The Importance of Email Backup
Viruses, software failures, power failures, human errors,etc. are only a few examples of what could destroy the data on a hard drive, including all documents, pictures, emails and other files!
Most home computer users don’t need an expensive backup solution; as they only need to burn the folders with important documents and pictures to a CD from time to time; this ensuring that in case of a disaster they can easily get them back.
Together with documents and pictures, it’s a critical operation to save the emails, attachments, address book and other important data from within the email client; otherwise in case of a computer problem the user will find himself in the impossibility to get them back, and this can be a really unwanted situation especially for newbies or people who rely on their emails. Unfortunately many people actually start to do backup copies only after they lose their data once or a several times.
This article will explain how one can create a Outlook Express Backup copy (as Outlook Express lacks a backup function) This email program is usually installed with the Windows operating system and is probably among the most commonly used email programs today. While using Outlook Express is fairly easy, finding and backing up the emails can be a little more complicated.
Since there are a large number of files and folders on a computer running Windows, the first problem is to find the files containing the emails. Outlook Express stores emails in ‘.dbx’ files and there might be several different ‘.dbx’ files depending on how many email folders you have created in Outlook Express. If you are using Windows 98, you can probably locate your emails somewhere in the Windows directory. In Windows 2000 and XP, emails are usually stored somewhere in the user data or application data folder.
The easiest way to find out exactly where your emails are stored is to start Outlook Express, go to the Tools menu, and open the Options dialog box. In the Options dialog box, select the Maintenance page and click the Store Folder button. Here you can find the path to the folder containing your emails.
To open the folder, copy the path and paste in the address field of the Windows File Manager. You should see a number of ‘.dbx’ files and possibly some other files, too.
After locating the email folder, you can simply select all the files and press Ctrl+C. Then open the folder where you want to keep the backup copies (on another hard disk, a DVD or a network drive, for example) in Windows Explorer, and press Ctrl-V.
To backup the Address Book, you can follow these steps:
- Select Tools | Address Book… from the menu in Outlook Express.
- Choose File | Export | Other Address Book… from the address book’s menu.
- Select Text File (Comma Separated Values) as the export format.
- Click Export.
- Select the location you want to export your address book to using the Browse… button.
- Give your backup copy a meaningful name.
- Click Next.
- Select the fields you want to include in your backup.
- Finally, select Finish.
- Click OK.
- Close the process if successfully completed.
Additionally, there are several email backup utilities which can make the backup operation much easier. Outlook Express Backup Genie is one piece of software that can offer peace of mind by creating compact backup copies of emails, attachments, address book, settings, mail rules,etc. periodically. The difference between using a automatic email backup utility and manual backups, is that the first can be scheduled to create backups quiet in the background at specified time intervals, and that it will include all email information, which otherwise would be more difficult to save. Also if ever the backup is needed, the application will ensure that the restore process is made smoothly. And, it works with top 9 popular email clients. The downside of using a automatic email backup utility is that it costs money, usually about 20-30 USD as one time payment, while the manual backups are totally free.
The conclusion is that either manual or automatic, backing up emails is a critical operation for every computer user that would regret losing them.