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Tutorials | How to Backup your Email

Publish date: 17:40 Thursday, 28th July 2005
Written by: MishY
Audience intended for: Outlook Users, Outlook Express Users
Category: E-mail and Messaging

Go up a levelGo up a level

Questions about backing up Emails come up quite a lot on the CTH Support Forums. Due to the different procedures used to backup Emails on different e-mail programs I am for the purpose of this tutorial writing instructions for Outlook Express, Outlook 2000, and Netscape Messenger Mail. Here's how to do it :

Quick Navigation :

Deleting Unwanted Emails
Finding your E-mail files and backing them up
How to Backup Your Address Book
How to Restore your Emails from a backup
How to Restore your Address Book from a Backup

Outlook Express :

Delete Unwanted Emails

Before backing up anything it is always a good idea to remove anything you don't need backed up. Unwanted Emails/files will just make the backup larger in filesize which isn't needed. Take a good look through all your folders and subfolders of Outlook Express or Outlook to make sure you are only backing up what you want.

Once you have deleted all of the unwanted Emails remember to empty your "Deleted Items" folder. To do this right click on the Deleted Items folder and click "Empty 'Deleted Items' Folder".

Having removed all your unwanted Emails completely it is now wise to Compact all your remaining Emails. Compacting makes the size of the folders smaller by compacting the files contained within them. All the Emails are still readable and still intact just smaller.

To do this click from the top toolbar File / Folder / Compact All Folders

Compact All Folders

Outlook Express will then compact all of your e-mail folders.

Finding your E-mail Files and Backing them up

To find your E-mail files do the following :

Click Start / Find / Find Files or Folders

In the field called "Named" type in *.dbx and then click Find

Finding dbx files

Windows will now find all files ending with the extension .dbx

Select ALL the files that the search finds. To do this either press CTRL and A or from the toolbar select Edit / Select ALL.

Now you will need to copy all of these files to your backup drive, or folder.

To do this press CTRL and C or from the toolbar click Edit / Copy

Then navigate to your backup drive, or folder, and press CTRL and V or from the toolbar click Edit / Paste.

NOTE: Your dbx files will be in a directory called :

C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Identities\{long encrypted alphanumeric number}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

How to Backup your Address Book

Losing e-mail addresses can be a major inconvenience. When reinstalling windows that's exactly what happens unless you back up your address book. Here's how to do it :

Click Start / Find / Find Files or Folders

In the field called "Named" type in *.wab and then click Find

Windows will now look for any files that end with the extension .wab (wab = Windows Address Book)

A file should have been found that ends with .wab

You will need to copy this file to your backup drive, or folder.

To copy this file right click on the file and click Copy. Then navigate to your backup drive, or folder, and right click an empty area of that window and click Paste.

Copying the Address Book

How to Restore Emails from a Backup

OK, so now you need to use the backups you made using the instructions above. Here's how :

For your e-mail files *.dbx

Click Start / Find / Find Files or Folders

Type in *.dbx in the field called "Named" and click Find

You will need to find the folder they are contained within and open this folder up so that you can copy your backup files into it. The directory will look like this :

C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Identities\{long encrypted alphanumeric number}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

Now go to your backup drive, or folder, and select ALL the files ending in .dbx you will need to copy all these folders into the directory containing all the dbx files. To do so :

Select All - Press CTRL and A or alternatively click Edit / Select ALL

Copy - Press CTRL and C or alternatively click Edit / Copy

Then you will need to paste all these backed up files into your Outlook Express mail folder. To do so:

Navigate to your Outlook Express folder that contains all the dbx files.

Paste - Press CTRL and V or alternatively click Edit / Paste

Windows will ask you if you want to overwrite all the files. Select YES.

How to Restore the Address Book from a Backup

Navigate to the folder C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book

You will need to copy your backup wab file into this directory overwriting the wab file already there. To do so :

Navigate to your backup wab file

Select All - Press CTRL and A or alternatively click Edit / Select ALL

Copy - Press CTRL and C or alternatively click Edit / Copy

Then you will need to paste all the backed up wab file into the Address Book folder. To do so:

Navigate to the previously mentioned folder that contains the wab file.

Paste - Press CTRL and V or alternatively click Edit / Paste

Windows will ask you if you want to overwrite the file. Select YES.

Outlook 2000

Compact All your folder prior to performing the backup. To do this :

Right click "Personal Folders" and select Properties. Click "Advanced" then "Compact Now"

Then click OK to close both the windows.

To backup, and restore, Emails use the (from the toolbar) File / Import and Export wizard. You should export all your e-mail folders as a .pst file

Netscape Messenger

You can backup Emails with Netscape Messenger in a relatively similar way to the way you backup Emails with Outlook Express. Remember to Compact your e-mail folders before performing the backup. Then navigate to C:\Program Files\Netscape\Users\Mail and select all the files there and copy them to your backup drive, or folder. Restoration of said backup involves going back to that folder and overwriting those files with the files you backed up.

 

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