How to import Vista's Windows Mail emails and .contact files, into Outlook Express ?

Posted on 2009-04-23
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a copy of the entire store folder of Vista's Windows Mail email program. It contains a file named "WindowsMail.MSMessageStore" (apart from some other files) as well as a folder named "Local Folders". Inside the "Local Folders" folder, are other folders such as InBox, Sent Items, Draft, etc.

My question to you is this : how do I import all the emails stored in Windows Mail, into Outlook Express ? Is there an automated way ?
Question by:bhavinjoshi
    LVL 97

    Expert Comment

    Hello bhavinjoshi,

    No, there is no automatic way to import emails from Windows Mail to Outlook Express.  Copy the Local Folders folder to computer with Outlook Express.  Open OE. Then you can drag and drop the eml files into the Preview Pane.

    Hope this helps!

    Author Comment

    Thanks. Actually I was aware of this solution. Problem is, not all of my emails seem to be there.
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    by:Gregg DesElms
    Wait a minute...
    ...Windows Mail is Outlook Express... just running under a different name in Vista.  I mean... okay, fine... they're not absolutely identical in every last little detail... but... c'mon... WM is OE... just the new-and-improved Vista-generation version.  They're basically the same... no?
    So, then... I'm confused... is this all happening on a Vista machine?  If so, then this needs to be done... why, again?  Help me understand.
    Or are you moving stuff from a Vista machine to another maching -- like an XP machine or something -- that's running OE?  Again, just tryin' to understand.

    Author Comment

    The only thing common between Windows Mail and OE, is the look. They both look almost identical. But beneath the surface, they're VASTLY different.
    Basically I have saved the entire Local Folder of Windows Mail, and the .contact files on my pendrive. I no longer have access to the Vista PC. I now have Windows XP on my PC. And I want to import the emails stored on my pendrive, into Outlook Express.
    Frankly, I have arrived at the conclusion, that there is no easy way. The only way is to open Windows Mail on the Vista PC, export the emails to an Outlook .pst file, transport the .pst file to the XP PC, and import the .pst file into OE. Problem is, this can be done only if I have access to the Vista PC. I don't !
    As regards the .contact files, there's no way to import them into the Address Book of OE. The only way is to start Windows Mail on the Vista PC, export the contacts into a .csv file, transport the .csv file to the XP PC, and import the .csv file into OE. Problem is, this can be done only if I have access to the Vista PC. I don't !
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    bhavinjoshi wrote:  "But beneath the surface, they're VASTLY different."

    Really?  In what way, precisely?  (That actually matters, I mean.)  (A rhetorical question... don't bother answering.)

    bhavinjoshi wrote (twice):  "...only if I have access to the Vista PC.   I don't!"

    Ah... so, then... it's that you're now relegated to an XP machine (after having accumulated a bunch of emails and contacts on a Vista machine), and you simply need to move everything from the Vista machine (to which you no longer have access, but the email and contacts from which you have on a pen drive) to the XP machine... right?  

    If so... it sounds, from what you wrote, like you have the steps to doing it alll about right... leaving getting your hands on a Vista machine all that stands in your way.  Finding access to a Vista machine -- even if only temporarily -- so that you can use that pen drive data and then create the exports shouldn't be that much of a challenge, should it?  A local library or Internet cafe would probably have a Vista machine you could use, no?

    Oh... wait... you're in India.  Maybe you don't have the kind of access that such as I would have.  I'm in the US... and a rich part thereof, to boot.  I'm spoiled.  Please forgive my arrogance.

    Hmm.   Well, then, the dragging thing is probably still best.

         SEE ALSO:

    And, though you're not trying to sync between two email clients, perhaps if you can make this piece of software think that your WM store is a working WM installation, it might help...

    But you wrote:  "Problem is, not all of my emails seem to be there."

    Well, then... okay... that's a whole different issue.  And not one which you included in your thread-starting question.  There's not a lot that any procedure can do about missing (or so damaged that they're unreadable) files in the WM store.  There are repair tools out there which may help with that, but my experience with those is inconclusive, at best.

         SEE ALSO:
         SEE ALSO:
         SEE ALSO:

    Microsoft, of course, would like you to now migrate to "Windows Live Mail" (WLM), and that's just complicating things even more!  


    I mention WLM, however, because it does one thing, upon installation and first launch, that could, just maybe, resolve your problem in a weird (and possibly undesirable) way... and that's that WLM will auto-find and collect-up and integrate any existing Windows Mail messages.  If you were to start using WLM instead of OE; and if you could somehow get WLM to find and gobble-up your old WM store, then, voila!, you'd finally have your WM data into what would, at that point, be your default email client... not OE, mind you, but WLM... which is where it's all headed anyway... Win7 has no OE or WM and wants you to use, instead, WLM (that is, if you aren't using Outlook).  So, for non-Outlook users (who don't want to throw-in the towel and start using Thunderbird), WLM is the future.  If you buy-in to that notion, then maybe the solution for you is to forget about OE and just go to WLM...

    ...and hope that WLM will find and import/integrate your WM store upon installation and first launch.  To make it more likely that that will happen, it might help if the WM store were located, on your hard drive, in the default location that WLM expects to find it, to wit:

           C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Mail

    Of course, you wouldn't have that path in XP, but you could maybe try faking it by making sure it's able to find this path (even if you have to manually create some of it):

         C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Mail

    Or, since WM does allow one to change the location of the store in Vista to pretty much anywhere it wants, it's entirely possible that WLM is capable of finding it almost wherever it is... that is, I suspect, as long as it's on Drive C:.

    These are just thoughts and suggestions.  Who know what, if any of it, will work.


    Author Closing Comment

    Hi DesElms. Thanks for the elaborate effort.

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