I had a client over the weekend that had a computer crash which required a new computer to be configured and old data imported. The old computer was Windows XP and the new computer was Windows 7 so one of the things to import was Outlook Express email into the new Windows 7 Windows Live Mail. The directions below will assist in importing the Outlook Express .DBX files into Windows Live Mail.

Import Outlook Express .DBX Files Into Windows Live Mail:

  1. Create Temp Folder: Under the user account you want to import the .DBX files into create a new folder called something like outlook-express-mail underneath the “My Documents” folder as shown in the below image.

    Create Outlook Express Mail Folder Under My Documents

  2. Copy DBX Files: Now transfer the Outlook Express .DBX files you want to import into Windows Live Mail into the new folder we created in step 1 as shown in the below image.

    Copy DBX Files Into New Folder

  3. Begin DBX Import: Open Windows Live Mail to begin the Outlook Express DBX file import by clicking File in the navigation menu, selecting Import from the drop down, and then clicking Messages as shown in the below image.

    Windows Live Mail: File - Import - Messages

  4. Import From Selection: After clicking Messages from the above menu the Windows Live Mail import will begin and you will be required to first select the program that the you are importing from which in this case is Outlook Express 6 as shown in the below image.

    Windows Live Mail Import: Outlook Express 6

  5. Location of Messages: After selecting the import type and clicking the Next button from the example above you will be required to browse to the location of the email messages or in the case of Outlook Express 6 the location of the DBX files as shown in the below image. Browse to the location of the DBX files that we created in step 1 and then click the Next button.

    Windows Live Mail Import: Location Of Messages

  6. Select Folders: After analyzing the DBX files in the folder specified you will be required to select the actual email folders you want to import as shown in the below images. In this example we have chosen All Folders however you can go through and individually select only the folders you want to import and then click the Next button.

    Windows Live Mail Import: Select Folders

  7. Windows Live Mail Import Process: After clicking the Next button above the import process will begin and a window like the below image will display for each folder selected to import into Windows Live Mail.

    Windows Live Mail: Import Messages

  8. Import Complete: Once all of the folders have been imported the below window will display after which you should verify that all of the mail is displayed in the proper folders under the Imported Mail folders in Windows Live Mail.

    Windows Live Mail Import: Import Complete

Your Outlook Express email will now be available within Windows Live Mail on your Windows 7 computer.

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57 Responses to “Import Outlook Express .DBX Files Into Windows 7 Windows Live Mail”
  1. Catherine says:

    This looked so easy until I tried it. Windows Live Mail’s File menu does not contain an option to import mail. I can click on Import and Export, which takes me to a screen asking how I want to import or export my browser settings. The only items I am able to import are Feeds, Favorites and Cookies. Is there something I’ve missed or has WLM gone rogue on me? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I feel so stupid.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Catherine,

    Are you logged in as an administrator? What operating system specifically are you using (Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 7 Professional, etc.)?

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  2. sheila says:

    This looked easy, but it does not give me all of my folders when I get to select folders all it shows it local folders, inbox, outbox sent and deleted none of the other dbx files are listed.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello shiela,

    That means that you are not importing all of your .DBX files.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

    sheila Reply:

    Well I knew that, I want to know how to get all of my dbx files, some of them have family pictures in them and other important information.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello shiela,

    You might just try a search on your computer for “.dbx”. You could also open your older email client and look for the location of he mail storage files.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

    sheila Reply:

    All of the DBX files are in the same folder as the files that it will import. I would open the old email client if it was on the New Computer and since the reason for all of this was the old computer crashed I can’t use that one.
    It is kind of the same situation as what you and your original post except it won’t work for me. I guess this in not the right place to get a technical answer to my question.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello sheila,

    Definitely having an attitude in your response is not going to help anyone want to provide assistance. You do understand that we write all of these articles for free and spend tons of time attempting to assist people with their problems at no cost to that person, right?

    I can promise that when the steps in the article are followed properly it works without issue. Unless there is something that is being misunderstood it would sound as if you have a different issue and without more details including screenshots and less attitude I don’t think there is much we can do to assist you.

    I do hope you have already or will resolve your problem though as we understand how important having previous email can be. One other small suggestion which you are probably already aware of is the fact that the email is not imported into the current folder list. There will be a new folder underneath the current Inbox called Imported or something similar and when that is expanded all of the old email folders will be listed underneath that folder.

    Best of luck to you.

    Thanks.
    alex

  3. windows-7 tutorial says:

    I’m very thrilled to have discovered this blog I were browsing all day long for this information and facts about .dbx. It is far from everyday you find this top quality of information on the net I cannot say thanks to you enough.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello windows-7 tutorial,

    No problem. Thanks for leaving such nice feedback!

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  4. RemyC says:

    This look straight forward enough until I realized after installing Windows Live Mail that it looks nothing like what you have here. No Inbox Windows Mail File, Edit, View… etc… Just New, Sync and Find that’s it. Is there now a new version of Windows Live Mail which no longer allows you to manage Pop Accounts on your machine?

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello RemyC,

    You have to actually configure an account. This article is specifically for importing mail DBX files after the account has been created.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  5. RemyC says:

    Actually it was just the show menu bar… Now I have to find my .dbx files on my old hard drive, and just realized I can’t access them without login to my old XP… so I probably need to get my old machine fixed first to retrieve my .dbx files and my .wab address book. Because I can’t find them by just running my old HD as an external drive on this new machine.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello RemyC,

    You should be able to access the .DBX files without logging into Windows XP on the old drive. They should be in the users Document and Settings folder similar to the below path.

    C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook Express\

    Hope that helps.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  6. Sheila Brown says:

    I certainly did not mean to have an attitude. The process did not work for me and I’m not getting all of my folders. I will give you a screen shot of the folder my DBX files are in and maybe there is something there that I need to remove. I have a folder I named outlook express, when I go to the import wiziard I select that folder. When it opens that up in the import wizard it doesn’t list all of the folders like it does in your screen shot above.
    If you will send me an email I will send you screen shots so that you can see what I”m talking about.

    [Reply]

  7. David S. says:

    Followed all the steps. Looked like it was going to work. In fact I could see it processing over 600 messages during the part described in step 7 above. But when I went to Windows Live I could only see a few dozen messages (all unread ones). I looks like anything that had been read didn’t appear in Windows Live even though I saw it count/process over 600 during the import. Any ideas?? Thanks for all your assistance.
    Dave

    [Reply]

  8. Michael says:

    Finally!!! After 2 days of searching for answers on the web, I found them right here. Thanks so much. I just replaced a crashed computer that ran XP and Outlook Express with one running Windows 7 and of course Windows Live Mail. The hard drive on the old computer was fine, just the motherboard crashed. I bought an external hard drive enclosure, took the hard drive out of the old computer and put it into the hard drive enclosure. That gave me access to the old Outlook Express files. Of course all those .dbx files are virtually impossible to find, invisible under the Identities folder. I finally found them (I think by doing a *.dbx search on the old hard drive, but not sure now) but then I couldnt open them. I downloaded some outlook recovery software but that didnt work either. But once I found the instructions above, it worked great. All my folders from Outlook Express are now in my Window Live Mail. Thanks again, so relieved to have it straightened out. But no thanks to Microsoft for making this so so difficult.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Michael,

    Good to hear! Thanks for taking the time to post feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  9. hoke says:

    like DAVID above, I watched 6000-7000 emails get copied into LIveMail. Thanks for the help thus far! However, when I look at Live Mail, I only see 900 or so and those appear to be some old deleted emails. Where are the rest? suggestions? perhaps redo import for each individual folder? Thanks in advance.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello hoke,

    My guess would be they are located below the primary folder in a new folder called Imported as this is how they displayed or me. Could you post a screenshot of your Windows Live Inbox online and post the URL below? That may provide me the information needed to help out.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

    hoke Reply:

    Found them. You are correct, subfolders were created. Thanks as always!

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello hoke,

    Great news. Thanks for taking the time to follow up and let us know that you were able to locate the Import Folders.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  10. Simon says:

    HI
    I believe I have imported Outlook express folders into Windows live as I can see a folder called Imported, but no messeges can be seen, however if i search i can see old emails.
    Any ideas
    Thank you

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Simon,

    My initial guess would be that the tree menu to the left of the Imported folder needs to be expanded to see the folders you have imported into Windows Live Mail from Outlook Express. Let us know if that exists and you are able to expand it to see your imported mail folders.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  11. Simon says:

    Hi
    Imported file can be extended to reveal Local Folders but it is empty.
    If i right click over local folder and use find function i can see old emails.????
    Any ideas
    Thank you
    Simon

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Simon,

    Did you also expand Local Folders?

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  12. Simon says:

    Hi
    Yes I also unticked read only on imported file.
    Cheers

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Simon,

    Great. Sounds like that may be checked by default. Thanks for posting the follow up information.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  13. Simon says:

    Hi
    Any ideas for me to try I have spent 2 days trying to solve this problem, and I have run out of ideas!!!!!!!!!!

    Cheers

    Simon

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Simon,

    I thought you were saying that the issue was resolved. As for more suggestions I am not sure as all of my suggestions are coming from memory. This is something I completed back in June for a customer of mine so I don’t know of any other suggestions at the moment. When you find a resolution we would love to hear what it is so others can benefit from the information.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  14. sallyparis says:

    I already did every step exactly as you describe. I can see the messages being copied and a new import file is created but there are no files visable.
    When the import ends, it tells me the messages were sucessfully imported in Outlook 6 format. Is that normal?
    Thanks

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello sallyparis,

    Sounds like you got the issue resolved after reading your below comment as well.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  15. sallyparis says:

    I did the same steps at least 10 times and like Simon, the local folders were empty and just now I did a test with only one folder and miraculously it has appeared.
    Simon, if I figure out what I did differently this last time I’ll let you know!
    Sally

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello sallyparis,

    Not sure. The process worked for me after the first time though it is definitely possible that the import process is buggy and doesn’t work 100% a 100% of the time.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  16. Herb says:

    Everything showed up except the address books.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello herb,

    I believe the address book is not included in this export/import. You would need to export/import the address book specifically.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  17. Thomas Tsang says:

    Hi,

    I folow the steps but it return an error message saying there is no email find in the folder.

    Any idea for my case?

    Regards,
    Thomas

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Thomas,

    What step specifically are you running into an issue with? Were you able to find the DBX files in step one? If so were you able to copy them to a temp folder? The more information you can provide the more likely we can provide a solution. I would also suggest reading through the older comments to see if your questions have already been answered.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

    Thomas Tsang Reply:

    I am using Live Mail 2011 Traditional Chinese version. I have already created a temp folder (C:\temp\) and then copy the dbx files (abc.dbx) to such folder, but it still canot go inot step 7.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Thomas,

    It should work however I have never tried importing DBX files encoded in Traditional Chinese. I wonder if the import process is having trouble reading the files or something…. Sorry I might not be much help with this one. Would love to hear what you end up figuring out though.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  18. Adrien says:

    Dear Thomas,

    Me too, I have got the same problem. I used to have outlook espress 6 in my previous computer wint Windows XP. Now I have Windows 7 with Windows Live Mail 2011. I did all the steps 1, 2, 3 and 4. But, after selecting the folder (which includes all my .dbx files) in step 5, it returns an error message saying there is no email find in the folder…

    Thank you for your help,
    Best,
    Adrien

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Adrien,

    Are you also trying to import mail encoded in Traditional Chinese? What is the exact error message? Is it possible the “Imported Mail” folder is below all the typical mail folders and the tree simply needs to be expanded? Any further details you can provide will ensure we provide the best advice.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  19. Cindy says:

    Hi, I also face the same issues. And I had tried three times. Now I found them. Just give two clicks to expand the local documents and another two clicks to find our folders from OL6. Good Luck!

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Cindy,

    Thanks so much for following up with details about where you located the imported email from Microsoft Outlook.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  20. Holly says:

    Hi,
    I seem to be having the same issues. I get to step 5, choose the folder I created (outlook-express-mail). When I click next, I get this message:

    “No messages can be found in this folder or another application is running that has the required files open. Please select another folder or try closing appilcations that may have files open.”

    I have rebooted and only opened Windows mail, so nothing should be accessing that folder. It’s like it doesn’t recognize the .qbx files.

    I’m using Windows 7.

    Thanks for any help you can give.

    Holly

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Holly,

    What program are you exporting the mail from? Two initial things I could think of is that the correct version of Outlook Express is not being selected for import thus the DBX files are not being recognized or something is starting automatically in the background on your PC that is opening those DBX files. I wish I had more insight but it appears to be one of those issues that is hard to troubleshoot without being right in front of your computer. Would love to know what resolves the issue for you though…

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  21. Holly says:

    Sorry, I meant .dbx, not qbx. thanks.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Holly,

    No problem. I responded to your previous comment with a couple suggestions. Hope they help….

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

    Holly Reply:

    Hi,

    Finally got it to work! I think the issue was I was trying to import .dbx files from a folder I exported and I didn’t have the folder.dbx file and also the directory was read-only. Once I got the files from the stored folder from Outlook 6 and took off the read-only attribute, it worked. Here’s the link that I referred to:

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Import-messages-into-Windows-Mail-from-Outlook-Express

    It’s the notes at the bottom of that post that helped.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Holly,

    Great news. Glad you got it worked out. Thanks for taking the time to follow up with the details of what resolved your problem.

    Have a great 2011.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  22. christina says:

    after 2 months of suffering, l followed your process and IT WORKS!!! Thank u thank u thanku

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello christina,

    No problem. Glad you found our article useful in resolving your problem.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  23. Don Myers says:

    I may be dumber than a “rock” but I still do not understand this.
    It looks to me like you would have to have both computers hooked up and running and two monitors.

    I have Windows XP SP 3 and I want to tranfer Email; inbox, sent, and my files and folders that are in Micfosoft Express into windows 7 Home Edition.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Don,

    You would copy the files from XP SP3 to a thumb drive or similar and then import them on Windows 7.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  24. Don Myers says:

    I have a windows 98 OS with Outlook Express 6 on one computer and a Windows XP SP3 OS on another computer.
    I have the Inbox, Sent Items, Deleted items, Files and Folders, and Contacts from the 98 OS on a CD.
    When I put the CD with the windows 98 OE 6 in the CD bay on the New computer which is a Windows 7 , I got the message; [Outlook Express could not be started because MSOE.DLL could not be loaded].
    Do I have to put the OE 6 contents on the CD to windows XP first then put everything on to windows 7 ?
    I want to put EVERYTHING on the computer with Windows XP OS onto the computer with the Windows 7 OS.

    What is a thumb drive ?

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Don,

    I would suggest taking your computer to a certified computer technician.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  25. Linda says:

    I followed the directions four times. I have 4 folders in Windows live mail that says imported folder. However when I click on them it says there are no items in this view. I have even gone into the control panel to show hidden files. I saw 333 messages imported. What am I doing wrong.

    [Reply]

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