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How do I backup my messages in Outlook Express?

Posted By : Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on October 25, 1999

Question

Right now I have 335 e-mail messages in my Outlook Express Inbox, mostly jokes that I want to keep. How do I go about saving these jokes to a floppy disk? I have Windows 95 and Word 97 on my computer.

Answer

This question was answered on October 25, 1999. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.


Outlook Express, Microsoft's free e-mail program that comes with many of its programs, including Internet Explorer 5.0 and Windows 98, uses a single file to hold all of the messages in each of your mail folders such as Inbox, Sent Mail, Outbox, etc These types of files use a .dbx extension This means all of the messages in your Inbox are contained in a file called Inbox.dbx.

Before you attempt to copy the contents of the Inbox to a floppy disk, delete any unwanted messages so that the file size can be as small as possible In addition, you should run the Compact utility in order to "scrunch" the file into its absolute smallest size To do this, click on File, then Folder, then choose Compact All Folders.

The next step to copying all of the messages from the Inbox to a floppy disk is to locate the Inbox.dbx file.

Try this method: Click on Start, then on Find, then on Files or Folders This will open the Find window with the first entry box labeled "Named:" Type "inbox.dbx" (without the quotation marks) to tell the find utility to find this file Make sure that you have the C: drive selected in the "Look In:" box and the checkmark on the "Include subfolders" box, then click on Find Now.

When the search has been completed, you should see an entry for the inbox.dbx file in the section below In most cases, it will reside in C:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook Express.

At this point, you need to examine the size of the file to make sure that it is prudent to copy it to a floppy disk If it is smaller than 1.44 Mb, it will fit on one floppy Right-click on the file, then on Send To, then on 3 1/2 Floppy (A).

If you have a large number of attachments included in the e-mail messages, you may find that the file is too large to use floppy disks for backup For instance, my Inbox.dbx file is just over 36 Mb in size, which would require 26 floppy disks to back it up If you have a Zip drive, the 100Mb capacity of the Zip cartridge may be a better solution.

Your only recourse if you want the file size to be smaller is to go back to the Inbox and delete or move messages out of it The messages that have an attached file (denoted by the paper clip) take the most space, so they should be the first to go!

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Posted by Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on October 25, 1999

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