Mar 172008

When you upgrade a computer running Windows XP to Windows Vista, Windows automatically imports any messages and contacts you have in Outlook Express to Windows Mail. (Outlook Express has been replaced in Windows Vista by Windows Mail.)

If you are not upgrading but want to transfer your Outlook Express messages to a computer running Windows Vista, then you need to transfer the messages manually or use Windows Easy Transfer.

If you are just transferring Outlook Express messages (and not all your other files and settings) from a computer running Windows XP, you may find it easier to use the manual method described here.

Export and Import Mail Messages

On Outlook Express Side (XP,2000 etc)

  • The folder that contains the Outlook Express messages is marked as a hidden folder in Windows. To view this hidden folder, click Start, and then click Control Panel. Click Appearance and Themes, and then click Folder Options. Click the View tab, and under Hidden files and folders, click Show hidden files and folders.
  • Locate the folder named Outlook Express. In Windows XP, this folder is located here by default: C:\Documents and Settings\your user name\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{your Windows user identity number}\Microsoft\Outlook Express.
  • Copy the Outlook Express folder and all its contents to the Documents folder on the computer running Windows Vista. (You can store this copy of the Outlook Express folder in a location other than the Documents folder, as long as you remember where to find it.)

On Windows Mail side (i.e Vista)

  • Open Windows Mail by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Mail.
  • Click the File menu, point to Import, and then click Messages.
  • Click Microsoft Outlook Express 6, and then click Next.
  • Make sure Import mail from an OE6 store directory is selected, and then click OK.
  • Click Browse, find the Outlook Express folder you copied to this computer, and then click the folder once to select it. (Do not open the folder when you select it.)
  • Click Select Folder, and then click Next.
  • Click All folders to import all the folders, or click Selected folders and select which message folders you want to import, and then click Next.
  • Click Finish.

Import Contacts from Outlook Express in to windows mail

Export Contacts from Outlook Express

  • Go to the File menu, select Export and click on Address Book.
  • The Address Book Export Tool will be launched. Select the second option – Text File (Comma Separated Values) – and click on the Export button.
  • You will be asked to select the path where you want to export your Address Book. Click on Browse, go to the folder where you want to save your Address Book, type the name of the file in which it will be saved and click the Save button.
  • The CSV Export window will open. Here you will have to select which contact details you want to export. Select the ones you want or, for more safety, select all the fields and then press the Finish button.
  • The Address Book has now been exported to the chosen location.

Import Contacts in to windows mail

  • Open Windows Contacts by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Contacts.
  • On the toolbar, click Import, and then click one of the following formats to import contacts from:

• CSV (Comma Separated Values). This is a generic file format used for exporting and importing information to and from databases or spreadsheets. If you are unable to import an address book file directly into Windows Contacts, try converting it first to a .csv file and then importing that file.

• LDIF (LDAP server). This format is used to import directory information from LDAP-based directory servers.

• vCard (VCF file). This is the most widely used contacts format.

• Windows Address Book file (Outlook Express contacts). This format (.wab file) is used by most earlier versions of Windows, including Windows XP.

  • Click Import, locate the contacts file you want to import, and then click Open. The new contacts should appear in your Contacts folder.
  • If you can’t locate the contacts file you want to import, check the information that came with the program that created the contacts or visit the manufacturer’s website. You might need to export contacts from the program before you can import them into Windows Contacts.
  • When a message appears telling you that the contacts import process has completed, click OK, and then click Close.

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  10 Responses to “Migrate/Import Outlook Express (.dbx) files into Windows Mail in Vista”

  1. Excellent tip! Very clear explanation! Worked perfectly!

    Thanks much!

  2. Right on the money. The part about select folders made all the difference to get to .dbx files.



  3. Great advise. The part “Do not open the folder when you select it” is of utmost importance when importing messages into Vista, because otherwise it won’t work!


  4. I’ve tried a few times to import the messages (from OE6/WinME to WinMail/Vista, via a networked drive), but about half of them are missing (no apparent pattern, just whole blocks of messages, sometimes old ones, sometimes new, sometimes whole folders, but looks consistent between attempts).
    The copied .dbx files do still seem to contain recognizable fragments of the missing messages.
    Any ideas what might be wrong?

  5. Hello there,
    I can not see the files with “dbx” and also i can not remove the “read only” attribute from them. Waht shall i do???


    thanks buddy

  7. It is easier to Export from OE Mail / XP to Windows Mail / Vista.
    Can any one suggest how to Export Windows Mail / Vista to OE Mail / Xp.
    This is necessary when the Vista is down graded to Winxpp.

  8. It says copy the xp folder into vista??? How to do this? the outlook express folder is in one pc (xp) and the destination is a seperate folder in another pc? That is as far as I got. Besides I will be going into windows 7 and nobody yet has published a sure method of transferring outlook express from xp into a SEPERATE pc running win.7.

  9. Hi, My outlook express started to hang when i open it so i checked the default folder (C:\Documents and Settings\dhina\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{44E9A5C9-CAE4-45BC-B620-8738A881DEC6}\Microsoft\Outlook Express) size crossed more than 3.5gb so i took some dbx files from this folder and kept in my d drive now that files was removed from outlook and kept in d drive as dbx format now i want to import that in my outlook express but its not importing. Can anyone help!!!

  10. Why to gabacity or GigaBits in windows Xp

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