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Outlook Express &
Outlook Express users are being asked to switch to Windows Live Mail, since Microsoft has
abandoned the former and invites users to download WLM from www.microsoft.com/window-live-mail.
Windows Live Mail
If you install Windows Live Mail on a computer that has been using Outlook Express, you can copy your OE messages into WLM by launching WLM and clicking on
File>Import>Messages>from Microsoft Outlook Express 6.
To copy your OE Address Book into WLM, launch WLM and click on Tools>Contacts>File>Import>Address Book for Current Windows User.
If you have Outlook Express on an older computer and buy a new one with WLM, you will want to copy the OE "DBX" files onto the new computer to make them available for importing into WLM. If you are unfamiliar with DBX files, here's a brief overview:
Outlook Express messages saved on your hard drive are periodically compressed into files with an extension of .DBX. Thus, all messages in your Inbox are compressed into a single file named Inbox.dbx, while all sent items become Sent Items.dbx. These files are stored in a folder named Outlook Express, which can be found by clicking on
The default "Store Folder" is named "Outlook Express" and can be copied onto a CD or an external hard drive or a flash memory drive, from which it can be copied onto your new PC's hard drive. This will get all your old OE messages into WLM, but, unfortunately, not your OE Address Book.
If you have a Hotmail account, your messages can be accessed from within WLM. Also, Hotmail messages can be stored on your own hard drive, as well as on the Hotmail server.
In Outlook Express, click on Addresses>File>Export and follow the prompts, which give options for exporting different types of address books. If uncertain about which type to choose, try a CSV (comma separated values) file. This will create a plain text list with the various items such as Name and Email Address separated by commas. Give the file a name along with a .txt extension. This should make the data easily found and importable into Windows Live Mail Contacts.
Admittedly, neither Microsoft nor any other email provider makes it easy to copy Address Books from one email program into another. This is why I always keep my email addresses in a Word or Excel file, from which they can be easily copied and pasted into any email client's To:, CC: (carbon copy), or BCC: (blind carbon copy) fields. I only keep about half a dozen of my most-used addresses in any individual program's regular contact list.
Regarding "DBX" files, they have been abandoned in WLM. Instead, all messages are stored with the traditional email "EML" extension. Individual messages can be located by clicking on Edit>Find>Message and typing in your search criteria.