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dbx file of Outlook Express

dbx file of Outlook Express

How do I read Outlook Express messages stored on to an external hard disk. All these are dbx files. These were saved by a computer technician who is now unavailable. What is a dbx file and how can I open it to get my email? Shouldn’t Outlook Express be saving email as eml files? Many thanks.

Outlook Express stores email messages in dbx files. There is one dbx for each folder you create in the email client. Typically, all these files can be found in the Outlook Express Store Folder the location of which can be known from “Tools” -> “Options” -> “Maintenance“; click “Store Folder” button. Though it’s near impossible to get individual email messages from a dbx file manually, you can import them back to Outlook Express.

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Why does Outlook Express use dbx file instead of eml?

Actually, Outlook Express used both file types. You can consider a dbx file akin to a database of email messages while the eml file is used for an individual message. Thus, selecting an email and then saving it (“File” -> “Save As“) will convert the message to eml format and place it in the specified directory.

Note #1: The Folders.dbx is a special kind of dbx file located along with others in the Store Folder and has ‘instructions’ for Outlook Express, for example, the list of folders.

Note #2: Programs are available that will open a dbx file and save each message in eml format. One such software, DBExpress, developed by OEhelp.com can be purchased for less than USD 30.

Using dbx file to copy email to Windows Live Mail on Windows 7

The dbx files are an ideal way to copy messages from Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail. Take a back up of the Outlook Express program (you already have this on the external drive), transfer the files to the Windows 7 computer and then import the messages to the Windows Live Mail program.

For step by step instructions, please check the following links that will also help you to move email accounts and the Outlook Express address book.

Conclusion: dbx files are a type of Outlook Express files which (typically) contain email messages. They are placed in the Store Location. Windows Live Mail, the latest free email program from Microsoft, can import email messages from these dbx files.

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