Migrate from Outlook Express or Windows (Live) Mail to Outlook

Migrating from Outlook Express, Windows Mail or Windows Live Mail to Microsoft Office Outlook is a relatively easy process but there are a few things you should be aware of. It also makes a difference if Outlook is installed on the same machine or not.

In addition to mail, this guide will also discuss how you can migrate your Contacts and Calendar.

In this guide;
- OE is used to refer to Outlook Express,
- WM is used to refer to Windows Mail,
- WLM is used to refer to Windows Live Mail,
- Outlook is used to refer to Microsoft Office Outlook.

Note:
If you are using an Outlook.com/Hotmail account, then most of these steps are not needed since these accounts store their data on the Outlook.com servers. To configure Outlook directly with your Outlook.com account, use the Outlook Hotmail Connector (Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010) or configure it as an Exchange ActiveSync account (Outlook 2013)


Outlook is located on the same computer

In this scenario OE, WM or WLM contains all your messages and is located on the same machine as Outlook. It is assumed that Outlook has already been installed and configured with your mail account. Contact your mail administrator or ISP if you do not know the mail account settings. If you’ve already tried to configure Outlook before but were not successful, you’ll have to start with a clean mail profile.

Important!
During the migration process, you must be using the 32-bit version of Outlook. If you want to use the 64-bit version, you can remove the 32-bit version after the migration and install the 64-bit version. No settings or data will be lost during this process.

Migrate Mail

Don’t use the Import function from within Outlook to migrate your mail. In many cases this will reset the “Received” time and date on a message. Instead, use the export function from with OE, WM or WLM.

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Open up OE, WM or WLM and use File-> Export-> Messages… to export the messages to Outlook.
    • In older versions of WLM, you’ll have to press the ALT button to see the File menu or press the Windows Live Mail 2011 - File menu icon icon.
    • In the latest version of Windows Live Mail, choose:
      File-> Export email-> Email messages
  3. When prompted to select the format you want to export email to, choose: Microsoft Exchange.
  4. When prompted, confirm the information dialog you get about exporting to Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Exchange.
  5. Select which folder(s) you would like to export to Outlook.
  6. Now all you have to do is wait. This could take quite a while depending on how big your message store in OE, WM or WLM is.

Note:
If you can’t directly find your items in Outlook after the export, look for a folder which is named after the account name that you have configured in Windows Live Mail. This folder should exist at the same level as your Inbox, Sent Items, Deleted Items, etc… folders. Expanding this folder will show you the folder structure that you had in WLM. You are free to move around the contents of these folders to other folder that you may have in Outlook.

Export command in Windows Live Mail
In an older or the Windows XP version of Windows Live Mail,
you’ll have to press ALT on your keyboard to see the File menu.
 

Migrate Contacts

To migrate your contacts, you’ll first have to export them to a csv-file which you can then import into Outlook.
The way to export differs slightly depending on whether you are using OE, WM or WLM.

Export Contacts from Outlook Express

  1. File-> Export-> Address Book…
  2. Select; Text File (Comma Separated Values).
  3. Press the Export button.
  4. Select a location to store the export in and name you export file.
    This can be on your Desktop folder for easy access. You can remove the file once everything has been imported into Outlook.
  5. Press the Next button.
  6. Select all the fields (make sure you scroll down to see all fields)
  7. Press Finish. You’ll get notified when the export is done.
  8. Close the remaining open dialogs and continue to the Import Contacts section.

Export Contacts from Windows Mail

  1. File-> Export-> Windows Contacts…
  2. Select; CSV (Comma Separated Values).
  3. Press the Export button.
  4. Select a location to store the export in and name you export file.
    This can be on your Desktop folder for easy access. You can remove the file once everything has been imported into Outlook.
  5. Press the Next button.
  6. Select all the fields (make sure you scroll down to see all fields).
  7. Press Finish. You’ll get notified when the export is done.
  8. Close the remaining open dialogs and continue to the Import Contacts section.

Export Contacts from Windows Live Mail for Windows XP

  1. Select the Contacts button in the left bottom section or press CTRL+SHIFT+C to bring up the Windows Live Contacts window.
  2. File-> Export-> Comma Separated Values (.CSV)
  3. Select a location to store the export in and name you export file.
    This can be on your Desktop folder for easy access. You can remove the file once everything has been imported into Outlook.
  4. Press the Next button.
  5. Select all the fields (make sure you scroll down to see all fields).
  6. Press Finish. You’ll get notified when the export is done.
  7. Close the remaining open dialogs and continue to the Import Contacts section.

Export Contact from Windows Live Mail for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8

  1. Select the Contacts button in the left bottom section or press CTRL+3 to bring up the Windows Live Contacts window.
  2. From the Home tab, click on the Export button and select;
    Comma separated values (.CSV)
  3. Select a location to store the export in and name you export file.
    This can be on your Desktop folder for easy access. You can remove the file once everything has been imported into Outlook.
  4. Press the Next button.
  5. Select all the fields (make sure you scroll down to see all fields).
  6. Press Finish.
  7. Continue to the Import Contacts in Outlook section.

Windows Live Mail 2011 - Export Contacts
In WLM 2011, the Export button can be found on the
Home tab of the Contacts section.

Import Contacts in Outlook

  1. Start the Import and Export Wizard in Outlook;
    • Outlook 2007 and previous
      File-> Import and Export…
    • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
      File-> Open-> Import
  2. Select; Import from another program or file.
  3. Press the Next button.
  4. Select; Comma Separated Values (Windows).
  5. Press the Next button.
  6. Browse to the location of the previously exported csv-file.
  7. Press the Next button.
  8. Select your Contacts folder as the destination folder.
  9. Press the Next button.
  10. Press Finish.

Migrate Calendar

Both Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail have a calendar function of which the contents can be migrated to Outlook.

Export Calendar Windows Mail

  1. Press the Windows Calendar button in Windows Mail or start Windows Calendar from the Start Menu.
  2. Select the calendar you wish to export.
  3. Choose; File-> Export…
  4. Select a location to store the export in and name you export file.
    This can be on your Desktop folder for easy access. You can remove the file once everything has been imported into Outlook.
  5. Press the Save button.
  6. Repeat the above steps for additional calendar you wish to migrate if needed and then continue to the Import Calendar section.

Export Calendar Windows Live Mail

  1. Make sure you login with your Windows Live ID to Windows Live Mail.
    You’ll either see your logged in ID in the right top corner or a button called Sign In.
  2. Once logged in, your calendar will sync to the online Windows Live Calendar.
  3. Login to Windows Live Calendar via http://calendar.live.com
  4. Select: Share-> calendar name you wish to export
  5. From the Share block on the left choose: Get a link
  6. If you don’t see any links for “Show event details” press: Create 
  7. Copy the address that is shown for “Import into other calendar applications (ICS)”
    This address starts with “webcals://”
  8. Paste this link into the address bar of Internet Explorer (or any other web browser you might be using to do this) but make sure you remove the “webcals://” part.
    Press Enter to execute the link.
  9. You’ll now get prompted to save the ics-file.
    Select a location to store the export in and name you export file.
    This can be on your Desktop folder for easy access. You can remove the file once everything has been imported into Outlook.
  10. Repeat the above steps for any additional calendar you wish to migrate if needed and then continue to the Import Calendar in Outlook section.

Import Calendar into Outlook

  1. Start the Import and Export Wizard in Outlook;
    • Outlook 2007 and previous
      File-> Import and Export…
    • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
      File-> Open-> Import
  2. Select: Import an iCalendar (.ics) or vCalendar file (.vcs)
  3. Press the Next button.
  4. Browse to the location of the previously exported ics-file.
  5. Press OK.
  6. Repeat the above steps for any additional calendars that you might have exported.

Outlook is located on another computer

In this scenario OE, WM or WLM contains all your messages and is not located on the same machine as Outlook. This makes things a bit more tricky as somewhere a conversion must take place.

There are 2 options available;

  1. Install Outlook on the old machine as well and use the above instructions to get everything into Outlook.
    After this, backup your Outlook data on the old machine and restore it to the new machine as described in the guide; Backup and Restore.
  2. Move the entire message store from OE, WM or WLM and reconfigure it with OE, WM or WLM on the new machine.
    After this, use the instructions above to get everything into Outlook.

If you choose the first option, note that there is no need to activate Office/Outlook on the old machine. It will install in a fully functional trial mode then which allows you to go through this process. If your new computer came pre-installed with Outlook and/or you don’t have an Office installation CD, then you can also download a trial of Office 365 Home Premium or download a new installation medium for Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2007.

If you choose the second option, then you’ll have to locate and backup your Store Folder of OE, WM or WLM. To do this choose;

  1. To determine the location of your Store Folder go to;
    • Outlook Express
      Tools-> Options…-> tab Maintenance-> button Store Folder…
    • Windows Mail for Vista and Windows Live Mail for Windows XP
      Tools-> Options…-> tab Advanced-> button Maintenance…-> button Store Folder…
    • Windows Live Mail for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8
      File menu-> Options-> Mail…-> tab Advanced-> button Maintenance…-> button Store Folder…
  2. Copy the path in the dialog you see now (select the text with your mouse and choose CTRL+C).
  3. Close OE, WM or WLM.
  4. Open Windows Explorer to browse your computer and paste the location in the address bar at the top (CTRL+V).
    Press Enter to open the folder.
  5. Select all the files and folders from that location and store them to a backup location such as a CD/DVD, external hard disk or USB Flash Drive.
  6. Continue to the “You only have the message store files” section.

Windows Live Mail - Store Location
The Store Location of OE, WM and WLM contains all the data
that you need to transfer to your new computer.

You only have the message store files from OE, WM or WLM

In this scenario, you have the entire message store from OE, WM or WLM on your hard disk or a backup medium. In order to get that data into Outlook, you must first configure that data with OE, WM or WLM again before you can import it into Outlook.

If neither of them are installed on your computer, download and install WLM first.

Note:

  • If your message store is from OE, then you can use OE, WM or WLM on your Outlook machine to restore it.
  • If your message store is from WM, then you can use WM or WLM on your Outlook machine to restore it.
  • If your message store is from WLM, then you can use only WLM on your Outlook machine to restore it.
  1. Copy the contents of your backup to a folder on your new computer.
    This can be a folder location on your Desktop for easy access. You can remove the folder once everything has been imported into Outlook.
  2. Right click the folder containing the message store and choose Properties. Here make sure the “Read Only” attribute is not selected.
  3. Open OE, WM or WLM on the new machine.
  4. Cancel any account creation dialogs so that you’ll be taken to your Inbox folder.
  5. Choose File-> Import-> Messages…
  6. Select from which application your message store is from.
  7. Click Next.
  8. When prompted, select that you want to import from a store directory and click OK.
    Otherwise, directly select the location of where you have restored your backup.
  9. Make a selection of which folders you would like to import or choose All folders and press Next.
  10. Press Finish when you’re notified that the export is done.
  11. Now that your original data from your old computer is configured in OE, WM or WLM on your new computer, you can use the first section of this guide to get your messages into Outlook on your new computer.

Additional Notes

After you have configured Outlook, you might want to remove the account configuration from within OE, WM or WLM via the Tools-> Accounts… menu or via File menu-> Options-> Accounts… in WLM for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

If you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8, then you’ll need to download and install Windows Live Mail first if you want to transfer OE, WM or WLM data to Outlook.

If you are running into any issues with OE, WM or WLM, you can use the following forums;