Outlook Express has been a mainstay of email clients since it came bundled with Internet Explorer since 1997. With Windows Vista and 7, users have to move to the rebranded version, Windows Live Mail.
This would be a good opportunity for users to clean up old email and addresses, but moving files from an old machine with Outlook Express 6 to a new one running Windows Live Mail is fairly easy. You will need a thumb drive (also called a flash drive or USB drive) that is available at any electronics or office supply store for a few dollars.
On the old computer, place the USB drive into the computer. There will be slots available on the front and/or back of most computers and laptops. There is a right way up, so don’t force it. Once the computer has accepted it, a window will pop up in the lower right saying the device is ready for use.
Right-click on the “Start” button in the lower left corner of the screen and then click on “Explore.”
In the folder list on the left, click the “+” signs next to the folders to drill down to your Outlook Express files. They will be located under “Documents and Settings” and then the folder with your user name for the computer. Under that, click on “Application Data” then “Local Settings” and then “Identities.” Under that will be a folder with a bunch of letters and numbers on it. Click on that, then “Microsoft” and finally, “Outlook Express.”
In the window on the right, click on the first file in the list. Then move the cursor down and hold down the “Shift” key while you click on the last file in the list. (You may have more files than shown.
This will highlight all of the files in the list. Then right-click (Click the right mouse button) and select “Copy” from the menu.
Next, go back to the window on the left and scroll down to the bottom. The Thumb drive you inserted will be called “Removable Disk” with a drive letter most likely of “E:” or “F:” Click on that in the left window. The right window will be blank if this is a new thumb drive.
Right-click anywhere in the right way and select “Paste” from the drop down window. If the paste option is greyed out, or you can’t click on it, you didn’t complete the copy procedure correctly. Go back and try to copy until you can paste the files here. Once you click paste, all the files you highlighted above will now be in the right window.
Next, you need to get the address book. Follow the same procedure as above, but this time under the user directory, click on “Application Data” then “Microsoft” and finally, “Address Book.” The address book will be in the right window with your user name and an extension of WAB (Windows Address Book). Right-click to copy and then paste it to the thumb drive the same way you did the Outlook Express files.
Remove the thumb drive from the old computer and insert it into the new computer. Start Windows Live Mail by clicking the Start icon in the lower-left of the screen and selecting “Windows Live Mail” on the menu.
Tap the “Alt” key to bring up the traditional “File, Edit View…” menu. Click on “File” and then “Import” and finally “Messages.”
This will bring up a “Select Program” window. Select “Microsoft Outlook Express 6” and click “Next”
It will then ask for the location of the messages. Click on “Computer” to expand the device list if necessary and choose “Removable Disk” again. Note that the drive letter may be different on this machine than it was on the old one. Click “OK”
A “Select Folders” window will pop up. Accept the default of “All folders” and click “Next.”
This will import all of your old mail into your new Windows Live mail system. Next, you need to import your address book.
In the lower left of your Windows Live Mail window, click “Contacts.”
Tap the “Alt” key again and then click on “File,” “Import” and “Windows address book (.WAB).”
In the file dialog that pops up, scroll back down to your thumb drive and select the “.wab” file from the list. Click “Open” and the program will import all your contacts into the new Windows Live Mail contact list.