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How do I transfer emails from Windows Vista to Windows 7?

How do I transfer emails from Windows Vista to Windows 7?

I have recently purchased a laptop that has Windows 7. Can you tell me how to use email on this computer and how to transfer emails from my old Windows Vista machine to the Windows 7 laptop.
Anne Venters

Congratulations on the new purchase; I too bought a Windows 7 Sony VAIO laptop a month back. Unfortunately because of an important change made by Microsoft, users find themselves quite at sea trying to figure out how to use email on the new operating system. It all started with Windows Vista in which the popular and much-loved Outlook Express was missing and replaced by Windows Mail.

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Similarly, on Windows 7, Windows Mail was phased out and a new email program was introduced. It was (confusingly) called Windows Live Mail. In this post, I will first brief you on the Windows 7 email program and then tell you how to move and transfer email from Windows Vista to Windows 7.

For Outlook Express (Windows XP) users: Please refer the following links to transfer the email accounts, messages and address book from XP to a Windows 7 computer.

Windows 7 email program – Windows Live Mail

The Windows Live Mail email program has been around for some time now – it wasn’t introduced with the Windows 7 operating system. In fact, it’s been on my Vista computer for almost two years now and I use it as an email client and an RSS reader. I genuinely like the program but based on the feedback I receive, the majority of users haven’t. The thing they dislike the most is the way emails are organized because, unlike Outlook Express and Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail segregates all email accounts that you set up giving each one a set of five default folders. Now if you have only one account, you wouldn’t be affected much, but those who have several, managing five folders for each email account is a little cumbersome at first! Anyway, one just needs to get used to it I suppose. Read how to use Windows Live Mail for further information.

Please understand that Windows Live Mail, which I cheekily refer to as Outlook Express 8, is much more than a news and email client. It can serve as a good RSS reader and even a blogging tool. And no, you don’t need to make a Hotmail email account to use Windows Live Mail program.

How to transfer emails from Windows Vista to Windows 7

Ideally you need to do three things to properly transfer emails from Windows Vista to Windows 7. I have separate articles on each with detailed instructions and screenshots and urge you to read these one by one.

Conclusion: The alternative to Outlook Express (for XP users) and Windows Mail (for Vista users) on the Windows 7 operating system is Windows Live Mail whose interface and email management are quite different from the earlier programs. However, you can transfer email accounts, the address book (Windows Contacts) and the email messages from Vista as well as XP to a Windows 7 laptop or desktop.

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Your comments
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  • Dave on February 23rd, 2010 7:48 am

    Am I correct in guessing Windows Live Mail resides on our individual computer hard drives, as opposed to Hotmail & others that don’t?
    If so, how can I find it? I like the program & it works well for me. Your blog is very helpful. Thank you. Dave

  • Manish on February 24th, 2010 7:53 pm

    Yes, Windows Live Mail is a free email client just like Outlook Express and Windows Mail (Vista). The program would come preloaded with Windows 7 operating system; if not, simply download Windows Live Mail for free from the Live web site. It can be installed on XP, Vista and Windows 7.

  • Kevin on November 16th, 2010 9:03 pm

    Many thanks, very clear instructions

JOKE - Being a Programmer

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