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Sharing Outlook Express Folders

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help

Sharing Outlook Express Folders

Do you use folders in Outlook Express to keep your e-mail organized? Maybe you have a whole slew of information in one of those folders you’d like to share with a friend. Should you just forward each piece of e-mail to them? Maybe do a printout?

How about just sending them your entire folder?

Didn’t know you could do that, did ya?

Here’s how to get them the info.

1. First, you’re going to need the location that Outlook Express is using to store your information (folders). You can get that by hitting the Tools menu, Options .


2. Click the Maintenance tab and then the ” Store Folder ” button.


3. A screen will pop up that gives you the secret location of where Outlook Express is keeping your e-mail. If your memory is short, or the path is long, you may want to write that info down. Better yet, copy the info and use our Computers 101 tip to get to the folder.


4. OK, now close out the Store folder and Options screens. You have what ya came for.

5. Next, open the My Computer icon on your desktop (XP users, hit Start , My Computer ).

6. Navigate to the location where Outlook Express is keeping your e-mail. Once you’re there, you should see your Outlook Express folders listed.

Note that if you have your computer set up to view file extensions, the files will end with “.dbx” (like Inbox.dbx).

To send this file to a friend, just right-click it and select ” Send to, Mail Recipient “. Of course, you can copy it to a disk (if it fits) or a CD-R if you like.


OK, that’s how you find and send it. Now, how does the person who gets this file integrate it into their mailbox?

Now we’re going to go over what to do with that saved (or sent) folder once you get it to the computer you want it on. So…

1. Follow the above procedure we didon the recipient’s computer to figure out where it’s storing its Outlook Express mail.

2. Save the stored folder to that location. If it was e-mailed, double-click the attachment and do a ” Save As “. If you have it on a disk or CD, you’ll need to copy and paste it into the store folder. Note that if you’re using a CD you may need to take off the “read only” attribute (right-click the file, Properties. Then uncheck the “Read only” checkbox if it’s checked).

For more on Copy & Paste, head to:

3. OK your file should be sitting in the “Store” folder now. However, that’s just not going to be enough. You’ll need to go to that location and delete the ” Folders ” file (note that Outlook Express will need to be shut off for you to do this).


Your “Folders” file keeps track of what folders you have in Outlook Express. However, it’s not smart enough to look for new folders each time you load the program. It only lists what it “knows” are there. When you delete it, Outlook Express is forced to create a new “Folders” file. This new one will include the ALL the folders in the directory (including the new one you just added).

After you’ve deleted the file, start Outlook Express again. The new folder should be listed.

That should do it. I know it seems long and involved, but it really isn’t all that hard. Oh, and yes, this would be a great way to backup and restore Outlook Express mail when you get a new computer or need to reformat the old one.


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