Backing Up Outlook Express

As far too many people have had to learn, computers fail. Hard drives, which hold all of your data, are one of the few mechanical parts in a computer. Consequently, they are also one of the most failure prone. Of the data lost on a hard drive, lost e-mail seems to be one of the most irreparable. This was compounded by the fact that there was no easy way to back up Outlook Express e-mail. However, a new utility may change that.

Before we continue, we need to mention the obligatory disclaimer. does not in any way support this product or any other product you may choose to use in conjunction with your Internet connection. We simply want to make our customers aware of utilities which they may find of use. Customers should take care downloading and installing any new software.

Traditionally, the problem with backing up an Outlook Express mail folder and its associated address book is that it is tied to your Windows identity. This means that it's located in a folder that may look something like this:

C:\Documents and Settings\YourName.YourComputerName\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

Once you've found it, what do you do with it? Well, though the utility OEBackup will tell you where to find it, you don't need to know that or even what to do with it. All you have to do is tell it you want to back up your mail and where to put it, something that Microsoft should have built into Outlook Express from the beginning -- but I digress.

Please keep in mind that if you just backup your Outlook Express identity to a folder on your computer, you could still lose it if your hard drive crashes. After you complete the backup, you will want to burn that directory to a CD or copy it to a ZIP or LS 120 disk.

That said, though backing up to your local hard drive does not protect you from hard drive failures, it is still a good thing to do. Outlook Express folders have a tendency to get corrupted. If this happens, you should be able to get back to your last backup.

Though we'd certainly prefer that the folders didn't get corrupted in the first place and that hard drives never crashed, in an imperfect world, we'll take this.

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