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Thread: Old emails

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    Old emails

    Does anyone know where emails are stored when they have been downloaded by Outlook?

    I am trying to find some emails I received on my old computer, the hard drive of which is now in my new computer.

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    Usually, Outlook archives it's emails after a set time period - I've forgotten exactly how long, but it does differ depending upon how busy your inbox is, and how many emails you have. The emails are archived into .pst files.

    You could run an entire search of your system for "*.pst" (without the quotes) which would bring up any, and all, PST files. Easiest way to do that is through Start > Start Search in Vista or 7, or Start > Search in XP.

    Once you've found the .pst, double click it to import it back into Outlook, and allow you to use the Outlook search stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernhathi View Post
    Usually, Outlook archives it's emails after a set time period - I've forgotten exactly how long, but it does differ depending upon how busy your inbox is, and how many emails you have. The emails are archived into .pst files.

    You could run an entire search of your system for "*.pst" (without the quotes) which would bring up any, and all, PST files. Easiest way to do that is through Start > Start Search in Vista or 7, or Start > Search in XP.

    Once you've found the .pst, double click it to import it back into Outlook, and allow you to use the Outlook search stuff.
    That only seems to bring up a file on my new hard drive, so presumably not the one containing my old emails.

    Old computer was XP using Outlook Express, new computer was Vista then upgraded to Windows 7 using Outlook. Not sure if that makes any difference.

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    Senior Member Doug in Canada's Avatar
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    Outlook uses pst files under XP. I would assume that it remains the same under windows 7 as it is the application and not the operating system that is doing the archiving.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug in Canada View Post
    Outlook uses pst files under XP. I would assume that it remains the same under windows 7 as it is the application and not the operating system that is doing the archiving.
    I thought that would be the case. I'm just wondering why there is a .pst file on my new hard drive but not my old one.

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    Outlook express uses different files (than Outlook) for storing the data in (.DBX). There will be one index file and one per folder you had in the mailbox.

    Unfortunately you can not directly import these to Outlook, so you may have to search the web to see if you can downlaod a converter or importer.
    Last edited by Bret; 16-06-2010 at 12:23 PM. Reason: Checked file extension
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    The .pst file on your new hard drive will be an archive of all the emails received by Outlook since you moved to your new hard drive, I'd assume. Try having a root around in C:/ for a folder called WINDOWS.old, or similar, and doing a search in there for "*.pst" without quotes. I don't think Windows will scan WINDOWS.old folders, by default.
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    Actually, have a look at this article - looks like you could do it by using Live Mail to stage the data.

    http://www.outlook-tips.net/beginner/importoe_win7.htm
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    Ah, that's where we might be going wrong! It looks like OE uses .dbx files, rather than .pst for archiving purposes.

    Try doing a search for *.dbx instead - see what that throws up.
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    Senior Member Mallah's Avatar
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    Isn't there an Import mail option in Outlook. If so get it to look on your old hard drive and see if it picks anything up. You might have to drill into quite a few sub folders under something like microsoft and office etc etc.

    He who receives a good turn should never forget it; he who does one should never remember it.

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    To import Outlook Express (OE) mails directly to outlook, OE must be on the PC (I presume the import process uses the OE interfaces' to the data). Windows 7 does not have OE, so in this situation all there is are the OE data files.
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    The only DBX file that appears is called "template.dbx" and is in a folder for Express Labeller 2 (which I had forgotten I had).

    Searching for WINDOWS.old doesn't find anything in C:/ and only finds some not very useful files on the old drive.

    I can't find any way of making Outlook search the drive for stuff to import.

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    Try looking in:

    X:\Documents and Settings\<UserName>\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{00AD5D84-A660-4E8B-B538-913B7CFB2326}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

    Where X is the drive from you old PC and <UserName> is the name you used on the old PC. The number thingy between the {} will be different. If you have multiple folders like this it will be because you had multiple Identities in OE, but hopefully you won't.

    If the DBX files exist that's where they will be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bret View Post
    Try looking in:

    X:\Documents and Settings\<UserName>\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{00AD5D84-A660-4E8B-B538-913B7CFB2326}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

    Where X is the drive from you old PC and <UserName> is the name you used on the old PC. The number thingy between the {} will be different. If you have multiple folders like this it will be because you had multiple Identities in OE, but hopefully you won't.

    If the DBX files exist that's where they will be.
    Found them!

    Now just to try and import them.

    ----------------
    The Following Was Added to the post within 60 minutes of posting the above
    ---------------

    Done it.

    Thanks to everyone who helped with this.
    Last edited by jarrad; 16-06-2010 at 01:24 PM. Reason: Merged Double Post

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    Quote Originally Posted by jarrad View Post
    Thanks to everyone who helped with this.
    Woohoo! No worries!
    northernHathi
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