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How to Restore Outlook Express Mail Folders from a Backup Copy

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Now that you have backed up your mail files from Outlook Express — you hopefully don't need the backup copies. But should you ever need them, here's how to restore your Outlook Express mail from a backup.

Restore Outlook Express Mail Folders from a Backup Copy

To import mail folders from a backup copy in Outlook Express:

  • Select File | Import | Messages... from the menu in Outlook Express.
  • Highlight Outlook Express 6 or Outlook Express 5 as the email program to import from.
  • Click Next >.
  • Make sure Import mail from an OE6 store directory or Import mail from an OE5 store directory is selected.
  • Click OK.
  • Use the Browse button to select the folder containing your backup copy of the Outlook Express mail store.
  • Click Next >.
    • If you get the message No messages can be found in this folder or another application is running that has the required files open., make sure the files you try to import are not read-only: copy the .dbx files off any read-only medium (from a CD-ROM to a folder on your Desktop, for example), highlight the .dbx files in Windows Explorer, click with the right mouse button, select Properties from the menu, make sure Read Only is not checked and click OK.
  • Now either
    • select All folders to import all mail or
    • highlight specific mailboxes under Selected folders: to restore only the highlighted folders.
  • Click Next >.
  • Click Finish.
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