How to Import Internet Mail Messages into Outlook Express

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Article ID: 176523 - View products that this article applies to.
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This article describes how to import Microsoft Internet Mail and News messages into Outlook Express.


Outlook Express is an upgrade to Internet Mail and News. By default, Outlook Express imports the Internet Mail and News message store during installation. Outlook Express can import messages from Eudora Pro or Eudora Light (through version 3.0), Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Windows Messaging, Netscape Communicator, and Netscape Mail (version 2 or 3). However, there is no command in Outlook Express to import Internet Mail and News messages after installation.

To import Internet Mail and News messages into Outlook Express, copy the Internet Mail and News mailbox (.mbx) files to the Outlook Express\Mail folder, and then rebuild the Folders.nch file. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Quit Outlook Express.
  2. Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files Or Folders.
  3. In the Named box, type *.mbx, and then click Find Now.
  4. Rename the .mbx files that you want to import to Outlook Express. For example, rename the Inbox.mbx file to Inbox2.mbx.

    For information about how to rename a file, click Start, click Help, click the Index tab, type renaming, and then double-click the Renaming files topic.

    NOTE: You must rename these files because Outlook Express has a file and folder structure similar to Internet Mail and News. If you do not rename these files, you may overwrite the existing mailbox files in the Outlook Express folder.
  5. Copy the .mbx files to the Outlook Express\Mail folder. The Outlook Express\Mail folder is located in the following folder by default
    path\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook Express\Mail
    where path is the path to the Application Data folder.
  6. Rename the Folders.nch file that is located in the Outlook Express\Mail folder. For example, rename the Folders.nch file to Folders.hcn.

    NOTE: When you rename the Folders.nch file, your current non-default folders are named Folder1, Folder2, Folder3, and so on. The Folders.nch file contains a list of the folder names. When you rename it, Outlook Express cannot find the list, so it must re-create the folder names using default names.
  7. Start Outlook Express.
When you start Outlook Express, the folders should appear in the Folder list. You can then rename the folders or move mail messages between folders.

For more information about this issue, see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
163845 Unable to Integrate Old Message Stores
175589 E-mail Programs Create Message Store in Different Locations
170607 One Folder Is Created Importing Two Folders with Same Name


Article ID: 176523 - Last Review: January 22, 2007 - Revision: 3.1
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.01
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.0
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.01
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
kbhowto KB176523
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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