Back

 

Guibord Technical Writing Services, Inc.

 

 

Widows Mail — Backup and Restore

2016 © Guibord Technical Writing Services, Inc.

 

 

This article describes:

Windows Mail files: application and email files

How to backup and restore Windows Mail rules

How to backup and restore Windows Mail accounts         

How to backup and restore Windows Mail messages and folder tree

 

 

Things you need to know for an easy backup and restore:

BEFORE you create a backup (an archive), be very certain to set the Folder Options on your computer to:
1—
Show hidden files and folders
2— uncheck Hide extensions for known file types
Otherwise, Windows may not copy some important files that are normally hidden and required for Windows Mail to operate properly.

 

Folder Options window - View tab

 

Figure 1

 

Application Files and Email Files

 

Application Files

All files that comprise the Windows Mail application itself (e.g., *.exe, *.dll, *.dat files) are located in:
C:\Program Files\Windows Mail

C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Mail

 

Email Files

All files that contain email messages (stored as *.eml files), along with folder tree information and other type of information that Windows Mail requires to display stored email messages and folders are contained in:
C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Mail

 

NOTE: For your Windows VISTA operating system, UserName will likely be different. It will probably be the user name that you gave to your user account  when you installed Windows on your PC.

 

 

 

How to Backup Windows Mail Rules

 

Windows Mail rules are store in a registry key.

The /E switch of REGEDIT can be used to export a registry key and its sub keys.

To backup Windows Mail rules, use the following command line (an actual example is given further on):

 

REGEDIT /E D:\WindowsMailRules.reg "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Mail\Rules"

 

The above command line writes registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Mail\Rules and its sub keys to a file named WindowsMailRules.reg to hard disk D:\

 

Example of an actual command line:

REGEDIT /E F:\Data\WindowsMailRules.reg "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Mail\Rules"

 

The above command line writes registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Mail\Rules as file WindowsMailRules.reg to a folder named Data and located in the root directory of drive F.

 

NOTES:   You can put such a command line in a batch file (*.bat) and execute it on a daily schedule with Microsoft’sTask Scheduler (Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Task Scheduler). Each time the command line is executed, the previously backed up *.reg file is replaced with a new one.

               The quotation marks shown in the above example are required in the actual command line.

 

 

 

How to Restore Windows Mail Rules

 

To restore Windows Mail rules from a backed up registry file, simply double click on the *.reg file that you created.

 

 

 

How to Backup and Restore Windows Mail Accounts

 

To backup Windows Mail accounts, use Windows Mail Export function for accounts:

Windows Mail > Tools > Accounts > (select the account you want to backup) Export [select where you want to export the internet account file (*.iaf)]

 

To restore Windows Mail accounts, use Windows Mail Import function for accounts:

Windows Mail > Tools > Accounts > (select the account you want to restore) Import [select from where you want to import the internet account file (*.iaf)].

 

 

 

How to Backup and Restore Windows Mail Messages and Folder Tree

 

Backing up Windows Mail Messages and Folder Tree

NOTE: Do NOT use Windows Mail’s Export function for emails (Windows Mail > File > Export > Messages...).

Windows Mail’s Export function for email messages is flawed. If you want to restore your email messages from such a backup, the folder structure will very likely be incomplete and/or corrupt as the Export function does not export folder tree information.

 

 

To backup Windows Mail’s emails and folder tree, proceed as follows:

 

 

Copy the entire Windows Mail folder where your emails are stored, e.g.:
C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Mail

 

Paste the Windows Mail folder where you want to keep your backup

 

 

 

Restoring Windows Mail Messages and Folder Tree

NOTE: Do NOT use Windows Mail’s Import function for emails (Windows Mail > File > Import > Messages...)

Windows Mail’s Import function for emails is flawed. If you want to restore your emails from a backup, the folder structure will very likely be incomplete and/or corrupt as the Import function does not import folder tree information.

NOTE: To restore Windows Mail’s emails and folder tree from a backup done as previously described, make sure Windows Mail is turned OFF.

 

 

To restore Windows Mail’s emails and folder tree, proceed as follows:

 

 

Go to the folder where Windows Mail stores emails; typically:
C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Mail

 

Rename the Windows Mail folder as Windows Mail_old

 

Copy the backed up Windows Mail folder and paste it as C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Mail

 

 

You can now open up Windows Mail and all your email messages and folder tree should display properly.

 

_______________________

 

NOTE: The folder where Windows Mail stores email messages can be defined at will;
Windows Mail > Tools > Options > Advanced > Maintenance > Store folder... > Change

 

However, bear in mind that if you try to restore Windows Mail to a folder other than the Windows Mail default folder (C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Mail), you may receive a corrupt file notice from Windows Mail when attempting to open Windows Mail from such a location. Changing the location of Windows Mail storage folder is at your own risks and perils. The best thing to do is leave Windows Mail in its default folder, and backup that folder; or better still, backup the entire C:\Users folder, which latter contains other settings that you may also want to backup, such as for instance: your browser’s bookmarks.