How do I copy email from Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail?

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Many Windows XP users who made the transition to a Windows 7 computer find the change quite unnerving especially when it concerns email. There is no address book on the new operating system and their favourite email program, Outlook Express, is missing.

If you are in the same boat, there is no need to fret because this page will show you how to copy all the email from Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail, the preferred email program of Windows 7. The step by step instructions include screenshots presented in a slideshow – please refer these if you get confused.

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The Windows Live Mail email client is a bit different from Outlook Express in both the interface and the way it organizes email messages. For instance, each email account configured in this program gets a set of five default folders – Inbox, Drafts, Sent items, Junk e-mail and Deleted items. So if you have many email accounts, you’ll end up with a lot of folders… and this is one thing many users find very annoying. But on the whole, I really like Windows Live Mail and have been using it for almost two years now. It’s not just an email and news client but also an RSS reader and a blogging tool.

To copy email from Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail, we have to do three things:

Copy email from Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail

The first step is to take a backup of Outlook Express – please refer that article for detailed instructions. And when you have done that, export the settings of your email account/s into .iaf file/s. The second step is to copy the backed up email folders and exported .iaf files to the Windows 7 computer. Use a Flash drive or a DVD. The third step is to import the .iaf files and the Outlook Express email folders into Windows Live Mail.

Assuming you have backed up O.E. messages and copied them to a (temporary) folder on the Windows 7 computer – [Slides 1 and 2]; follow the steps below.

  • Slide 1
  • Slide 2
  • Slide 3
  • Slide 4
  • Slide 5
  • Slide 6
  • Slide 7
  • Slide 8
  • Slide 9
  • Slide 10
  1. Open Windows Live Mail on your Windows 7 computer and click “File” -> “Import” -> “Messages” – [Slide 3]. By the way, if you don’t have the top menu visible, select “Show menu bar” from the layout icon drop down (it’s the one to the left of the question mark icon near the top-right corner). Don’t see “File” at the top? That’s because the Windows Live mail toolbar is hidden – read that article on how to enable it.
  2. The Windows Live Mail Import pop-up opens. Microsoft Outlook Express 6 is the first option and should be selected by default – [Slide 4]. Hit “Next” to move to the following screen.
  3. The email client will try to find the location of the Outlook Express email folder on its own. Obviously, it won’t be successful on a Windows 7 computer. Click the “Browse” button – [Slide 5].
  4. You have to specify the folder in which you had copied the emails from Outlook Express. Hit “OK” when done – [Slide 6].
  5. The full path of your chosen folder will be displayed; move to the next screen – [Slide 7].
  6. You’ll most probably like to copy all emails from Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail, hence go with the default “All folders” option – [Slide 8].
  7. When all messages have been imported into the Windows 7 email program, you shall get to see the confirmation message. Click the “Finish” button to close the pop-up – [Slide 9].
  8. All emails from Outlook Express will be moved to an “Imported Folder” inside the “Storage Folders“. You can now organize the messages as you want, simply drag and drop – [Slide 10]

That’s about it. Let me know how it worked out for you.

Email Outlook Express Windows 7 Windows Live Mail