Where are email, account files etc. in XP?

  Bargee 16:42 22 Jan 2009


Having to do a reinstall of XP Home which will involve a reformat & I need to find my emails, mail accounts & address book contacts before I can proceed.

When I've done this before with 98SE, I've found my email messages, email accounts, address book etc. under Windows/Application Data/Identities/Microsoft/Outlook Express, well something like that. In the Xp windows files, I can't seem to find the equivalent to save to disc for importing once I've done the reinstall.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

  BT 17:10 22 Jan 2009

To save your email folders and address book...

Copy Mail Files to a Backup Folder
To make a backup copy of your Outlook Express e-mail message files:
On the Tools menu, click Options.
On the Maintenance tab, click Store Folder.
Select the folder location, and then press CTRL+C to copy the location.
Click Cancel, and then click Cancel again to close the dialog box.
Click Start, and then click Run.
In the Open box, press CTRL+V, and then click OK.
On the Edit menu, click Select All.
On the Edit menu, click Copy, and then close the window.
Right-click any empty space on your desktop, click New, and then click Folder.
Type mail backup for the folder name, and then press ENTER.
Double-click the Mail Backup folder to open it.
On the Edit menu, click Paste.
Close the Mail Backup window.

Export Your Outlook Express Address Book

On the File menu, click Export, and then click Address Book.
Click Text File (Comma Separated Values), and then click Export.
Click Browse.
Locate the Mail Backup folder that you created.
In the File Name box, type address book backup, and then click Save.
Click Next.
Click to select the check boxes for the fields that you want to export, and then click Finish.
Click OK and then click Close.

To Import them use the Import wizard on the File

To save your Email accounts goto Tools menu>Accounts, highlite them one at a time and export them to wherever you want to save them. Then when you have reinstalled OE you can import them all back.

I usually put them all on a USB memory stick and back them up on a regular basis.

  Taff™ 17:58 22 Jan 2009

The easiest way to transfer the above plus all your files and data is to use the XP Files & Settings Transfer Wizard as if you were migrating to a new computer. (Which effectively you are) click here and use an external drive.

Are you sure you want to do a complete re-install? Wouldn`t a Repair Install work? It might help if you explained why you want to do this in the first place.

  Switcher 19:57 22 Jan 2009

IN OE if you go to TOOLS OPTIONS MAINTENANCE and cilck on Store folder you will find the location of the DBX files such as inbox.dbx containing all your various emails . inbox, sent, deleted etc..

You can save these DBX files to another folder or to a pendrive etc... When you reinstall OE copy these DBX files back into the store folder, checking first the location as above, and all your emails and email folders will re-appear.

It can be a good idea to rename the store folder to something more sensible like c:\oemail for instance.

  Bargee 11:03 23 Jan 2009


I've not been clear.

I can't boot the system in any form so can't access OE, but I will be able to read the HDD on another PC. I need to know where in the Windows files I'll find the mail folders, account files & address book along with my IE Favourites.

Thanks for all the info anyway & I'll print off & file it away for the future.


  Taff™ 12:21 23 Jan 2009

Search for .dbx files (Mail Folders) .wab (Address Book) - e-mail accounts you will have to set up again. Note that these files may be hidden so you`ll need to change the Folder Options to "show hidden files" and I suggest untick the selection to "Hide file extensions of known types".

If you have an XP Home Original CD (or can borrow one) - not a restore CD, you could try a repair install which would repair the operating system and hopefully leave all your data and settings intact. click here for details but read carefully and follow the instructions to the letter. You do not want to use recovery console!

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