Stump the PC Club is a free tech-advice column written by members of the North Orange County Computer Club, which has been in existence since 1976. Visit the club’s site at noccc.org. And don’t forget to stop by the Gadgetress’ home for the PC Club, at ocregister.com/link/pcclub, to find out how to ask a question and read past answers.
Windows 7 has proven to be a popular topic among readers. Today, I’m beginning part 1 or a 2 part series on Windows 7 e-mail. It addresses how to transfer e-mail messages and contacts from a PC running Windows XP or Vista to a PC running the new Windows 7 operating system.
Let me eliminate some readers first. If you use a Web mail service like Yahoo Mail, Gmail, AOL Mail or Hotmail, you can stop reading. You don’t have to make any changes since your e-mail is stored on the Internet and not your PC. It is always available as long as you have an Internet connection and the service is working.
Migrating Outlook Express to Windows 7
There are many options when you move to Windows 7. This one details migrating from the free Outlook Express to the free Windows Live Mail.
Follow these steps to prepare your Outlook Express e-mail for migration:
Organize your messages. Open Outlook Express and cleanup your folders by deleting any messages that you no longer need. No sense in bringing those into Windows 7. To permanently remove all of the junk in Outlook Express click File, Folder, Compact all folders. This can take anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes or even more depending on how frequently you have performed this, if ever.
1. Close Outlook Express.
2. Locate your Outlook Express Identities folder by following the instructions in my earlier post “How to move your e-mail to a new computer” (shortcut: bit.ly/win7email). If you have more than one identity, they will all be in this folder. When you install Windows 7 on a PC that is running XP, in theory, a folder named Windows.old is created and should have your Identities folder stored as a hidden folder. It’s safer, however, to back it up first before installing Windows 7. When I tried it, the folder was there.
3. Copy this entire folder to an external hard drive or flash drive.
4. Save your contacts. Click Start, Run and enter WAB and click OK or open your Address Book from Outlook Express.
5. Click File, Export, Address Book (WAB) and save the file to an external drive.
6. Make sure everything is safely on your external drive before upgrading to Windows 7.
1. First, download the free Windows Live Mail from download.live.com to your Windows 7 computer and follow the installation instructions. Be sure to uncheck any additional programs that you do not want to install. You don’t need a Live ID but it is free to signup. You will have to know how to configure your e-mail account with your Internet provider and you must know your User ID and password.
2. Set up your e-mail account using the settings you used for Outlook Express.
3. Plug the drive (from the previous step) with the saved Identities folder into the PC with Windows 7.
4. Start Windows Live Mail.
5. Select File, Import Messages.
6. Select Microsoft Outlook Express 6, and click Next.
7. Browse to the Identities folders on the external drive and keep opening sub-folders until you see the Outlook folder. Here you can choose the folder to import and you can select all folders also. For a clean start, just import your Inbox. Click OK. If there are several identities, you can choose any or all.
8. The messages from Outlook Express will now be in Windows Live Mail in folders labeled Storage folders. These folders can be dragged around or renamed as appropriate.
To import your contacts into Windows Live Mail:
1. On the PC with Windows 7, start Windows Live mail
2. Plug the drive with the saved Address Book into the PC with Windows 7.
3. Click the Contacts icon at the bottom to open the Contacts window
4. Click File, Import, Windows Address Book (WAB)
5. Navigate to the external drive where you saved your Address Book
6. Select the file and click Open
7. Click Next and Finish
You have several other choices in addition to using Windows Live Mail and can read more about it in a previous article, “Will Windows 7 force you to change your e-mail program?”
Part 2 of this article will cover Transferring Windows Vista’s Windows Mail to a new or upgraded PC with Windows 7. ~Ed Schwartz, NOCCC member. View his blog at www.edwardns.com/blog