Backup Windows Live Mail & contacts


  1. Open the mail portion, click on the down pointing arrow in the top left corner, choose Export Email, then choose Email Messages, then choose Windows Live Mail.
  2. Now choose where the backup is to go. Create another folder inside your backup drive folder for this entire backup and name it email yourname dd-mm-yy
  3. Open the address book (Contact list) portion of Windows Live Mail
  4. On the top towards the right, find the Export icon. Choose comma separated values
  5. Click the browse button and navigate to your external hard drive folder for this backup and create yet another folder named address book yourname dd-mm-yy.
  6. On the next screen choose which data elements to backup. I choose them all

Windows Live Mail is no longer supported by Microsoft.  Not such a bad thing because that also means they are less likely to mess it up.  For your own security, you should download a copy of the program and store it in your backup drive in case you need to re-install for some reason:

Move your Mail folder (a one time thing)

Windows Live Mail (WLM) sets itself up in a very inconvenient place.  Hard to find.  There is no reason not to move it to a more accessible location on your hard drive.  This is a one time thing.  Once you do it, you will never have to do it again.  Now, make backing up that folder a regular part of your regular backup procedure, in addition to the above steps

To move it:

  1. With WLM open, click on the little blue rectangle with the arrow in it on the top left of the WLM window
  2. Click on Options then Mail, the Advanced tab, Maintenance, Store folder
  3. Click the Change button.  A navigation list of your hard drive pops up.
  4. Now navigate to the C: line, click once on it.
  5. Click Make new folder
  6. Type your name followed by the word mail, click OK, Click OK
  7. Close all the open windows.
  8. Close WLM
  9. When you next open WLM, it will take longer because that is when it actually moves your mail folder

The reason you should do this is that in the future you will be following the back up procedure above, BUT also you will be backing up that Mail folder to your external hard drive as well.  The reason to do this is that if ever your system needs to be re-built, the re-builder can copy that Mail folder to the right place in your “new” system and all of your mail, contacts, calendars and whatever the way you have WLM set up, will be in effect in the new computer.

The 2011 version works better than the 2012 one.  The main advantage of the 2011 version is that Groups do not work in 2012.

  1. Start your newly installed WLM and ignore all messages. 
  2. In WLM, click the tiny arrow icon on the nearly top left.  Choose Options, Mail
  3. Click the Advanced tab, now Maintenance, Store folder
  4. Use your mouse to select the entire content (the location where your mail is installed in the new installation) shown in that window, Ctrl+C to copy it.
  5. Close WLM
  6. Navigate to the location you just copied by pasting (Ctrl+V) it into the text box above the start button
  7. Delete all the contents of this folder, but not the folder, which will now be empty.
  8. Copy the content (not the folder) of your backed-up WLM folder, and paste it into the folder you just deleted the contents of.
  9. Start WLM, and you will have everything back just as you had it before.  No importing, no having to go and reset everything back the way you like it.  You won’t even have to set up the accounts again.  This even has your passwords.
  10. Type indexing options into the text box above the start globe
  11. Click Modify and add your new Windows Live Mail folder.

You should now use the “move” procedure above on your new or newly re-built PC.