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Outlook Express files – dbx, mail and data

Outlook Express files – dbx, mail and data

Outlook Express is an email client which means it’s a program that allows you to send and receive emails. For instance, if you have an email account from Comcast, you can set up Outlook Express to send and receive emails. Additionally, you can have more than one email account configured in the program. Thus, assuming you have a Gmail account and a Comcast account, you can check emails from both these services together.

FYI, Outlook Express needs to be configured to send and receive email messages from different accounts. To learn how to do this, read the article on how to set up a new email account in Outlook Express.

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The most important feature of Outlook Express (or any other email program) is that all emails are stored on your system. Thus, once you connect to the Internet and download your emails, they actually reside on your computer’s hard drive (digitally). Also, any messages sent using this email client are also stored on your system. By the way, since the emails are now on your computer, you don’t need to be connected to the Internet to read and reply (though, the reply will be sent only when you reconnect). You can consider Outlook Express as an email center if you like. This simple yet elegant email program has several powerful features that can help you manage and organize your emails increasing your productivity and saving you time.

Different types of files used by Outlook Express

Outlook Express uses several different file types and each has a specific purpose. Here we shall look at some of the important ones.

.dbx files

All email messages are stored as .dbx. files and there is one for each folder you create in Outlook Express. These files are in the Store Location, the directory in which Outlook Express stores email messages. To know the location of this directory on your computer, go to “Tools” > “Options”. Select the Maintenance tab and then click on the “Store Folder” button. The “Store Location” directory path is displayed in the pop-up – refer the image below.

Finding the Store Location directory of Outlook Express that contains .dbx files

FYI, if you want to view the .dbx files copy this path and paste it in the Run dialog box (“Start” > “Run”) which opens the Windows Explorer displaying all files in this folder.

.eml files

Files with .eml extensions are email files. When you save an email message, Outlook Express offers you to save them under this format. The .eml extension is a good choice because it is a standard format for email applications – standalone or web based. This file format is also used for email signature files and as attachments in email forwards.

.txt files

Email messages in Outlook Express can also be saved as text or .txt files. These are simple ASCII files with no formatting and are employed by the program for different purposes including email signatures.

.htm or .html files

.htm or .html files are in ASCII format but since they contain HTML tags, they are read and interpreted by Outlook Express differently. HTML files are employed in different places – email signatures, saving emails that are in HTML format, email stationery etc.
And it might come as a surprise to you – Outlook Express has an in-built HTML editor, though basic, it is still more than sufficient for most of our requirements. Read Outlook Express HTML editor if you want to know more.

.wab file format for the Address Book

Outlook Express Address Book is exported in the .wab format which makes it easier for it to be imported. In fact, I advice that you backup Outlook Express email messages and the Address Book every once in a while so that in case of eventualities such as hard drive cashes or virus attacks, you would be able to restore data and get up and working with minimal delay.

.vcard files

This is a standard file format for storing contact information and is used by Outlook Express Address Book. Vcard files can be directly imported to the Address Book and existing contact information can be saved in this file format. Which means you can create your own .vcard file through Outlook Express.

.iaf Internet Account Files

The username and password for all your email accounts in Outlook Express are stored in this file format.

Well, that’s about sums this article on the different file formats used by Outlook Express and I hope it provided insights into this email program which you hadn’t known.

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