Importing Outlook Express DBX files into Windows Vista

I received a question from a user who had recently upgraded from XP and they wanted to know how to import their Outlook Express DBX files into the Vista and the new email client called Windows Mail.  The Outlook Express files in question are DBX files which store user emails.  To get these files into Windows Mail isn't a straightforward task and here's the process:

To import from the Outlook Express into the Windows Mail do the following:

1. Make a new folder under the current user's Documents, such as Documents\Oldmail. This directory needs to be within the user's space so as not to prevent possible access permissions problems.

2. Copy all the dbx files that you have backed-up into this folder, making sure that folders.dbx is included.

3. Make sure none of these files are 'Read only' otherwise the import will fail.
To do this Go to 'Edit / Select' all in Windows Explorer and select all the dbx files. Then right click on the selection and choose Properties and ensure that the read only attribute of the files is unchecked.

4. In Windows Mail go to 'File / Import Messages' and choose 'Outlook Express 6' format and choose to import from a directory

image image image image

5. Use the 'Browse' button to go to the directory of dbx files. Make sure that when you set the directory that the path is correct (NOTE: Vista can put the wrong path in here sometimes, so instead of c:\Documents\Oldmail it may put c:\Documents\Oldmail\Documents\Oldmail, so just make sure this is right, if not, change it.

6. Finally select the files from which you wish to import messages and click 'Import' and everything should work ok.

This solution was courtesy of

UPDATE (21st June 2007)

It's worth checking out this resource which has been put together by one of the Microsoft MVPs:

 Also, there's the Windows Mail newsgroup which has loads of great answers too:

Comments (86)

  1. james says:

    Hi Martin

    Obviously I’m sad that you have to switch back to XP – can I ask why this is?  Is there anyway I can help to keep you on Vista?

    Let me know if I can help you otherwise I’ll help you get your email sorted on XP.



  2. james says:

    Lynn, on behalf of all the people who have commented here – glad we could help!


  3. james says:

    Hi Sam, drop me an email at and I’ll try and get this sorted for you.


  4. james says:

    Hi Peter,

    🙁 you should have used Easy Transfer Wizard

    Regarding DBX I mean in the import wizard select the folder that contains the DBX files and then click "Select Folder" button.  Looking at your screenshots you seem to be actually going into the folder then clicking select folder.


  5. james says:

    Thanks for sharing Bob S! 🙂


  6. james says:

    glad to be of assistance! 🙂

  7. james says:

    Hi Nilesh

    Windows Mail does not use "identities" to manage different email accounts.  This is for security and data privacy reasons because the most common usage scenario is different people using the same user account for email.

    Instead you should have different user accounts on Windows so that each user keeps their email (and other data) private.

    There is good news because there is an Identity import Wizard which can manage this process automatically by doing the import for you. In Windows Mail goto File > Identities and follow the steps.

    Vista4beginners has more information on this subject here:

    Hope this helps


  8. james says:

    Hi Peter

    Instead of navigating into the folder, try just selecting it and then click "select folder" – see if that works.

    Just out of interest, if you upgrade from XP to Vista on your PC then the migration from Outlook Express to Windows Mail happens automatically


  9. james says:

    Hi Enno

    Thanks for sharing this 🙂


  10. james says:

    Hi Laura

    Glad to help! 🙂


  11. james says:

    Hi Layru,

    Please try Windows Live Mail which can have multiple inboxes – you can download the beta here:



  12. james says:

    Great to hear! 🙂


  13. james says:

    Hey Guido thanks for you fix!

    The more the merrier 🙂


  14. james says:

    Hi Brian

    That’s a great suggestion, I’ll try and feed it back to the product team. I have a feeling that they’ll just tell me that they are heads down on Win 7 though 🙁


  15. james says:

    Hi Adriana

    No problems – glad you got it working!


  16. Peter Siebler says:

    I did all that and the .dbx files show up in the Oldmail folder, and folders.dbx is there. But when I try to import via Windows Mail the Oldmail folder is empty.

    I unchecked "read only.

    Any ideas please.

  17. Peter Siebler says:

    I didn’t upgrade, it’s a new PC. I did the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard only to discover that it’s not fully compatible with Vista. Well done Microsoft.

    Not quite sure what you mean. Do you mean just click the folder without using the import wizard? If I click it, it opens and the dbx files are all there, but if I use the import wizard they are not there. Pity I just can’t drag and drop somehow.

  18. John Brown says:

    I actually tried it all too. It imports the messages but not all the folders that had my saved messages in. Any ides why? I didn everything you said.

  19. linda o says:

    I am running into exactly the same problem- I only click oldmail,(do not go into the folder)make sure that the path is correct, and the report back is an error that the file is empty. I previously checked, and it is not.

  20. johnny says:

    This procedure worked like a charm for me.  I have a new Gateway with Vista and an old Laptop with failing onboard memory.  Since I have limited on-time with the old laptop, I transferred my mail .dbx files to CD and then uploaded them to the Vista machine.  I found it was mandatory to have the folders.dbx file, without it, Vista expected mail files only and didn’t recognize the folders (I tried a couple of folders just to see if it would work and it didn’t because of the missing folders.dbx file).

  21. Alistair C-S says:

    I’ve exactly the same problem as Peter ie importing dbx files – they are there but when I use the wizard it says no messages can be found. It doesn’t appear to be looking for dbx files despite selecting MS outlook express 6 on the select program page

    Can you help?

  22. Guido5 says:


    I had exactly the same your problem.

    To fix it you need to copy the outlook folder you want to import in your personal user space, such as under "My Documents" folder. After that you can import without any problem.

    That’s all folks!!!

    Ciao. Guido

  23. Martin says:


    I’ve had vista on my laptop for a couple of months but have had to change back to XP. I’ve alot of old mail that I need to transfer. Is there anyway to trasfer this so outlook can "see" the mail when it’s opened



  24. Nigel M says:


    I am having a problem with Vista Home Premium, that one of my customers is using.

    I have tried all the suggestions that James has mentioned. The Import folder has been created under Documents, within the Users folder area.

    The attribute ‘Read Only’ has been removed, and this has been applied to all sub folders. When examining the attributes after this has been completed, the ‘Read Only’ attribute is back on.

    Trying to import the .dbx folders into Windows Mail via the wizard shows nothing in the ‘Import Window’.

    The path name has been checked as mentioned.

    In order to try and import another way, the Outlook Express folders where imported into Outlook, and then imported into Windows Mail on another machine using Vista Business. These files were then copied across to the offending machine, and Windows Mail was then used to try and import them, via the Wizard, but once again the files were not shown in the Windows Mail import screen.  Also this has been tried with exported Windows Mail files. These too were not recognised.

    The main problem appears to be Windows Mail not recognising particular file extensions when importing files via the wizard on certain versions of Vista, and in certain areas of the Windows File Structure.

  25. bernie carthew says:

    I have the same problem and the message keeps saying there are no files.  I bought a new computer with Vista however have the Office 2003 discs so does anyone think if I upgrade my old computer it will help to then import the email messages?  You think microsoft could of done a bit better on this one

  26. Nilesh says:





  27. laura says:

    you are awesome! I was wracking my brain over this one!!!! thanks!

  28. Enno says:

    This worked for me after I made all the mistakes:

    1.  You need folders.dbx

    2.  You need to have the things in a local directory

    If you take folders.dbx but don’t take all the folders you had on your old computer, you will get an error message saying it couldn’t find some folders, but you will get all the ones in the oldmail folder.  Everything will be put into a separate "imported.." folder – you’ll have to move it to the regular inbox if you so desire.  But the folder/subfolder structure is properly maintained.

  29. Adriana says:

    Thank you James worked super!!! I was getting crasy finding out a solution!

  30. Lynn Bishop says:

    What a god send this is, after 36 hours solid trying to work this out, I suddenly though, d a search, someone else has had this problem….. should have thought of this 35 hours ago…..

  31. Dennis59 says:

    Got it to work

    you have to select the folder

    not the .dbx files

  32. Ben says:

    Excellent, thanks very much.

    Was getting into a muddle until I read Dennis59’s note:


    Thanks all.

  33. hamrat says:

    Worked like a charm once i copied it into my doccies… cheers

  34. Layru says:

    I think removing the multiple identities feature in Windows Mail is the biggest mistake Microsoft has made. I have 10 different email identities for special reasons. I sure DO NOT want to create and change to ten different users, and DO NOT want all my mail coming into one mailbox. I hope they will fix this mess!

  35. AbdonCastro says:

    I imported my mails and Windows Mail recognized them well. But, when I open the Windows mail, my e-mails do not appear, in fact, what I can read is a: “Windows mail can no open this carpet”, “insuficient space in disk”, “insuficient memory”. Really, I do not know what to do.

  36. Chris says:

    Hmmmm,,still isn’t working for me.  It even baffled BT Broadband’s helpline.  I copied all the messages from my old computer (XP) onto a separate disc then uploaded to new computer (Vista).  Put them in their own folder in “My Documents”.  All the files are dbx.

    When I try to import into Windows Live Mail, I get same as others did: “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 applications which may have files open”

    I know nothing about computers and am tearing my hair out.  Can someone pl give me an idiot’s step-by-step guide???

  37. Deidre Johnson says:

    I recently purchased a laptop using Vista Business Program.  I was checking my emails which I usually do through earthlink webmail.  In responding to a link to one of my emails, the outlook express program opened up.  I had no idea what was going on.  I muddled my way through sending what I thought was a response to the email.  I closed it out.  That evening I went on my desktop to check my emails and they were gone.  I found out that outlook express archived all my emails from earthlink so I was no longer able to access those emails from my desk top.  I called Lenovo and a tech tried to walk me through releasing those emails back to Earthlink webmail.  However, once done I was unable to even find those emails AND I’m still receiving emails through outlook express which I just don’t want to do.  Is there anyway to find those emails?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Also, is there anyway to use XP on a laptop already outfitted with Vista?

  38. Ray Avila says:

    Ok Guys,

    I have worked this out !! I wanted to transfer my old emails from My Desk top to my new Laptop. I was running OE on d/top and i am using windows mail, which i think is a very cool programme although many differ ! Ok i will try and give a step by step guide or as much info as poss, as i tried and failed a good few times !! And there is a few tricks up Vista’s sleeve !!

    Ok I used this as a guide only:

    Here is what i did:

    I went into outlook and found out where my Outlook messages (.dbx) files were saved, do this go to

    tools / options / maintenance STORE FOLDER

    Highlight the folder it should be like

    C:Documents and settingsyourcomputernamelocal settingapplication etc etc

    OK NOW PRESS CTRL & C (copy)

    NOW CLOSE OFF OUTLOOK, i was having problems before trying to impoort later and the reason was because i byrnt cd whilst Outlook was open !!?!?!?! Anyway

    Ok using ur burning software burn a data disc and press ctrl V and u shpould see all your files .dbx

    i.e. Inbox, Sent, Outbox, Sent items all with .dbx



    Insert disc

    Copy files to a saved folder i.e My documents Out look Saves


    Log on to Windows mail as Admin

    Now go to import files on Windows mail

    Import messages

    chose where the folder is


    now it gets interesting

    U should see your folders

    IMPORT one at a time to keep it simple

    OK this is where Vista tricked me, the files import as IMPORTED FILES not into your inbox, also u need to open up the IMPORTED FILES FOLDER, strectch it out to see YOUR FILE i.e. Inbox Outlook

    Now open that folder

    u should see all your inbox emails


    ctrl A (select all)

    CTRL C (copy)

    NOW go to INBOX on windows mail and copy them in either by drag and drop or CTRL V, to be honest drag & drop is most simplest.




    Ok i hope this helps, this was causing me a bit of grief, but stay patient and it will work !! Hope this may help ! I apologise if i offended anyone for speaking so simplistic but i wish messages & help were put up on lamens terms !!



  39. Alton BEll says:

    Importing your old e-mail messages from outlook 6 into windows Vista is quite a task as it is not as easy as in XP or before.

    SAVING YOUR MESSAGES (for nubees)

    ON THE OLD MACHINE or before you install VISTA, you must find your old messages and save them. If you are an administer on the XP machine then you can navagate to  your boot drive (usually C:)to the documents and settings folder to your acccount name in Windows Explorer and look in the sub folder "LOCAL SETTINGS" then to "APPLICATION DATA" then to "IDENTITIES" now to the next sub-folder that has many numbers and letters like"{9fde3245-97e8f202-etc}" now to "MICROSOFT" and finally "OUTLOOK EXPRESS". If some goof has moved your folder location or you are lost so far here , use the search function under the start button and look for files and folders and type in OUTLOOK EXPRESS. You can then right click in search window and copy the folder and paste it where you can find it and then burn it to a CD or save it where you can get at it from your VISTA machine. Thumb drive is good as well however you want to save it. Inside this folder are all your DBX files which contain your old e-mail messaes compressed.


    It is a must to get your old outlook messages in your folder on the VISTA machine. find your OUTLOOK folder where you have saved it. Right click and copy the whole folder. On the VISTA machine click the start button and then click your log in name to bring up all your folders and files. Now just right click and paste on the right side of your now open window and then you will have a new folder called outlook.


    Open "Windows mail" and make sure you select the main "LOCAL FOLDERS" folder and see all the sub folders on the right of your window. NOw go to FILE at the top left and choose to IMPORT messages. The wizard comes up so choose outlook 6 here, click NEXT. Continue NEXT to import from a OE6 directory. Now choose BROWSE and navagate to your log on folder your name or however you have this. Click on this name in the left pane of the open browse window. You now see a list of the folders on the right side. Here see the OUTLOOK folder,just click once in the right side to choose the folder then now at the bottom see the SELECT FOLDER button and click this. The Wizard will ask ou about importing all te folders and you cab choose yes (delete any after not needed)proceed with the import and you will then find in your WINDOWS MAIL a new folder called IMPORTED FOLDER. If the mail gods have shone on you this folder should have all your old mail complete with delete files and all your junk you have been aving for years happily living there ready for you to play with.

    Long winded I am sorry but so many have beat about the bush and this is what works.



  40. Doron says:


    I followed the instructions and it worked perfect for me. One question: Can I clear the dbx files from my new vista computer after i transffered the messages? or does the computer still need them in place?

  41. Marc Segler says:

    Hi Alton,

    I tried all of the above except to say that I am using recovered e-mail files from my "crashed" XP laptop. I have found the e-mails in a dbx format and get all the way with your procedures until after I have browsed and found the folder under C:UsersMarcoutlook express and then when I click next I get the import messages error

    "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 applications that may have files open."

    The only thing I have open is your procedures.

    Can you think of why this didn’t work.

    I originally came to this site to try to find a way to open and then read the dbx files.

    Thanks Marc

  42. Roger says:

    It seems like everybody is giving the same instructions, but it sounds like it only works for some people and not all.  I’m also one of the people trying to retrieve mail from a dying computer.  I have copied and created a new folder under my documents in vista.  I go into mail do the whole import thing.  It asks if I want to do all folders or select them and it doesn’t even give me all of the folders I used to have, just inbox, outbox, sent, deleted..  I had about ten other folders under my main folder that don’t even show up and I know the .dbx files are in the new folder and I know they are not checked for read only and still no luck!

    I think its time for a Mac!

  43. Les Lorentzen says:

    Thank God, and thank Ray / Alton / others.  I paid hundreds of dollars to someone for help with exporting a few files from our failed computer.  It had XP, and the  internal hard drive was OK, but we bought into a new VISTA machine.  When I looked at other web sites, they told me to start up my computer and export the Outlook Express e-mail local folders.  Well, it would have been cheaper for me to buy a new computer and install our old hard drive in it plus buy the new VISTA machine.  After nearly two months, the reluctant computer tech who had not been able to migrate our OE mail to Vista provided the DVD which contained the exported DBX files which contained our OE mail folders.  At that point I, by the Grace of God, and the help of this web site migrated, opened, and in Windows Mail, read my OE e-mails.  As I read in a blog, I had to unselect " read only" a few times.  The tech who helped me hooked my old XP hard drive to his computer through a USB port.  His XP computer had never had Outlook Express installed onto it, which worked for exporting.  We tried computers which had operating Outlook Express e-mail, and they did not work for our exporting. In addition, I learned through plenty of trial and error that I had to import the dbx files for OE from the DVD which had originally received the export of the OE e-mail files, because when I selected, as the OE6 directory, a folder on my documents which had been copied from the DVD, the migration failed every time.  Thanx. Les  

  44. Pallavi Gupta says:

    Thanks Guys, this really helped me out a lot. I was having the same difficulty as Peter, where none of the files would show up in the Browse window and James’s solution of trying to Select the Folder isntead of navigating to it worked like a charm for me. Once again, Thanks !

  45. Les Lorentzen says:

    One more detail for my Sept. 2 blog on this site; when we exported the Outlook Express Local Folders from our dead computer’s former internal hard drive through a USB port to a DVD, it was a blank DVD.  When we imported directly from that DVD to Windows Mail, only DBX files were on that DVD, and all of those DBX files which were on that DVD were imported to Windows Mail at that time.    Thank you again!    Les

  46. Taryn (Tabangel7) says:

    I spent 2 hours trying to solve this problem before Google brought me to your blog!

    I could kiss you (but I won’t)! My problem is solved and I am a happy person.

    Thanks for the layman’s terms, your steps are very easy to follow.

  47. justin says:

    Couldn’t get it to work for a start, then tried selecting the folder instead… Worked a treat 🙂 Saved me a headache… now I just need to get vista to let me see the network machines now!


  48. Erik says:

    I had a motherboard/power source fail.  I wired up my old hard drive which had Win NT on it and used Outlook Express 6, to a new machine running Vista.

    I can see most of my old hard drive, but cannot find any DBX files to try and grab my old address book.  I do see a .wab file on the old drive but when I open it, it is a mirror of the current Vista address book.

    Help would be appreciated in getting old addresses back.  Thanks.

  49. Dave Fowler says:

    Been trying to import the message files for many hours without success then noticed when I clicked ‘select folder’ the wrong folder name (quite random names made up of parts of the real name) was written in the ‘Browse’ box.  This is just like what is noted under action 5 at the top of this article.  But you can’t edit the contents of this box, but I persisted- going back and forth between the browse box and clicking on the folder until finally, the correct folder name was entered.  Everything then worked as described.  Thanks for the helpfull details.

  50. Bill Sostrich says:

    Forgive me for just posting this problem here, bit I could really use the advice.  I hope you can help me with something that just seemed to happen to my Windows Mail.  In the past when I clicked on "Contacts", I would actually be able to add contacts.  Now when I click on Contacts I just go into a Windows Explorer screen.  How do I bring back my original "Contacts" screen?  Thanks

  51. Nick Raposo says:

    I’m sorry that none of the posts above solved my problem, but when I go to import from my OE6 .dbx backup folder (which I brought in on a harddrive I installed in a new Vista computer with Outlook) in Outlook (using Vista Business), I don’t get a browse option–I’m simply told that it can’t find anything, then it closes.

    How can I make Outlook see the folder containing all my .dbx files and addressbook backup, now in "documents/OEMail"?

    Pleeze help me!


  52. dror says:

    Another vista trick. I moved the files throw a net from my old computer to the new. I used a folder on c and then cut copied to my area. NOOOOOO said vista. I was unable to see the files using microsoft mail. I then copied again directly into the user area. Works like a charm.


  53. Russell Horswill says:

    Hi … I’m trying to import my DBX files into Vista Mail and none of the great advice above seems to work.  To start, I don’t have a "import messages" … I have "Import and Export".  I can find the location to select OE v6 to import the DBX files; however, it doesn’t give me the option to browse to the "oldmail" folder.  It gives me three options regard what to do with the emails when they are imported – but no place to say where the files are located.

    I’m wondering if there is a new verison of Vista Mail that has changed how this all works.


  54. Mike Mire says:

    – Excellent thread listing several important items to check.

    – One item I was REALLY getting stuck on was selecting the folder when browsing.  Pay particular attention to step 5 under the section on “Importing from Outlook Express” on web page  … including the information hightlight in RED!!!

    – – – – – – – – – – – –  – – – – – – – – – – – –  – – – – – – – – – – – –

    – Another problem I encountered was it seems a file was “in use” by another program.  Here’s  how I detected that …

    – Created a temporary folder on the first computer and with Outlook Express closed, I tried to move the .dbx files from the original folder into it.  I received an error message that a specific .dbx file was in use.  I deselected it and was able to move all of the other files into the temporary folder.  

    – Now for the "in use file".  I opened Outlook Express and the one .dbx file I could move was displayed as a folder in Outlook Express.  I didn’t need the contents, so I deleted it.  

    – Went back to windows explorer, and then moved all files back into the original folder.  Inside the original folder, I deleted the file folder.dbx as Outlook Express  will recreate it when the user opens the program.  Opened and then closed Outlook Express.  Then copied the files over as stated in earlier blogs and was able to successfully proceed according to steps noted in earlier blogs.

  55. Jim in STL says:

    I have Vista on a new system.  I left my older XP system networked through my router so that I can access my old drive from the new Vista machine.  When I try to import from Vista mail through the network, I cannot get to the directory that contains the .dbx files.  I can browse to the identities folder and then to the folder with {AD2-34134….etc.}.  However, when I try to import from that folder it tells me that there are no messages there.  Why can’t I see the microsoft/outlook directories that should follow?  

    (Hope this makes sense.  Certainly sounds convoluted to me!!!)

  56. sushil says:

    Can you plz tell me how can i transfer/convert my windows vista mails to MS Outlook, in windows XP (remember my computer don’t have windows vista now, only have the backup of vista mail)

  57. Floyd says:

    When I browsed to the folder containing the .dbx files using the transfer wizard it seemed that the only way I could select the folder was to click on it.  It then opened the folder and showed no files within. I couldn’t select the folder by simply highlighting it.  Instead of left clicking on the folder I right clicked (I suppose there’s another way to do it as well), and the folder was selected without actually opening it. From that point on everything went smoothly.

  58. tracey says:

    Worked like a charm.  Thanks dude!  The problem I was having was the path was putting old mailold mail and i wasnt seeing that.

  59. Joe says:


    I did it!, quite simple. Just tricky:

    1) copy your OutlookExpress folder from the XP system to an USB memory or a CD.

    2) copy the OutlookExpress folder from the USB/CD into your personal space.

    3) copy the OutlookExpress folder from the USB/CD again into the last created OutlookExpress folder.

    It should look like this:

    < Users/ "YOU" /Documents/OutlookExpress/OutlookExpress >

    and both "OutlookExpress" folders must contain the .dbx files you want to import.

    Then go to WindowsMail -> Files -> Import -> Messages… and select the first "OutlookExpress" folder, then clic "OK" and WindowsMail will see your messages to import.

  60. Rick says:

    In caps, below is what worked from above for me:



    Thanks to all posters above.

  61. Willi says:

    Thanks, I was not able to do the transfer before I read your article, the tip was to transfer the files to windows mail and only then to outlook 2007.

  62. Rose Moss says:

    Wonderful, clear instructions.  A real pain about Vista doubling up the folder names though.

  63. Paula May says:

    Thank you James, this was helpful and worked perfectly

  64. pakidevil says:

    a lot of people who can’t find anything when they browse the folder( when doing importing ) …  please make sure couple of things and things will be fine..

    1 –  you MUST MUST include   folders.dbx in that folder, otherwise it wouldn’t find anything…

    2 – folders.dbx and all others  dbx files MUST be NOT READ ONLY…

    3 – when importing, just select the folder and click on " Select Folder " … Windows Mail should do ok after that…

    Good Luck..


  65. mario zilber says:

    Dear James

    I managed to import to Vista Mail (from a external disk).  The folders appear in the Vista´s  Local folder, but the messages dont  .  There is a message ”no sufficient space in disk or memory

    Could you help me?  I would be very very grateful


  66. Vaibhav says:


    Thanks sir

    it worked nicely & as result 2000 msges residing in my a/c nw

    Best Regards


  67. Mario Zilberberg says:

    I have sucessfully recovered my Outlook Express files (.dbx), using Windows Live Mail .  (Alternatively, did it also with Thunderbird 2.0).       My new computer has Vista.

  68. kate4 says:

    I’ve been struggling with this for hours (trying to import into Outlook on new Vista-running machine, actually) and after reading this, I was able to import into Windows Mail and from there into Outlook. Sooooooooooooooooooo fantastic. Thank you for the very useful step-by-step instructions and screenshots!

  69. May says:

    All Done!

    Although it takes quite a while to relocated all sub-folder back to the right place, the main entries are easy to import.

    Thank you very much.

  70. John B says:

    I had all my .dbx files in a backup archive as my old XP machine died.  I followed the instructions and it worked perfectly – saved me a lot of time I’m sure.  Thanks a lot!

  71. Elaine says:

    Nice!! Thanks, I just over put the other folder name lol.. thanks tho! it works!

  72. A Thankful User says:

    I am so thankful for your post, I just found the problem with import was doubling up the last folder in the directory structure, got it fixed and now i have my old emails back 🙂

    i.e. c:path.touseremail backupemail backup instead of c:path.touseremail backup

    Thank you sooooo much!!!

  73. sam says:

    I’m trying to do this for my dad, who just had a system failure on his old XP machine and has upgraded to a Vista box, but every time I try to import his DBX files from his external backup drive it tells me that not all mail messages can be imported, and then proceeds not to import anything.

    Everything is set so read-only is turned off and the files have been moved to the local file system. Please help.

  74. Bob S says:

    I think the issue was that when you go to select the folder, if you open it before selecting, it won’t allow you to import and gives you the "no file found" error. Just highlight the "Outlook express email" (in my case) folder and click select folder and it should jump to the next screen where it asks you what you want to import (inbox, outbox, drafts, etc.). Hope this helps…

  75. Brian Russ says:

    Hi James,

    After reading all the comments sent in, and as someone who is about to attempt to save my own email messages soon, it would appear to me that Microsoft have made a right mess of things with their email conversion to Vista. They ought to feel obligated to make up a small program that can be downloaded to Desktop, that will in simple terms, allow the emails to be collected and then saved to a folder, which can be burnt for transfer to another machine with Vista. It should be a very simple proceedure , and not one that is obvoiusly quite complicated.

    They have the money, THEY OWE IT TO US.

    Thanking you.

    Brian Russ

  76. Brian says:

    Hi James,

    After reading all the comments sent in, and as someone who is about to attempt to save my own email messages soon, it would appear to me that Microsoft have made a right mess of things with their email conversion to Vista. They ought to feel obligated to make up a small program that can be downloaded to Desktop, that will in simple terms, allow the emails to be collected and then saved to a folder, which can be burnt for transfer to another machine with Vista. It should be a very simple proceedure , and not one that is obvoiusly quite complicated.

    They have the money, THEY OWE IT TO US.

    Thanking you.

    Brian Russ

  77. Craig says:

    Worked like a charm James, thanks.

  78. John says:

    I need help going the other way.  We had a laptop that was running Vista (Microsoft Mail) that died.  I need to move those email messages, contacts to a system that is running Outlook Express v6.0.

    I have removed the hard drive from the laptop (vista) and added it as an additional hard drive to the XP system.  

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

  79. Brian Russ says:

    Hi James,   Few weeks since my last comment about Microsoft. My views havent changed at all since then.

    I have managed to finally retreive my email messages complete with folders.

    I have put together a way that I managed to stumble across after I had read all the most informative posts. I have put it in real layman terms so the real "neebies can do this.  This is real simple and took me 10 minutes to achieve.

    Good Luck.

    XP Outlook Express to Vista – email messages

    Two separate machines, XP pro, and the other, Vista Home premium.

    XP Pro (or other probably)

    Use Windows explorer.

    Open + My Computer.

    Open + C Drive.

    Open + Windows.

    Open + Application Data.

    Open + (84DI55fe——).

    Open + Software.

    Open + Microsoft.

    Outlook Express  – copy complete folder (Outlook Express) to memory stick, or Disk.

    (Everything you need is in this folder as it is).

    Second Machine – Vista Home Premium( or other probably).

    Open Windows mail.

    File   –   Import   –    messages.

    Select  Microsoft Outlook Express 6.

    Next   –   ( then just) OK   –  then Browse.

    Find your saved folder(on memory stick or Disk).

    Next   –    All Folders    –   next.


    James, or any other useful helper.

    I have managed to import my contacts from XP to Vista, but they are not with the origional folders. Thats OK I dont mind doing all the bloody work again. So I created my own folders in the new Vista contacts, and moved all my contacts into those folders. The question is when I go to create a new message, and hit on the "To button, I cannot see the folders(with the address’s in them) to access a contact. I figure I must have an incorrect setting in my options. Or is is it that Microsöft have stuffed up again, still!

    Why,   Can anyone tell me.

    HELLO___ Is Microsoft even listening.

    No wonder people are really annoyed. Recon Microsoft owe us all an apology. "

    James,  The method I used for the email messages, (including all folders) should be the same or similar to what I have described, for the contacts.  Only trouble is that I cannot find where the Microsoft Outlook Address Book folder is stored. I have searched high and low.

    Ive been without my use of Email address’s for a couple of months now so this is becoming quite urgent now.

    Hoping for a reply James.

  80. Emily says:

    Thankyou SOOOOOOOOOOOO much, finally I can access my old emails!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  81. rob e says:


    I’ve tried everything from above emails. All my old XP email folders (from old crashed laptop, via the old original hard drive) are in .dbx format, and are in a folder (dbx2) in "my documents" on my new Laptop (Vista home premium). I know they are there – I can open them with Wordpad (although a bit gobbledygook) – if I try to open them with windows mail, I simply get my current Windows mail inbox.

    When I try to import from my docs to windows mail, I get as far as last step, then message:"No messages can be found in this folder or another application is running that has the required files open…..". I’ve done everything – unchecked "read only" boxes – selected correct directories etc – What else can I do?  

    Any help gratefully appreciated

  82. Bob Eccles says:

    HELP!! I STILL cannot transfer my old outlook express message folders (transferred from the hard drive of my old crashed laptop) into windows mail.  I have followed all the advice above e.g. I have a folder under my documents containing all the old e-mail folders/messages, but when I get to the final stage I get that frustrating message which says "no messages can be found in this folder or another application is running that has the required files".  I have unchecked the read only box many times although it still subsequently shows up as blue (= read only).

    Secondly if I try to open all the old e-mail folders in "my documents"  with windows mail all it does is to take me straight to the current windows mail inbox.   I know that there are messages in my old e-mal directory because I can see them when I try to open with notepad, although scattered amongst the messages is a load of notepad gobbledegook.

    I have spent hours and hours on this, I would be so grateful for any further help!

    Many thanks  Bob

  83. Wayne says:

    Shame it took so long to find an answer that should have been there in the first place, however, you help is vey much appreciated.  It worked for us.

  84. Glenn says:

    If you have the "Single click to open folder" option selected, you need to disable it. Otherwise you get the message "no messages can be found".

  85. Mary says:


    Thans for the valuable information. The steps worked for me but I have another set of the dbx files in a folder and I do not have the folders.dbx file in there. I am running vista on my machine and have no way to create folders.dbx file because I can not run outlook express on this machine. What should I do? I really need those dbx files imported in my WLM or in some other software. Please help. Thanks.

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