you can simply skip this step since WinBackup automatically finds your emails and adds an email icon to User Data section if you are using Outlook Express. WinBackup also locates and backups your address book which if often not included in the email folder.

Screenshot from WinBackup

Backing up your emails
After locating the email folder you could include this folder in backups to backup your emails. Make sure that your backup program does not try to lock the files while running a backup since this will cause file-sharing problems whenever Outlook Express is running. If you are using WinBackup this should not be a problem since WinBackup does not attempt to lock files and can therefore backup your emails while outlook is running without causing any file sharing problems. You can also try to copy the emails to a new folder before running a backup to avoid file-sharing problems, or you could simply close Outook Express whenever a backup operation is started.

Restoring your emails
To restore your emailsFree Web Content, locate the email folder as described above and restore the email files to this folder. If you have reinstalled Windows you might have to restore the files to a different folder that could possibly cause some problems. If you are using WinBackup you can simply select the emails item on the restore page. WinBackup will automatically find the email folder and restore your emails. WinBackup can also restore your address book if your select this icon on the restore page. When restoring emails it is important to realize that any existing emails will be removed unless they are located in folders that do not exist in the backup.

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