Windows 8 - importing old emails from previous Outlook Express

My old computer running XP has died a death and my new one uses Windows 8, and I am on a steep learning curve.  I had backed up my email onto a portable hard drive, and it is saved as .dbx files.   Is there any equivalent of Outlook Express in Windows 8, and/or any way I can download these files so as to access all my old messages (in and out) and email addresses.  Help!

Question Info

Last updated April 2, 2019 Views 101,816 Applies to:

As you know by now, my colleague gave you a bit of a "bum steer," Hazel. <wink>

While you cannot import the Outlook Express (OE) data into Win8's Mail app, you may be able to import the backed-up OE data (DBX files) into Windows Live Mail (2011 or 2012) as long as the backup set includes a file named FOLDERS.DBX. Assuming it does, proceed as follows:

1. Download/install Windows [Live] Essentials 2012 via this page =>

NOTE: When you install either version, there will be an option to install only the applications you want (e.g., Windows Live Mail; Windows Photo Gallery/Movie Maker) or the entire suite (also includes Windows Writer, SkyOneDrive, etc.).

2. Once you've gotten Windows Live Mail installed, create a new desktop folder (name it, e.g., DBX FILES for convenience) & place a copy of your DBX back-up set (i.e, all of your DBX files including FOLDERS.DBX !!) in that folder.

3. VERY IMPORTANT! => Open the folder you created in Step #2 above | Select all [CTRL+A] such that all the DBX files are highlighted | Right-click on the group of folders | Select PROPERTIES and uncheck the READ ONLY box (assuming it's already checked).

4. Open Windows Live Mail & execute the keyboard shortcut ALT+F | select Import messages | Microsoft Outlook Express 6 and point the import wizard to the folder you created in Step #2 above & click OK

The imported data (folders) will be located as subfolders of Windows Live Mail's Imported Folders as illustrated in the figure below:

Once your OE messages have been imported, they can (a) remain in that location, (b) be moved to user-created folder within the Storage folders (per the illustration above), or (c) be moved to a user-created folder within an email account (other than a Hotmail account) you set up in Windows Live Mail (i.e., to access your new messages).

[By designed, Windows Live Mail creates a folder structure for each unique email account. or moved to user created folder within the Storage folders.]

For instructions on doing (b) or (c) above, see the bottom half of my Windows Live Mail MVP colleague's blog post on which most of the above is based (if not shamelessly copy/pasted) =>

[In fact, I'm going to ask him to review/critique my reply in case I may have goofed!]

Going forward, you will find support for Windows Live Mail in these forums: 


~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
Microsoft MVP (Windows Client) since October 2002

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