Moving Messages from Vista’s Windows Mail to Windows Live Mail



  • Windows Live Mail includes an ‘Import’ option to import messages from Vista’s Windows Mail email client(Method 1)
  • Alternatively, Vista’s Windows Mail messages can also be dragged to a Windows Explorer folder, then dragged to a folder(s) in Windows Live Mail(Method 2)


Method 1:

Export Messages from Windows Mail

Create a Blank Folder on your desktop(e.g. WMExport)
Open Windows Mail
Select Windows Mail
Click Next
Click Browse and navigate to the blank folder on the Desktop(choose the folder, do not open the folder)
Click Select Folder
Click Next(if the folder is not empty go back to the beginning)
Select All Folders or Selected Folders
Click Next
Wait for the Export to finish and the prompt ‘Your messages were exported in Windows Mail format’
Click Finish

Import Messages into Windows Live Mail

Open Windows Live Mail
Ensure you have setup all email accounts
Click File\Import\Messages\
Select Windows Mail
Click Next
Click Browse and navigate to the folder created earlier for exporting the messages
Click OK(the Location of Message dialog box will now contain the correct path and folder)
Click Next
Click All or Selected Folders
Click Next
Wait for import process to finish
The Windows Live Mail Import Dialog box will prompt ‘ Your Messages were imported in Windows Mail Format’
Click Finish

Move Messages from Windows Live Mail Storage Folders to the an Email Account’s Folders

Scroll to the Windows Live Mail Storage folders\Imported Folder
Click to expand
Drag the messages in each sub-folder to the appropriate account

Method 2:

Note: This method uses the traditional ‘Drag and Drop’ approach. Some may find this approach more familiar or easier.

Drag Messages from Windows Mail to an Explorer FolderCreate a new folder using Windows Explorer on the desktop(e.g. WMDragEmail)
Create sub-folders in the new folder with identical names as the folders in your Windows Mail mail account
– Inbox, Outbox, Sent, etc
Open Windows Mail
Resize each window to fit on the desktop(one for the new folder and one for Windows Mail)
Switch to Windows Mail and select messages from a Windows Mail folder e.g Inbox
– Control A can be used to Select All
Drag those messages to the identical named sub-folder in the earlier created Windows Explorer folder.
Repeat for each Windows Mail folder(Outbox, Sent,etc)
Close Windows MailDrag Messages from an Explorer Folder to Windows Live MailOpen Windows Live Mail
Resize again to show two windows–the Explorer folder and Windows Live Mail
Ensure an email account is created
Drag the messages from the Windows Explorer folder to the like named folder in Windows Live Mail 


Feb 14, 2008: Original Published Date

May 23, 2008. Windows Live Tags added

Windows Live Tags: Mail, Windows Vista, How-To, clubhouse

About Winston
Microsoft MVP

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