Microsoft Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail

Migrate Microsoft Outlook Express 6 to Windows Mail Live

Microsoft Outlook Express (OE) is end-of-life and replaced by Windows Mail Live (WML). Moreover, Outlook Express version 6 was bundled with Internet Explorer and could not be (re-)installed as a standalone application. Hence, the need to say goodbye to this Mail Client and welcome the new version, renamed to Windows Live Mail. This freeware Mail Client can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center.

Migration of your messages, address book and mail accounts from OE to WML should work fine, if you upgrade on the same computer with the same Windows version installed. However, moving these data from one computer to another may be challenging. Here are some steps that you can follow to make the transition successful:

1 backup all your Outlook Express data

Follow the steps explained in my ‘Microsoft Outlook Express – Housekeeping’ post.

2 install Windows Live Mail on the source system

Indeed, install Windows Live Mail first on your ‘old’ system to migrate the messages. Once Windows Live Mail is installed, you can import the OE folders and export them into a WML format. The conversion of these data is worthwhile, since WML will create a single file for each message.

3 install Windows Live Mail on the target system

Install Windows Live Mail on your ‘new’ system.
Import the Outlook Express internet account files (‘.aif’ file) and address book (‘.wab’ file).
Import the WML formatted messages from your ‘old’ system. After the import process, you will find your folders and messages under ‘Storage Folders’, ‘Imported Folder’, ‘Local Folders’

 WML

Now you’re done and your new system uses the new Microsoft Mail Client, with your mail account(s) and access to your (old) messages and address book.