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Copy Outlook Express email accounts to Windows 7 mail program

Copy Outlook Express email accounts to Windows 7 mail program

If you have been working on XP and have recently purchased a Windows 7 computer, you might be wondering how to use email because Outlook Express is not available on the new system. On this page I shall first answer some common questions and then provide instructions on how to copy Outlook Express email accounts to Windows 7 to help you start using mail on the new operating system.

Windows 7 mail FAQ

If Outlook Express is missing on Windows 7, what email program can I use?
The default email program on Windows 7 is Windows Live Mail. It’s available for free from the Microsoft web site and should be installed with the operating system – if not, read how to get Windows Live Mail for more information.

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Obviously, you don’t have to narrow your choice to only a Microsoft product – check popular email programs list for the other options. But I have been using Windows Live Mail for almost two years (yes, it was launched much before Windows 7) and have found it quite nice.

However, this email program has one BIG difference with Outlook Express and it’s in the way email messages are organized. This mainly concerns people who have multiple email accounts because unlike Outlook Express which stored all messages in one inbox, Windows Live Mail will create an inbox (and four other folders) for each email account you set up in the program. Though you can use other email clients on Windows 7 (please check for compatibility before you install), I shall be telling you about Windows Live Mail in this article.

Do I need a Windows Live Hotmail email account to use Windows Live Mail program?
No! The Windows Live Mail has little to do with a Windows Live Hotmail email account though you would be encouraged to sign up for one when you start the program for the first time. By the way, if you are a prolific Hotmail user, you’ll find Windows Live Mail very convenient because it lets you download and store the messages from your webmail account to your computer – refer how to set up Hotmail on Windows Live Mail.

Is Windows Live Mail free and can I download it?
Yes, the program is 100% free and should come installed with the Windows 7 operating system. You can also download Windows Live Mail from the Live.com web site.

I have many email accounts, can I use all of these with Windows Live Mail?
As long as POP3 has been enabled, any email account can be set up in Windows Live Mail.

Copy Outlook Express email account to Windows 7 – Instructions

Copy the Outlook Express email accounts to Windows 7 Live Mail using export and import

To use your Outlook Express email in Windows 7, you have to set up the accounts in Windows Live Mail, the chosen email program. This can be done in two ways. You can either add these accounts manually or import the account settings (username, password, incoming and outgoing email server etc.) from Outlook Express. The second option is what I would be detailing below.

  • Slide 1
  • Slide 2
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  • Slide 5
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  • Slide 7
  • Slide 8
  • Slide 9
  • Slide 10
  • Slide 11
  1. We have to first export the email account settings from Outlook Express. Open the Windows XP email client and and click “Tools” -> “Accounts” – [Slide 1].
  2. You’ll see the email accounts configured in Outlook Express. Click one and hit the “Export” button – [Slide 2].
  3. The email account settings are saved in .iaf files. Specify the folder and click the “Save” button – [Slide 3].
  4. Each email account has to be exported individually. So if you have 4, you’ll have to repeat the steps as many times and will end up with four .iaf files – [Slide 4].
  5. Close the “Internet Accounts” pop-up window once all accounts have been exported – [Slide 5].
  6. With the help of a USB Flash drive, move these .iaf files to a temporary folder on the Windows 7 computer running the Windows Live Mail email program – [Slide 6].
  7. Select “Accounts” from the “Tools” menu in Windows Live Mail – [Slide 7]. If you don’t see this option, refer how to enable the Windows Live Mail toolbar.
  8. If you already have a few email accounts configured in the program, you’ll see them listed in the pop-up. Click the “Import” button – [Slide 8].
  9. Browse to the directory that holds the .iaf files you had saved from Outlook Express – [Slides 9 and 10].
  10. The email account will be imported into Windows Live Mail and you shall see it in the folders pane – [Slide 11].
  11. When importing multiple email accounts you have to repeat the last two steps.

Congratulations! You have successfully been able to copy the email accounts from Outlook Express to Windows 7. The next step is to copy email messages from Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail – read that for step by step instructions.

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