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Migrating emails from Outlook Express

Ken

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Posted on 3 July 2017 at 2:30pm

Just a while ago, I got a request to migrate emails from a Windows XP machine running Outlook Express. I am glad my client decided to make the upgrade to a new PC running Windows 10 to improve security.

If you are looking for a way to migrate emails from Outlook Express into Thunderbird or Outlook, here are your options.

flowchart to convert dbx file to eml, mbox and pst format for mozilla thunderbird or microsoft outlook

As you can see, unless you are willing to pay for a third party software to convert the files, you probably will not be able to import the emails into Outlook for free.

Well, there is another method and it is 'free' as discussed below. Although you need not pay for any software tool, there is still time and effort involved in carrying out the process so somebody has to 'pay' for that I suppose.

The concept is simple. Copy the emails manually to the mail server via a temporary IMAP account. Once done, synchronise the emails to the new mail client. The main considerations are:
  • server storage and network quota. If you are moving gigabytes worth of emails, you might hit the storage quota and you will need to perform multiple transfers to complete the migration. This method is really not suitable if you think you will hit the network quota.
  • folders structure. You might need to create the folders manually in the IMAP account and depending on the number of folders you have, it might not be worth the time.

Whichever method you decide to use, always backup data into an external drive as a precaution against Murphy.