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Backing up the Outlook Express for Windows email folder

If the user stores their email offline on their local hard drive, it is a good idea to create a backup copy of that email folder. A backup is especially useful if the hard drive crashes, or when the user wants to transfer their email to another computer. This document will discuss how to create a backup of the Outlook Express email folder on the Windows XP platform. Note, these instructions will also work for Windows 98. There will be a notation where the process differs.

Locating the email folder

The first step to creating a backup of the email folder is locating it. On the Windows platform, the email folder could be in a variety of places. The easiest way to locate the folder is to perform a search.

  1. Click on the Start button on the bottom left corner of your screen
  2. Click on the Search button. Windows 98: click on Find: files and folders
  3. In the file name text box, enter " *.dbx" without the quotes
  4. In the Look in pull down menu, select your local hard drive
  5. Then click on the More Advanced Options link. Not necessary in Windows 98.
  6. Ensure that both Search hidden files and folders and Search subfolders are checked
  7. Finally, click on the Search button
The results will be displayed in the frame on the right side of the window. See the figure below. Your search window should be configured similarly to the left side of the search window.

In the results section of the search window, locate your Inbox or any other Outlook Express email folder (or mailbox). Click once on the Inbox to select it. Then go to the File menu and click on Open Containing Folder. This will open the folder where the Inbox is located. See figure below.

Finally, click the Up button on the menu bar to go up one directory. See figure below.

Backup Email Folder

The folder that appears in the window should be named something similar to Outlook Express. This is the folder that you need to back up. Place a copy of this folder on external media (CD, floppy disk, zip drive, etc.) or place it on a secure server if you have access to one.

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Article ID: 613
Created: Thu, 03 Aug 2006 11:54pm
Modified: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 1:02pm