A guide of Outlook Express backup

By: Dragos Diaconescu

Most small companies and home users don’t need to buy an expensive solution for data backup. They can simply copy important files to a CD or DVD, and if an information loss occurs, they can get it back easily.
If it is simply to copy documents, photos and other files, not the same is for emails, attachments, address book, stationery and other related information from your Outlook Express email client.
This article will explain how everybody can create a manual Outlook Express backup copy (because Outlook Express don’t offer a built in backup function) This email program is usually installed with the Windows operating system and is probably among the most commonly used email programs today.

1. Backup email messages
In Outlook Express, emails are stored in files with DBX extension. The easiest way to find these files is to open Outlook Express and from menu select Tools | Options | Maintenance and click the Store Folder button. Here you can find the path to the folder containing your emails.
This procedure works for all kind of email: SMTP / POP3, IMAP, MAPI, or even the Hotmail Account (some messages might be stored only at the Hotmail server).
To save all your emails and attachments you should copy all the DBX files from the folder.

2. Account settings:
Details about your mail and news accounts are stored in the registry. To find them, start RegEdit and select the “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Account Manager” key from the left panel. To save this data, from menu select: Registry | Export Registry File. Save the file to a name like "accounts.reg".

3. Mail Rules
The Outlook Express mail rules are stored in the registry, in the “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities” key. To save this data, from menu select: Registry | Export Registry File. Save the file to a name like "rules.reg".

4. Address Book
The backup of address book is easy to do. It is stored in files with WBA extension. To find the location where address book is stored, you should open Outlook Express and from menu select File | Export | Address Book and select the comma separated text file as your output format. Click Export, select the folder where the backup will be saved and set the name for the backup file. After that click Next and choose the fields you want to include in your backup. Click Finish and your backup will be ready.

5. Stationery
The Outlook Express stationery location is stored in a registry key. To find it, you should open RegEdit, find “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Stationery” key and look at “Stationery Folder” value. There you will find the path to stationery folder. To save the stationery, you should copy all files from that folder.

If you think that manual backup is too hard, you can use a backup software tool, which can make the job much easier. Outlook Express Backup Expert is one product that can be used to easily create Outlook Express backups. It can save your emails, attachments, address book, signatures, blocked list, mail rules, stationery, accounts and settings. The biggest advantage to use automatic email backup software is the schedule function, which will create backups at specified time intervals, without user action. The downside of using a automatic email backup utility is that it costs money, usually about 20-30 USD as one time payment, while the manual backups are of course, free.
The conclusion is that email backup is a critical operation for every user.

A free evaluation copy of Outlook Express Backup Expert can be found at: http://www.bodrag.com/outlook-express-backup.html

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Dragos is the webmaster of the BODRAG website: www.bodrag.com/outlook-express-backup.html

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