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How to save or back up Outlook Express Data Files

You may want to save your Outlook Express files, such as your inbox, sent messages, drafts, etc., or if your computer will not boot. If your hard drive is still readable, you should be able to save your files by using the following method:

  1. Open the C: drive, Documents and Settings, and then the folder with your Windows user name.
    Windows Explorer, Folders
  2. Now open the Local Settings folder. If you cannot see it, you will want to unhide it via the Tools menu; select Folder Options, View tab, and click in the checkbox titled Show hidden files and folders. (Not pictured)
  3. Open the Application Data folder.
    Windows Explorer, Folders
  4. Open the Identities folder.
    Windows Explorer, Folders
  5. Now open the strangely named folder contained inside the { } symbols. This is known as the "GUID" folder, which stands for Globally Unique Identifier.
    Windows Explorer, Folders
  6. Next, open the Microsoft folder.
    Windows Explorer, Folders
  7. Now you can open the last folder titled Outlook Express.
    Windows Explorer, Folders
  8. At this point, you have reached the Outlook Express files that you have been seeking. Please note that all of the files have a .dbx file extension on the filenames.
    Windows Explorer, Folders
  9. You may now copy any or all of the files to a removable storage device, such as a flash drive, for export to another computer.

Caution! When you import these files into another computer, if there are already Outlook Express files contained on that computer, the newly imported files will overwrite them! To replace the files on a new computer, repeat the steps listed here for locating the Outlook Express folder and then copy the .dbx files into that folder.