Windows Live Mail Client = Easiest Mail Backup Ever?

Posted June 13, 2008 8:34 pm by with 16 comments

One widely unknown feature of Outlook Express and the Windows Live Mail client is how easy it is to backup your mail locally (to which you can then burn to CD/DVD, put on a USB stick, etc.) Even if you’re not using Hotmail, you can easily back up any POP or IMAP account by a simple drag’n'drop to a local folder. You could even backup Gmail easily using the WLmail client.

16 responses to Windows Live Mail Client = Easiest Mail Backup Ever?

  1. Dina June 14th, 2008 at 6:44 am

    awsome thing ^^.Thanks for the tip

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  2. craig September 6th, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Hi
    Could not get it to export to my external hard drive but got it to work in a folder in mydocuments. Shame that microsoft could not add a back up facility which you can set the time it backsup or only backs up what has changed. Maybe they will get to it soon.

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  3. Michael October 12th, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Easiest email backup for Windows? Probably. Easiest email backup ever? Wrong.

    Microsoft Entourage for Macintosh takes that prize. Copy one folder and you’ve backed up all of your email messages, mail settings, calendar settings, events, address books, and everything else that configures the program. Just copy that folder back to any other computer and you’ve got a perfect restoration of all of your important data.

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  4. Rob Sitter May 21st, 2009 at 5:20 am

    You could always be like me and write your own simple batch files, you know, the hands on approach:

    robocopy “Dirs” “C:\Users\Robert M. Sitter\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail” /E /B
    regedit /s “Reg\reg.reg”
    pause

        Reply

  5. Rob Sitter May 21st, 2009 at 5:21 am

    I MEANT TO SAY:
    set bp=%CD%\Backups\WindowsLiveMail

    md “%bp%”
    md “%bp%\Dirs”
    md “%bp%\Reg”

    robocopy “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail” “%bp%\Dirs” /E /B
    reg export “hkcu\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail” “%bp%\Reg\reg.reg”

    del “%bp%\restore.bat”
    ECHO robocopy “Dirs” “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail” /E /B>>”%bp%\restore.bat”
    ECHO regedit /s “Reg\reg.reg”>>”%bp%\restore.bat”
    ECHO pause>>”%bp%\restore.bat”

        Reply

  6. Rob Sitter May 21st, 2009 at 5:22 am

    set bp=%CD%\Backups\WindowsLiveMail

    md “%bp%”
    md “%bp%\Dirs”
    md “%bp%\Reg”

    robocopy “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail” “%bp%\Dirs” /E /B
    reg export “hkcu\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail” “%bp%\Reg\reg.reg”

    del “%bp%\restore.bat”
    ECHO robocopy “Dirs” “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail” /E /B>>”%bp%\restore.bat”
    ECHO regedit /s “Reg\reg.reg”>>”%bp%\restore.bat”
    ECHO pause>>”%bp%\restore.bat”

        Reply

  7. Rob Sitter May 21st, 2009 at 5:23 am

    Oops, I meant to say –>
    set bp=%CD%\Backups\WindowsLiveMail

    md “%bp%”
    md “%bp%\Dirs”
    md “%bp%\Reg”

    robocopy “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail” “%bp%\Dirs” /E /B
    reg export “hkcu\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail” “%bp%\Reg\reg.reg”

    del “%bp%\restore.bat”
    ECHO robocopy “Dirs” “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail” /E /B>>”%bp%\restore.bat”
    ECHO regedit /s “Reg\reg.reg”>>”%bp%\restore.bat”
    ECHO pause>>”%bp%\restore.bat”

        Reply

  8. Rob Sitter May 21st, 2009 at 5:23 am

    Oops, I meant to say –>

    set bp=%CD%\Backups\WindowsLiveMail

    md “%bp%”
    md “%bp%\Dirs”
    md “%bp%\Reg”

    robocopy “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail” “%bp%\Dirs” /E /B
    reg export “hkcu\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail” “%bp%\Reg\reg.reg”

    del “%bp%\restore.bat”
    ECHO robocopy “Dirs” “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail” /E /B>>”%bp%\restore.bat”
    ECHO regedit /s “Reg\reg.reg”>>”%bp%\restore.bat”
    ECHO pause>>”%bp%\restore.bat”

        Reply

  9. Garin June 23rd, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Great tip.
    Is there a way to incoporate this with auto backup software?
    I am trying to figure out a way that my backup of windows live mail can be done automatically daily, like I do with my other data.
    Thank you.

        Reply

  10. Spaz July 22nd, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    This is crap and not helpful at all for Outlook Express users or anyone using a simiplified and highly efficient email program.

    1. Hotmail will once be not availalbe in Outlook or Outlook Express as it is now where mail is automatically downloaded and sorted based on your hotmail settings

    2. YOu can not transfer all your email to a backup file like you could in Outook Express. In Outlook Express, you create a STORE folder and then you backup your STORE Folder. With this is Vista, you have no idea where your store folder is. If running Vista or Win 7, you run into security issues if your PC is in trouble and you want to backup your or copy your folder(s) in DOS mode…yes, some of us still love and use DOS!

    And Rob Sitter, whats up with all the duplicate posts?!!

        Reply

    • Rich Menga July 23rd, 2009 at 6:54 am

      Windows Live Mail uses the same “store folder” type that Outlook Express does. It is identical. And if you want to find the store folder in WL Mail, that’s stupidly easy. Tools, Options, Advanced, Maintenance, Store Folder. It’s right there.

      And if you want a way to backup all your mail without going to the store folder, use KLS Mail Backup. Google it. Free. Puts all your mail into a single ZIP that can be stored on a USB stick.

          Reply

  11. ronK December 15th, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Dragging a Windows Live Mail file over onto another folder on the desktop results in a file with a creation and modification date of the day it was dragged. It’s true that when this file is dragged back into the email client, it has the original email date. Also, the dragged file takes the name of the email Subject, rather than the FROM, or DATE of the original email.

    Is it possible to automatically change the dragged file’s name to something other than the SUBJECT?

        Reply

  12. Fred Belfitt December 17th, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I have used Outlook Express ever since I started using a computer. It wasn’t long before I started using the paid version of Hotmail.
    During last year my Outlook Express was somehow or other “highjacked” to become Windows Live Mail.
    Rich, I have looked at your 5 YouTube videos and can easily remember how Outlook Express used to work. My Window Live is not like that.
    There is one outstanding item in your videos, …. there is no mention in the menu bar of the “Insert” facility. That was an item that I used regularly so that I could “embed” pictures within the body of an email. Using that facility, I could insert (edited) screen captures wherever I wanted, and then explain with words about the detail …. the same as most commercial newsletters do.
    Rich, what has happened to the “Insert” facility.

        Reply

    • Rich Menga December 17th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

      1. Compose new email.

      2. CTRL+M to show menu bar.

      3. Insert / Image / Inline.

          Reply

  13. John January 19th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    You guys sound like teckies to me. Batch files indeed.

    What I want is a VERY SIMPLE way to backup my Win7 Live Mail to a CD and then be able to restore it later.

    It is rediculous that every mail program doesn’t come with this capability.

    Thanks for the tip about KLS Mail Backup. I’ll check it out.

    [email protected]

        Reply

  14. Hans February 1st, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    “”Dragging a Windows Live Mail file over onto another folder on the desktop results in a file with a creation and modification date of the day it was dragged. “”

    This true and annoying….. you could you select the colums Date Sent & Date Received, but now you will find that not ALL emails have a date. Also annoying. You will also get some ._eml files that need removal of the _ to .eml.

    My God isn´t there an easy back up method? The WLM export function will mess around with your folder tree.
    No good either.

        Reply

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