Outlook Express Quick Backup

Quick Instructions

Create a folder to store the backup files. Something like  C:\MSGS

Install OEQB.

File | Set Existing Folder As Backup.

Select the Folder then press OK.

Press the Complete Backup button. You're done.

The following files are saved:

Address Book -  .WAB file. This will also be saved in each Identity's backup folder.
Registry Files:
Internet Accounts Manager subkey - IAM.reg
Identities subkey - AllIdentities.reg
Address Book (WAB) subkey - AddressBook.reg
Message Stores  - all DBX files use by Outlook Express. Each Identity will have it's  dbx files stored in separate folders.

You now have the files backed up for storage on a CD using your CD Mastering software  (such as Nero, EZCD Creator, etc) 

Should you have a need to restore these files, press the Complete Restore button and all files will be restored. This means the old ones will be overwritten. Do not confuse a backup with archiving. Archiving is putting the messages away for later retrieval (import) into OE along with the current messages. Backups are made should that rainy day happen when things get lost or become unusable. You are restoring the backup OVER the existing (if it's there).

Restore to another computer or new setup of Windows

Let's say you get a new computer. You want to move everything over to it. Or, for whatever reason you are going to reinstall Windows. You want Outlook Express the way you had it.

If you are going to reinstall Windows, I suggest you use a CD to put the files on after backup. Some of the DBX files can be quite large and you may have to use more than one CD to accomplish this. Remember, when the files are stored on a CD, the Read Only attribute gets set, when you put them on the new setup, you may have to remove this but more about this further down the road. You could also use a second hard drive if available.

If you have a new computer, consider networking them or putting the hard drive from the old computer as a Slave on the new one. It makes copying the backup folder much faster and easier.

However you backup the files you will need to copy them to a backup folder (of the same name and usually the same drive location).

One other thing of note, are the Outlook Express versions the same? If the new set up is older, update Internet Explorer and Outlook Express before proceeding further. Plus not starting Outlook Express on the new set up or have Outlook Express running on the one you are wanting to duplicate. Just don't run it till after all of this is done.

If you copied the files from a CD, you may have to reset the Read Only attribute. Outlook Express will not operate with this set. It will create new message stores which isn't what you want to have happen.

Open the backup folder in Windows Explorer. Press CTRL A to select all files (highlights all of them). Now, right click and select Properties. If you see the Read Only checkbox checked, uncheck it.  For Windows 9x, you will have to open the Identity's folder and do the same (CTRL A then right click) as it won't reset all the files like Windows XP and 2000 can. Usually from a Windows XP, the Read Only will be reset to off after copying from a CD to the hard drive.

The files are ready. OEQB is installed(?). Have you started Outlook Express? If you have, do you have any mail that you want to keep in there? Run OEQB and set another folder for backup and backup the files to it. We can use this to import back into Outlook Express when the main files have been restored to the new setup. Once done, set OEQB's backup folder back to the one where the files we want to use are stored.

Close Outlook Express.

Run OEQB. Be sure the backup folder is set where you want it. If so, press the Complete Restore button.

When it is finished,  you can start OE. You will have to enter your account passwords back in as they are not retained.  You should now see Outlook Express as you had it before.

While this sounds like a lot, it's just that it takes a lot of words to write it down. It's actually just some file copying, a folder creation and pressing a couple of buttons but if I put it like that, it doesn't mean the same. To put it in a nutshell, without all the explanation:

1) Install OEQB
2) Create a folder for the backed up files. Make it's name the same as the one from which the backed up files are coming from.
3) Copy the files to the backup folder.
4) Run OEQB
5) Set the backup folder location in OEQB -   File | Set Existing Folder As Backup
6) Press the Complete Restore button.

See, told you it wasn't much.


Click here to go back to main page