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How to Identify Your Windows Mail, Live Mail or Outlook Express Store Folder

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All your emails are in Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail or Outlook Express, sure, but they are also somewhere on your disk. Locating the folder where Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail and Outlook Express keep their folders and messages is not immediately obvious, but it's not difficult either.

Identify Your Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail or Outlook Express Store Folder

To find your Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail or Outlook Express folder:

  • Select Tools | Options... from the menu.
  • In Windows Mail:
    • Go to the Advanced tab.
    • Click Maintenance....
  • In Outlook Express:
    • Go to the Maintenance tab.
  • Click on the Store Folder... button.
  • Make sure you highlight the full folder location.
    • It's easiest to click in the location with the right mouse button and select Select All from the pop-up menu.
  • Press Ctrl-C to copy the string.

Open the Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail or Outlook Express Store Folder in Windows Explorer

Now that you have the path to your Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail or Outlook Express store folder in the clipboard, it's easy to go to that folder in Windows Explorer:

  • Press Windows-R.
  • Press Ctrl-V to paste the folder location in the Open box.
  • Click OK.

The store folder will open in a Windows Explorer window.

Finally:

  • Go back to Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail or Outlook Express.
  • Close the Store Location and Options dialogs with their Cancel buttons and the Maintenance button in Windows Mail using Close.

Standard Windows Mail and Outlook Express Store Folder Locations

If you cannot launch Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail or Outlook Express to identify the store folder in use:

  • Make sure Windows shows hidden files and folders.
  • Try looking in these standard locations:
    • Windows Mail: C:\Users\­[username]/­AppData/­Local/­Microsoft/­Windows Mail
    • Outlook Express: C:\Documents and Settings\­[username]\­Local Settings\­Application Data\­Identities\­{[identity ID]}\­Microsoft\­Outlook Express or
      C:\­Windows\­Application Data\­Outlook Express\­{[identity ID]}
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