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How do I use Windows Essentials to open DBX files?

Outlook Express was supported only through Windows XP, so you'll need a Windows Essentials workaround or a third-party utility to read DBX files.

Outlook Express is a legacy email client that was included with Microsoft Internet Explorer versions 4.0 through 6.0 and bundled into desktop operating systems through Microsoft Windows XP. Microsoft no longer supports Outlook Express (or older versions of Internet Explorer or Windows XP, for that matter).

To open Outlook Express DBX files and get to the information contained therein in Windows 7 or Windows 8, you need to convert the data to a format that current email clients can recognize and work with. The most common approach is to import the DBX files into Windows Live Mail and then export the data from Windows Live Mail to Microsoft Outlook.

Be aware that headers are removed from the emails during the conversion process, requiring an email address to be entered when replying to an imported message.

If you don't already have Windows Live Mail on your computer, you can download and install the software from the Windows Essentials website. Then, import the DBX files by selecting File > Import Messages, choose to import from Outlook Express 6, navigate to and select the folder that contains your DBX files, and then complete the import.

Note that Outlook Express DBX files are typically located in C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{<id>}\Microsoft\Outlook Express.

To export mail from Windows Live Mail, select File > Export > Messages, choose Microsoft Exchange, select the folders that hold the email files, and complete the export. This step creates a PST file, which you can open in Outlook.

If you prefer to use a third-party utility, Aid4Mail is a popular choice for home users or organizations that work with relatively few email accounts. For large-scale conversion projects, Aid4Mail offers a special migration package.

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Are you using an older Outlook email client with a recent Windows edition?