Phased out with the introduction of Windows Mail, Outlook Express is an email application that lets you send and receive email messages from a variety of corporate and non-corporate email accounts. The application is free and included on Windows XP and earlier versions of the operating system. When upgrading from an older Windows computer to Windows Vista, you can copy your Outlook Express email to your Vista computer so you don't lose your older messages. The transfer process is not difficult and you don't need to purchase an additional program to move your Outlook Express email.
Locating and Copying the Email Messages From Outlook Express
Click "Start," "My Computer."
Click "Tools," "Folder Options." Click the "View" tab.
Click the circle next to the wording "Show hidden files and folders" under the heading "Hidden files and folders." Click "Apply," "OK."
Double-click the "C:\\" drive icon. Double-click the "Documents and Settings" folder.
Double-click your unique Windows user name folder. Double-click the "Local Settings," "Application Data" and "Identities" folders.
Double-click your unique Windows user identity number folder. Double-click the "Microsoft" folder.
Insert a blank CD into your computer's writable optical drive or plug a USB flash drive into any available USB port on your computer.
Right-click the "Outlook Express" folder. Select "Copy."
Click "Start," "My Computer." Double-click your optical drive's icon or the drive letter assigned to your USB flash drive.
Right-click in the right pane of the optical or USB flash drive's window. Select "Paste."
Click "Write these files to CD" in the left pane of the CD's window, if using a CD. The "CD Writing Wizard" will open. Click "Next" to start the CD burning process.<br /><br />If using a USB flash drive, click the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon (two-arrow icon) located on your computer's Taskbar. Click your flash drive's drive letter. Click "Stop." Remove the flash drive from your computer's USB port when your computer's speaker sounds an alert.
Click "Tools," "Folder Options." Click the "View" tab. Click the circle next to the wording "Do not show hidden files and folders" under the heading "Hidden files and folders." <br /><br />Click "Apply," "OK."
Copying the Email Messages to Vista
Insert the CD containing the copied email messages into your Vista-based computer's optical drive, or insert the USB flash drive containing the copied email messages into any available USB port on the computer.
Click "Start," "All Programs," "Windows Mail."
Click "File," "Import," "Messages."
Click "Microsoft Outlook Express 6." Click "Next."
Click "Import mail from an OE6 store directory." Click "OK."
Click "Browse." Navigate to and click on the computer's CD drive or the drive letter assigned to the USB flash drive.
Click "Select Folder." Click "Next."
Click "All folders" to import all the folders. Click "Next." <br /><br />If you only want to copy a specific folder of email messages into Vista, click "Selected folders" and select which folder(s) you want to copy. Click "Next."
Click "Finish." The Outlook Express email copy process will begin and the email messages will appear in a folder under the "Folder" list of Windows Mail.
- If your Outlook Express email messages did not copy to Windows Mail, return to the computer containing Outlook Express and complete steps 1 through 6. Right click the "Outlook Express" folder. Select "Properties." See if the check box next to "Read only" is checked. If the box is checked, click the box to deselect the "Read only" status. Check each file in the "Outlook Express" folder and remove the "Read only" check mark. Complete steps 7 through 11 in the "Locating and Copying the Email Messages From Outlook Express" section of this article to re-copy your Outlook Express email messages to a CD or flash drive.
- Windows Mail cannot import messages from "IMAP," "HTTP" email accounts or "Newsgroup" messages. The email client can only import email messages from "POP3" accounts.
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