Save your Outlook Express email and address book to an archived file every once in a while
If you have hundred of emails stored inside Outlook Express or Ms Outlook on your hard drive, which is not present on any other computer ( such as a server ) this article is a must read, it contains free, useful information about how to locate and save your email files to a CD or secondary hard drive.
Outlook Express and Ms Outlook stores your email and address book in some files on the local hard drive(s) of your computer. In many cases this email is NOT stored on any webserver, as is deleted from the mail server as soon as is downloaded.
The average computer user has several thousands of the emails, contacts, several rules and a few signatures, all stored on the local computer and vulnerable to viruses or other disasters that can make a PC unfunctional.
Our advice: you should consider saving these email files from time to time to a safe archived copy ( usually on a CD, or a separate hard drive ) and if ever you have problems with your PC you will be easily able to restore the email.
It is incredible how many people do NOT save copies of their Outlook Express email files; and when a disaster strikes, they will reinstall all software, copy back pictures and some documents from CDs, but all their email is gone. Forever.
Viruses, power failures, software failures, human errors, hard drive failures are only a few examples of what could destroy the data on a hard drive, including all documents, pictures, emails and other files!
Many users do not need an complex ( and expensive ) backup software, as they can easily copy all the important home made videos, pictures, documents, and important files to CDs or DVDs, from where they can be easily copied back when needed. However, the email is most of the time harder to copy because not all home users know where to find it, and which files should be copied.
This article contains a detailed tutorial of where these files are located and how to copy them to a safe place. Also, you can use a software that does it fast and most important, automated at regular period of time. It is very important to do the process right, or you will end up with an unusable, incomplete backup copy.
While using Outlook Express is fairly easy, finding and backing up the emails can be a little more complicated. Since there are a large number of files and folders on a computer running Windows, the first problem is to find the files containing the emails. Outlook Express stores emails in .dbx files and there might be several different dbx files depending on how many email folders you have created in Outlook Express. If you are using Windows 98, you can probably locate your emails somewhere in the Windows directory. In Windows 2000 and XP, emails are usually stored somewhere in the user data or application data folder.
The easiest way to find out exactly where your emails are stored is to start Outlook Express, go to the Tools menu, and open the Options dialog box. In the Options dialog box, select the Maintenance page and click the Store Folder button. . Here you can find the path to the folder containing your emails. To open the folder, copy the path and paste in the address field of the Windows File Manager. You should see a number of .dbx files and possibly some other files, too.
After locating the email folder, you can simply select all the files and press Ctrl-C. Then open the folder where you want to keep the backup copies (on another hard disk, a DVD or a network drive, for example) in Windows Explorer, and press Ctrl-V. To backup the Address Book, you can follow these steps:
a.. Select Tools | Address Book... from the menu in Outlook Express.
b.. Choose File | Export | Other Address Book...from the address book's menu.
c.. Select Text File (Comma Separated Values) as the export format.
d.. Click Export.
e.. Select the location you want to export your address book to using the Browse... button.
f.. Give your backup copy a meaningful name.
g.. Click Next.
h.. Select the fields you want to include in your backup.
i.. Finally, select Finish.
j.. Click OK.
k.. Click Close to end the process (successfully, I hope).
Additionally, there are several email backup utilities which can make the backup operation much easier. Outlook Express Backup Genie is one piece of software that can offer peace of mind by creating compact backup copies of emails, attachments, address book, signatures, blocked list, mail rules and settings periodically. The difference between using a automatic email backup utility and manual backups, is that the first can be scheduled to create backups quiet in the background at specified time intervals, and that it will include all email information ( signatures, blocked list, etc ) which otherwise would be more difficult to save. Also if ever the backup is needed, the application will ensure that the restore process is made smoothly. And, it works with top 9 popular email clients.
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 either manual or automatic, backing up emails is a critical operation for every computer user that would regret losing them.
A trial copy of Outlook Express Backup Genie can be found at: