Migrating from Outlook Express 6 to Microsoft Mail

Is it my correct understanding that in Windows 7, the mail program is “Microsoft Mail”? I have thousands of Outlook Express emails saved and backed up (.dbx) files. I know I’m going to need to get a new computer in the next few months… will Mail recognize and import these emails? Most, but not all, of my email is also backed up in webmail.

I’ve never used Outlook… but does Windows 7 work with Outlook?

General advice on the perils of importing email under a new system requested.

No one else has done this?

Windows 7 does not include a default email program. “Windows Mail” has now been replaced by the Live package (which includes Messenger et cetera) in the form of Windows Live Mail.

I am not familiar with OE (I have always used Outlook myself) but it should be theoretically possible to get OE to poop out a file of your mail store which WLM can read. Look for options to export to a file and go from there.

Many details here:


Hmmm… I do have an old “hotmail” address that I check from time to time. I don’t like Windows Live and don’t want to use it for my main email. I want an email client in my computer. Can someone suggest another email client/program that will import dbx files? What about Thunderbird?

Windows Live Mailis an email client that works with your ISP email account. It will import all your Outlook Express emails, contacts and settings.

So when I get the new computer, I need to download and install “Windows Live Mail”?

But if I want to, I can use another email client/program, right?

Sure, you can use whatever you want. Windows Live Mail is the successor to Outlook Express so it’s probably the closest to what you are used to. But there’s nothing stopping you from using any other email client (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc) aside from the compatibility issue. That’s why I recommend WLM- as the spiritual successor to OE, it’s most likely to have the best compatibility.

For maximum clarity, WLM is Outlook Express, just updated for Windows 7, renamed and incorporating a bunch of features from Outlook. But under the hood, it’s just the newest version of OE and should import .dbx files as required. Use Fear Itself’s link- it allows you to install WLM as a standalone program so you don’t end up needing the whole Windows Live Essentials package.

Thank you for the comments. I just want stripped-down email like I have with OE. When I go online to check my hotmail account (“Windows Live”), I get all this contact info, latest emails from contacts, and a bunch of “doing my thinking for me” that is so characteristic of Microsoft. Then when I go to my Inbox there are extra folders at the bottom with photos, shipping info, etc.- makes me nuts!!

So if I were using Outlook, I would still be able to use it under Windows 7?

Part of the problem here is the unfortunate tendency by Microsoft to give similar names to different products. Your Hotmail account is not the same as Windows Live Mail. Windows Live Mail is a stand alone client that works with your email account from your internet service provider, just the same way Outlook Express does.

Outlook is not the same as Outlook Express
Windows Explorere is not the same as Internet Explorer
Windows Live Essentials is not the same as Microsoft Security Essentials
Windows Live Hotmail is not the same as Windows Live Mail

Yes, I do know all of these things and the differences among them.

My point about mentioning the hotmail account and the “Windows Live (Hotmail)” online experience is that this is one of those examples of Microsoft doing my thinking for me. I know the Windows Live email client is NOT the same identical thing as Windows Live online… but I’m guessing that it probably looks kinda the same and if/when I use the Windows Live email client, I will find Microsoft’s fingers in my brain trying to anticipate what I will want and deliver it to me before I ask for it. I don’t want that.

And it’s absolutely true that giving things similar names is VERY confusing. I know a lot of people don’t know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid or may even think those are alternative spellings for the same thing. :smack:

Just my experience, but when switching a very non-computer-knowledgeable person to a new computer, switching their email from Outlook Express to Thunderbird was the option they found most satisfying.

It was able to import all the old emails, and the email addresses from OE into Thunderbird. And the cleaner interface & email-only functionality of Thunderbird made the user happier with it.

I’d consider a switch to Thunderbird. (And since it’s free, trying it out will only cost you some time, no cash.)

You would be mistaken. Windows Live Mail has the same functionality as Outlook Express. It neither looks nor acts like Hotmail.

If you own Outlook, yes. If you’re going from one computer to another then you would have to export and then import your email contacts.

Okay- that’s good to know. Surely you can understand my wariness. (I know- don’t call you Shirley.)

I have downloaded Thunderbird and thought about using it. I use Firefox and like its attitude. Haven’t decided yet.

I do own Outlook but have never used it. Again, it always seemed like MORE than I needed or wanted. Like buying an 18-wheeler when what you need is a moped.

Back in June I acquired a trojan, which shut me down, and I did a complete reinstall of my operating system, all my software (the bulk of which is Office 7, and Adobe CS5, plus a bunch of random other stuff), and all my data. This next computer will be my fifth laptop, so I’m pretty familiar with how to set up everything.

In my experience neither Thunderbird nor Windows Live Mail is an acceptable substitute for Outlook Express. I tried both and hated them equally. Now I don’t use either one, I just access my email through my email provider’s web site. This is only slightly less sucky than Tb or WLM.

One major issue I have is that two of us use the same computer at home. We use all the same apps. We want to be able to open one application (like we did with OE) and then sign on to the desired account. Neither of the offered substitutes let you do that. You have to sign onto the computer itself with a different account. So if I’m working on it and The Mister wants to just check his email, we have to switch users, not just log onto a different OE account. It’s just stupid.

WLM (as does OE) allows you to access Newsgroups, which a website doesn’t. OE is a Microsoft app and it is discontinuing it, with no further upgrades. So, if you have OE, it would be wise to get WLM.

Not in Thunderbird – that is easily done by setting up a different ‘profile’ for each of you. See Sharing a PC for more info.

The last time I tried Thunderbird (years ago) anyone that clicked on the Thunderbird icon could see the subject lines of your emails even if you weren’t signed in. They couldn’t click on the emails and read them, but they could see what the subject line was and maybe who the sender was (I’m not sure about that last part). Windows Mail had the same flaw. Does anyone know if Thunderbird Still has the same flaw? How about Windows Live Mail?