Archive Outlook Express Email

Important Note: If you are still using Outlook Express, I urge you to migrate to another safer email program. There are several email programs that are free and will not cause as many problems as Outlook Express.  A popular replacement for Outlook Express is Thunderbird.

This is not the same thing as backing up the entire contents of Outlook Express. The methods described in Backing Up Email are for backing up all of Outlook Express.

Maybe you don't want to go to the all the trouble of backing up everything. But sometimes you have some email you really do need to keep. Perhaps you have some business correspondence that needs to be kept for tax purposes or proof of transactions.

You can back up this type of email (or any other email you want to keep) and put it into a folder in My Documents and copy it to other locations like another drive, CD, etc. It is very easy to do. Right click anywhere on your Desktop and click New/Folder. Name it what ever you want, just so you know what it is for.

Now while in Outlook Express, select the email to be saved. drag and drop it into the new folder on your Desktop. Open the folder and you will see the file/files listed by the subject line in the email. If you have enabled viewing file extensions, the files are listed with a .eml extension.

To view the file, just click on it. Outlook Express will open and the message will appear. If you need the file back into Outlook Express, just open Outlook Express and the folder containing the email in My Documents. Highlight the email, drag and drop it back into Outlook Express.

A good idea is to backup the archived email folder to external media like a CD, floppy disk, external hard drive or a flash drive. if you keep good backups, you will always be able to retrieve important information in the event of a hard drive crash or you have to reinstall windows.

The way to backup more recent versions of Microsoft's free email, Windows mail and Windows Live mail are pretty much the same way.

This also includes Windows Live Mail 2011 (available for Vista and Windows 7 only), once you discover how to find the email options. Drat those ribbons!

Another way and perhaps easier for some folks is to use an email archiving program called 'MailStore'. It is pretty easy to use and can save emails from a number of different email programs.