Thursday, 27 December 2012

How to back up Outlook Express mail files?

Outlook Express is one of the most commonly used Email clients. Outlook Express is a predecessor of MS outlook. It was used as a default Email client in Windows XP. Outlook Express stores all the mail data such as emails, attachments, contacts etc. in DBX file format.

The default storage location for DBX file is:
C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{[identity ID]}\Microsoft\Outlook Express
C:\Windows\Application Data\Outlook Express\{[identity ID]}

Like other data files, the DBX files are also prone to corruption.

There can be several reasons for DBX file corruption such as:
  • Improper systems shutdowns:
  • Power failure.
  • Hardware failures or other related problems such as :
    • Hard drive failures
    • Bad sectors
    • Bad RAM etc.
  • Data Storage Device Failure, External hard drives and storage devices related problems.
  • Network Connection Failure.
  • Incorrect File System Recovery.
  • System Crashes.
  • Cross-Linked Files or Lost Clusters on disk
  • Abnormal Outlook termination.
  • Increased file size.
  • Virus attacks etc.
Whenever a DBX file gets corrupt, the data stored within it becomes inaccessible.
So, it’s a good practice to backup the Outlook Express mail data on regular basis.
If somehow, your DBX file gets corrupt then, the mail data can be restored from the updated   backup copy of the DBX file.

Follow given steps to back up Outlook Express mail:
1.Open Outlook Express ‘Store Folder’ in Windows Explorer.

2.Select the option to ‘show hidden files and folders’ in windows.

3.Select all files by using the shortcut key ‘Ctrl-A’ or by Selecting ‘Edit | Select All’ option from the folder menu.

4.Now, copy the selected files by using ‘Ctrl-C’ or by Selecting ‘Edit | Copy’ option from the folder menu. 

5.Create a new folder at your desired location to store the copied files.

6.Now, paste the copied files to the newly created folder either by pressing ‘Ctrl-V’ or selecting ‘Edit | Paste’ option from the folder menu.

Now, you are done. You can restore the DBX mail items form the backup copies of DBX files whenever required.

These steps work well if you need to backup small amount of mail data, but if you need to backup large amount of Express mail data files then, these steps can be very time consuming. In such situation it’s recommended to use some Mail Backup software that can automatically backup the mail data at the scheduled time and backup frequency.


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