Moving from Outlook Express to Outlook

Last reviewed on March 31, 2014

When Outlook is installed and configured on the old computer, export from OE to Outlook then move the *.pst file to the new computer. See Moving Outlook to a New Computer for the steps required to create a profile and use the *.pst file on the new computer. See page 2 if you need instructions for exporting from Outlook Express to Outlook.

If Outlook is not installed on the old computer, you need to either install it on the old computer and export from OE to Outlook then move the pst or install Windows Live Mail on the new computer and move the OE dbx files to the new computer, then export to Outlook. I think its easier to install Live Mail and move the dbx file than it is to install Outlook on the old computer. The steps below will tell you how to do this.

Note: When you export from Windows Live Mail to Outlook, the message headers are missing and you need to enter an address when you reply to an imported message. If you need to reply from Outlook, it might be easier to install Outlook on the old computer and export, then move the pst. Or use one of the tools listed at the bottom of the page to convert from OE or Windows Live Mail to Outlook.

See Tools below for utilities that can convert Outlook Express files to Outlook.

Get Outlook Express files

Find and copy the entire Outlook Express data folder on Windows XP. To find the location of the message store, go to OE's Tools, Options Maintenance tab and click on Store Folder button.

Select and Copy the folder path in the Store dialog. It should look something like the following, if you were using the default folder path:

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{FA572F59-2087-498C-A7A9-F546571D6ECF}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

Close the dialogs and OE and paste the folder path in Windows Explorer's address bar. Press Enter. This will open Explorer to the location of OE's dbx files. Copy the contents of the entire Outlook Express folder, including the folders.dbx file to the Windows 7 computer, placing it in your My Documents folder. If you are moving it on a USB drive, you don't need to copy it to the Windows 7 hard drive, Live Mail can read the files from the USB drive.

The Address book uses the wab extension and is at C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book – it may be named username.wab. Copy it to the Windows 7 computer too.

Import Outlook Express Email into Live Mail

  1. Download and install the Microsoft Live Mail client
  2. Open it and go to File, Import Messages.
  3. Select to import from Outlook Express 6
  4. Browse to the Outlook Express folder you copied from the old computer.
  5. Select the folders you want to import and finish the wizard.

Import Address book (wab) in Live Mail:

  1. Open the Live mail address book module
  2. Go to File, Import. Windows Address book
  3. Browse to the *.wab you copied and complete the wizard

If you want to use Windows Live Mail, you're done and ready to go.

If you have just a .wab file to import, see Import a WAB file into Outlook on Windows 7/8

Export Mail and Address book into Outlook

You'll need to export the messages and address book from Live Mail to Outlook.

  1. Go to File, Export, Messages
  2. Choose Microsoft Exchange.
  3. Pick the folders and finish the export.

Open the Live Mails' Contact module and export the addresses in CSV or vCard format then import in into Outlook. If you export as vCard format, you can drag and drop them from the file system into Outlook's Contacts.

Tools in the Spotlight

Address Magic Personal Edition

Convert your Personal Address Book to or from Windows Address Book, Eudora, Netscape, Outlook Contacts, LDIF and other address book formats.

Address Magic Plus

Address Magic supports dozens of applications and formats to convert email, calendar, and address books, to or from Outlook. Converts over 30 address book formats, 20 email formats, and 4 calendar formats. Automatically customizes itself for your computer by finding your email applications and data files. Supports over 150 different address book fields, including names, postal addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, comments, and many more. Automatic field mapping between different address books, full distribution list support, and maintains email folder structure. Converts HTML email, text email, attachments, and all headers.


Aid4Mail is an email migration and conversion tool, which supports over 30 mail formats including Outlook (PST, MSG files), Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird, Eudora, and mbox. It can search mail by date, header content, and in the Forensic and Enterprise versions, by message body content. Mail folders and files can be processed even when disconnected (unmounted) from their email client including those stored on CD, DVD, and USB drives.



Fast. Reliable. Email conversion. ConvertMyEmail converts email data (emails and contacts) from Outlook Express to Outlook. All email folders, attachments, dates and addresses remain in tact during the conversion process.

DBX Converter

Convert Outlook Express to Outlook using DBX Converter tool to convert dbx to pst and to convert dbx to eml so as to read Outlook Express emails in MS Outlook, Thunderbird.

DBX to PST Converter

Software product to aid users in moving emails from Outlook Express to MS Outlook format. Software reads orphan dbx files and imports them into PST mailboxes. Perfect DBX reader and converting them into Outlook PST file format. Supports conversion of pst file to Outlok 2000/2003/2007/2010.

Stellar DBX to PST Converter

Stellar DBX to PST Converter is a powerful software that can convert Outlook Express DBX files into Microsoft Outlook importable PST. The user can append the data into an existing PST file or create a new one. Single or multiple DBX files can be converted into PST at one go. The user can get a preview of the DBX file items in the demo version. The newly created PST file can be stored at a user specified location in the system.The software interface is highly interactive and detailed user guide and installation manuals are available to assist the user through out the step by step conversion process.

Transend Migrator

Transend Migrator converts data between virtually all email systems.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

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