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How to Backup Outlook Express (OE) Email, Settings, Address Book, Rules, and Accounts

One of the most common questions that new computer owners ask is how to go about moving their Outlook Express (OE) email, folders, acounts, settings, rules, and address book over to their new computer. This tutorial will show you how to transfer your Outlook Express (OE) Email, your Address Book, your Account Information, your Email filtering rules, and your settings to Outlook Express on your new computer. You can also use this procedure as a regular backup for your Outlook Express (OE) information if you are not migrating to a new PC. Just copy it to a disk or burn it to a CD for a handy Outlook Express (OE) backup.

NOTE – You do not have to move all of these items if you do not wish to. For example, some people do not create rules to filter their Outlook Express (OE)email into different folders. If you have never created rules, there will not be any rules to move. If you only want to move your Outlook express (OE) address book, you can move just your address book and nothing else. You can migrate each of the items listed above independantly of each other.

If you are migrating your Outlook Express (OE) email, address book, accounts, settings, or rules to a new PC, you will need the following:

  • Your Old Computer equipped with a CD-RW drive (a floppy drive may work in some cases)
  • Your new Computer hooked up and powered on

First you will need to prepare your new computer to receive the Outlook Express (OE) information from your old computer. To do this, make certain that your new computer is hooked up and fully booted to the Windows desktop. Next you will need to open Outlook Express on the new computer. Typically, there is a shortcut to Outlook Express set as the default email link in the Start menu. Left click on the Start button and then left click on the email selection at the top of the menu. Outlook Express should now open on the new computer.

Outlook Express has never been run on this computer before, so it will want to set up a new account. Click cancel to close the new account setup wizard. If you are prompted, say Yes or OK to any boxes that appear asking you to if you are sure you wish to cancel the Outlook Express setup process. Once the boxes have closed, exit Outlook Express (OE) by left clicking on the “X” in the top right hand corner.

NOTE: – Migrating your Outlook Express email, address book, rules, accounts and settings can be accomplished without this step, however it will make the migration process easier for beginners if you open Outlook Express as directed above and then cancel the setup process. This step established certain registry keys and folders on the new computer that did not exist before.

The biggest thing most people are concerned about is transferring their Outlook Express address book from their old computer so they can easily email all of their friends and relatives. Fortunately, this is one of the easiest items to transfer.

STEP 1. Transfer Your Outlook Express Address Book:

  1. Open Outlook Express on your old computer.
  2. Left click on the “File” menu
  3. Left click on “Export” and then left click on “Address Book”
  4. Left click on “Text File (Comma Separated Values)
  5. Type “c:\backup” in the “Save exported file as” box
  6. Left click on the “Next” button
  7. Place a check mark next to category you want to have backed up
  8. Left click on the “Finish” button
  9. Close Outlook Express
  10. Open My Computer on your old PC
  11. Open the “C” Drive
  12. Find the “backup” file and copy it to CD or Floppy Disk
  13. Insert the CD or floppy disk into your new PC
  14. Open Outlook express on your new PC
  15. Left click on the “File” button
  16. Left click on “Import”
  17. Left click on “Address Book”
  18. Navigate to your A drive (for floppies) or your CD Drive
  19. Left click on the “backup” file on the floppy or CD
  20. Left click on “Open”

Now that we have transferred your Outlook Express Address Book, we need to transfer your messages next.

Now that all of your contacts have been moved from your old Outlook Express address book to your new Outlook Express address book, we need to move your folders and messages. These files tell Outlook Express who has sent you emails and where you filed them. All of the folder you created as well as the Inbox, the Deleted Items Folder, and your Junk Mail folders are all stored in these files.

NOTE: – Before you begin this process you will need to perform a basic maintenance process on your new and your old computers. This tutorial was written for users of Windows XP. Instructions for Windows 98 and ME will vary slightly. Consult your computer technician if you are still using Windows 98 or ME. This process will allow you to see all of the folders on your computer.

  1. Left click on “My Computer”
  2. Left click on the “Tools” menu at the top of the window
  3. Left click on “Folder Options”
  4. In the window that opens, left click on the “View” tab
  5. Click the empty circle next to “Show hidden files and folders”
  6. Click on “Apply” and then left click on “OK”
  7. Left click on the “Start” button

After you have made all hidden folders visible on both of your computers, you will need to navigate to the folder where your Outlook Express folders are located on your old PC. On your old computer you should still have the “My Computer” window open. If you do not, please left click on the “Start” button and then left click on “My Computer” and follow the directions below:\

STEP 2. Transfer Your Outlook Express Email Messages:

  1. Double left click on your “C” drive
  2. Double left click on the “Documents and Settings” Folder
  3. Double left click on the folder that represents your account (usually your name, the word “Owner” or “Default User”)
  4. Double left click on the “Local Settings” folder (this folder may appear lighter than some of the others – that is ok.)
  5. Double left click on the “Application Data” folder
  6. Double left click on the “Identities” folder
  7. If you are the only user of your computer, there is only one folder. Double click on the first folder you see.
  8. Double left click on the “Microsoft” folder
  9. Double left click on the “Outlook Express Folder”
  10. Left click on “Edit” from the menu at the top of the window
  11. Left click on “Select All”
  12. Copy all of the selected files to your floppy disk or to CD
  13. On your new computer, repeat steps 1-9
  14. Copy the files from your floppy or CD into the “Outlook Express” folder and click “Yes to All” when you are asked to overwrite the files

Congratulations! You have now transferred all of your Outlook Express (OE) email messages from your old computer to your new computer! Next you need to transfer your account settings so that when you open Outlook Express (OE) on your new computer you will be able to Send and receive email.

Now that all of your email messages have been moved from your old Outlook Express to your new Outlook Express, we need to transfer your account settings so you will be able to send and receive email on your new computer. These are the settings your Internet Service Provider originally had you put into your Outlook Express (OE) when you first set up your computer.

NOTE – This information is stored in your computer’s registry. The registry is a sensitive area of your computer that can easily be damaged. We strongly encourage you to backup your old computer’s registry before you continue.

After you have created a backup of your old computer’s registry, you will need to export the registry key that contains the information about your account settings. Follow the directions below to export the key:

STEP 3. Export Your Account Settings Registry Key:

  1. Left click on “Start” and the left click on “Run”
  2. Type the word “regedit” into the box (without quotes) and press enter on your keyboard
  3. The registry editor will now open.
  4. The registry editor is split into 2 boxes, one on the left and one on the right. Make certain that the box on the left is scrolled all the way to the top. Once there you should see “My Computer”
  5. Left click on the + next to My Computer
  6. Left click on the + next to HKEY_CURRENT_USER
  7. Left click on the + next to Software
  8. Left click on the + next to Microsoft
  9. You should now see a folder called “Internet Account Manager”
  10. Right click on the “Internet Account Manager” folder and left click on the “Export” option in the menu
  11. The ‘Export Registry File” window will now open
  12. Navigate to your desktop by left clicking on the down arrow next to “My Documents” at the top of the window and selecting “Desktop”
  13. In the ‘File Name” box, type the word “accounts” (without the quotes)
  14. Left click on Save. After you click save the window will close. Exit the Registry Editor by left clicking on the “X” in the top right corner
  15. On your desktop there should ow be a file names “accounts.reg” Copy it to a floppy or to a CD
  16. Insert the floppy disk or CD into your new computer
  17. Left click on Start and then on My Computer
  18. Double left click on your A Drive (for floppies) or on your CD drive
  19. Double left click on the “accounts.reg” file
  20. Left click on “Yes” when you are asked if you are sure you wish to import the information
  21. You should see a confirmation box informing you that the import was successful

Congratulations! You have now transferred your Outlook Express (OE) account settings from your old computer to your new computer. You should now be able to open Outlook Express on your new computer, view all of your old email messages, send email to a contact from your address book and receive email from the Internet. There is only one small step left to do and your Outlook Express migration will be complete!

The last step of your Outlook Express (OE) migration process is to transfer the junk email and email routing rules you have spent so much time developing on your old computer. This process also involves the registry.

NOTE: – This information is stored in your computer’s registry. The registry is a sensitive area of your computer that can easily be damaged. We strongly encourage you to backup your old computer’s registry before you continue if you have not done so already.

After you have created a backup of your old computer’s registry, you will need to export the registry key that contains the information about your account settings. Follow the directions below to export the key:

STEP 3. Export Your Mail Rules Registry Key:

  1. Left click on “Start” and the left click on “Run”
  2. Type the word “regedit” into the box (without quotes) and press enter on your keyboard
  3. The registry editor will now open.
  4. The registry editor is split into 2 boxes, one on the left and one on the right. Make certain that the box on the left is scrolled all the way to the top. Once there you should see “My Computer”
  5. Left click on the + next to My Computer
  6. Left click on the + next to HKEY_CURRENT_USER
  7. You should now see a folder called “Identities”
  8. Right click on the “Identities” folder and left click on the “Export” option in the menu
  9. The ‘Export Registry File” window will now open
  10. Navigate to your desktop by left clicking on the down arrow next to “My Documents” at the top of the window and selecting “Desktop”
  11. In the ‘File Name” box, type the word “rules” (without the quotes)
  12. Left click on Save. After you click save the window will close. Exit the Registry Editor by left clicking on the “X” in the top right corner
  13. On your desktop there should ow be a file names “rules.reg” Copy it to a floppy or to a CD
  14. Insert the floppy disk or CD into your new computer
  15. Left click on Start and then on My Computer
  16. Double left click on your A Drive (for floppies) or on your CD drive
  17. Double left click on the “rules.reg” file
  18. Left click on “Yes” when you are asked if you are sure you wish to import the information
  19. You should see a confirmation box informing you that the import was successful

That’s it! You have now successfully migrates all of your Outlook Express (OE) information from your old PC to your new PC

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