What’s an easy way to back up my e-mails in Outlook Express?

It would be nice if there was a one click backup option embedded in Outlook Express, but unfortunately, there is not. There are a few ways to back up your e-mails, some being harder than others. You may have tried to use the export feature or maybe you just tried dragging all your e-mails to another area so you could save them there. Well, if you’ve had no luck with either of those options, there might just be an easier way.

This process requires you to burn a backup CD, so you need to make sure your computer already has a burner or that you have an external one to use. You’ll also need the appropriate software. Go ahead and insert the blank CD into your computer. A window will pop up on your screen asking you want you want to do next. You’re going to want to select “Open writeable CD folder using Windows Explorer” and press OK. (If your computer doesn’t do anything when you put in the CD, you can just double click on your My Computer icon and open up your CD drive; usually drive F).

Now, we’re gonna get into the backup fun. Open Outlook Express and go to Tools, Options and click on the Maintenance tab. Next, click the Store Folder button. Go ahead and copy the folder location that pops up on your screen. Your folder name may be rather long, so make sure you get the whole thing copied (part of it may be hidden, so double check it). Yours will probably look something like the picture below.

Now, click Cancel twice to get out of the screens and then close down Outlook Express. Go to Start, Run and paste your folder name into the run command box. Click OK.

When the new window comes up, go to Edit, Select All (or use Ctrl + A). All of the items in that folder will then be highlighted. Next, look under the File and Folder Tasks area and click on Move the selected items. You’re going to want to move them to your CD drive folder that we talked about above. (It’s usually the F: drive). Click to highlight the CD drive and then press the Move button. You will then be prompted to burn your CD. You will use your burner software just like you would any other time you were burning a CD. Read here for some CD burning tips.

Once your CD is done, all of your e-mails will be backed up. You can then go back into the original folder and delete all of the e-mails in there. This will save you some space on your computer. You can then accumulate more e-mails and when you think it’s time, make another CD to back those up as well! It’s a very good idea to keep your e-mails updated and backed up. You never know when you might want to view an e-mail for the second or fifteenth time and with your backup CD, it’s easy as pie!

For information on backing up your e-mail address book, click here.

~ Erin