You got a new Windows 8 computer. That’s great news! Now, how do you transfer your Windows Live Mail from your old computer over? Let’s talk a little history first. Outlook Express was the default, free email software used by Windows 95, 98, 2000, and XP. Then, Windows Mail replaced Outlook Express in Windows Vista. Microsoft support decided to dump Windows Mail in Windows 7 due to many email issues that were reported. In Windows 7, no free default email client was set up although Windows Live Mail seems to have snuck in the back door with many manufacturers lumping them in with their valued-added software. With Windows 8, Windows Mail came back as the default email software. A bit strange, but I guess Microsoft is all about making comebacks with its new launch of Windows 8.
What’s the difference with Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail? Live is in the cloud so your mail, contacts, and calendar are all stored online. This is good if your computer crashes. Your email is already safe. There are other solid benefits for why to choose Windows Live Mail over Windows Mail.
The bottom line here is we’re not going to be working with Windows Mail since Windows Live Mail is superior. You won’t have to worry about the cookie-cutter extraneous export process most forums will walk you through. I have an easier and faster way.
Here’s the easiest way to move your Windows Live Mail email, contacts, and calendar over to your new Windows 8 computer:
- Find your Windows Live Mail folder on your old computer and copy it to an external hard drive. In Windows Vista / 7, it is in C: Users\user login name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail. In Windows XP, it is located in: C:\Documents and Settings\user login name\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail. Once you’ve located this folder, copy and paste it to an external hard drive or another backup source. If your folders do not appear, make sure to unhide your folders by right-clicking Windows->Explorer->Organize->Folder & Search Options->View->Show hidden files, folders, and drives.
- Install Windows Live Mail on your Windows 8 computer. Windows 8 comes with Windows Live. Disregard this program and instead install Windows Live Mail.
- Import your mail into Windows Live Mail. Copy over the Windows Live Mail folder from your external hard drive or backup source to your Documents folder. Open Windows Live Mail->File->Import Messages->choose Windows Live Mail->Next->Browse to your saved messages folder, select->Next->Next->Finish.
- Copy your contacts into Windows Live Mail. Go to your backup, and copy the Windows Live Contacts folder and replace it on your current Windows 8 Contact folder located at: C: Users\user login name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts
- Copy your calendar into Windows Live Mail. Go to your backup, and copy the files from the Calendars\DBStore folder and replace it on your current Windows 8 Calendar folder located at: C: Users\user login name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\Calendars\DBStore
The big shortcuts here are copying over your contacts and calendar versus importing them. If there’s any possibility of corruption in your contacts or calendar, you should go through the long process of exporting and importing them which is painful, yet will weed out any corrupted entries. Otherwise, these quick Windows Live Mail import how-to steps will do the trick.