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Email Storage

Where Is My Email Stored?

This is a question that comes up frequently, so in an effort to cover all bases, this article will explore where email is stored in Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Netscape/Mozilla, AOL, Pegasus Mail, and an up-and-comer email programmed called PocoMail. So without further ado, let’s get started with Outlook:

Where Is My Email Stored in Outlook?

Unlike most other email programs, Outlook stores all email in a single .pst file (assuming you're not using Web-based mail), instead of using individual files for each mail folder. In fact, Outlook places everything into that .pst file, including mail, contacts and even calendar entries. To locate the .pst file, which is by default called outlook.pst, from the File menu select Data File Management to display the Outlook Data Files dialog box.

You'll see the path name to your .pst file listed. Unfortunately, there probably won't be enough room to permit the full path to display. The easiest way to check it is to click the outlook.pst file in the list (there may be more than one .pst file), then click Open Folder to open the folder that contains the file. Alternatively, click Start > Find or Search, and search for outlook.pst.

Where Is My Email Stored in Outlook Express?

Outlook Express makes it more difficult than any other email program to navigate to mailbox (.dbx) folders. In OE, right-click a folder displayed on the Outlook or Folders bar, and choose Properties from the menu. (Note: If your mail folders are not displayed, click View > Layout and select either Folder List or Outlook Bar.) In the Properties dialog box, the folder’s location on your hard drive is displayed under “This Folder is Stored in the Following File:”

Chances are the folder name or the path to it will be truncated (shortened), due to lack of space. It may appear that there’s no way to display the entire path. Not so! Just click anywhere in the displayed path, then use the right-arrow key to scroll through it until the name of the folder appears. If you want to copy and paste the entire path to another location, just click at the start of it, then drag your cursor to the right, across the folder path to highlight it. Press Ctrl + C to copy it, then go to any destination location and press Ctrl + V to paste it.

Outlook Express seems to relish long paths to folders, so a typical path to your Inbox folder would appear similar to: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{A87485D4-F1E8-41D7-AE80-D3E7AD3DB14A}\Microsoft\Outlook Express\Inbox.dbx.

Understanding the physical location of mail folders can help when working with any email program. However, if you want to copy your Outlook Express message folders to back them up or move them to another computer, take the easy way: Click File > Export > Messages and let OE escort you through the process.

If you prefer a software solution for backing up Outlook Express, take a look at the OE Backup Genie.

Where Is My Mail Stored in Eudora?

Assuming you install Eudora in its default location, you’ll find your mailboxes in the C:\Program Files\Qualcomm\Eudora folder. Eudora creates two files for each mailbox folder. The mailbox storage itself displays the extension .mbx and the index for that mailbox has the extension .toc, which stands for “table of contents.” Why it’s not .ndx, I don’t know, so let’s not even go there. If you want to copy any or all of your mailboxes, be sure to copy both files. For example, your inbox will be named in.mbx and in.toc.

With Eudora’s easily identified mailboxes, it’s simple and convenient to make copies for backup purposes or to transfer your messages from one computer to another.

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Where Is My Email Stored in Netscape or Mozilla?

Both Netscape and Mozilla mail have an easy-to-use shortcut that you can deploy to learn the exact location of a particular mail folder. Simply right-click a mail folder and choose Copy Folder Location from the menu that appears. This action will copy the full path to that mail folder to the Windows clipboard.

Next, open Notepad (Start > Programs > Accessories > Notepad) or other word-processing program. Place your mouse cursor at any location within the document, right-click and select Paste. This will paste the clipboard content, which will display the full path to the selected mail folder. For example, the path to my Inbox in Mozilla Mail is "mailbox:/C|Documents and Settings/MrModem/Application Data/Mozilla/Profiles/MrModem/(number)/Mail/" Whew!

While not a typical pathname format, you can quickly figure out the pathname by deleting the "mailbox:/," then replacing the C| with C:, and changing all the forward slashes to backslashes. The above location would then be "C:\Documents and Settings\MrModem\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\MrModem\(number)\\Mail\\Inbox."

Each mail folder consists of two files, the same as we observed when discussing Eudora’s mail folders. For example, you'll find an In file and an In.msf file; a Trash and a Trash.msf; a Sent and a Sent.msf; and so on.

The .msf files are index files; the actual email messages are stored in the other files, those without file extensions. If you ever perform a manual backup, you only need to copy the extension-less files because the .msf files will be created automatically. You may find it easier to copy the entire contents of your mail folder, which will include both files, but that’s up to you. Try it both ways and see which you prefer -- or ignore this completely. The choice is yours.

Where Is My Email Stored in AOL?

With AOL 9.0 Optimized, the Filing Cabinet from previous versions of AOL has been integrated into the AOL Mailbox. You can still create folders and save mailbox items to your hard drive, but you can also view the contents of those folders without leaving the comfort and safety of your mailbox.

If you upgraded to AOL 9.0 from a previous version, the contents of your old Filing Cabinet should have been transferred to the new system during the upgrade.

How To View Your Stored Email

First, click Read on the AOL Toolbar to open your AOL Mailbox, then click the Manage Mail tab.

In the My Mail Folders section, any folders you created in your old Filing Cabinet should display under the Saved on My PC folder.

Click any folder being used to save mail. Items in the folder will be automatically displayed in the center section.

AOL saved mail resides in the Organize folder. To get to it through the back door (such as via Windows Explorer), click Start > Programs > America Online > AOL System Information. Click on the data folder button, then double-click on C_America Online 9.0. In the Organize folder, every screen name has a file with no extension. That is the “filing cabinet” for that screen name.

Where Is My Email Stored in Pegasus Mail?

Pegasus makes it easy to locate its mail folders. (Are you listening, Mr. Gates?) Pegasus creates a folder for each user within C:\Program Files\pmail\mail, assuming you install the program to its default location and don’t do anything fancy or creative during the installation process.

To check the location of the current user’s mail folder, from the Help menu click About Pegasus Mail, followed by the Info button. There you’ll find detailed information about your Pegasus Mail account, including the home mailbox location. If you ever want to back up your Pegasus mail, just go to that location, copy a specific mailbox folder, and you’re done!

Pegasus has a particularly intricate system for storing messages and other items. It assigns different file extensions to the various types of data it saves. In fact, you’ll find an alphabet soup of file extensions that apply only to Pegasus. Click HERE for the full skinny on what each of Pegasuseses’s file extensions means.

Where Is My Email Stored in PocoMail??

PocoMail represents the next generation of email management. The creators of PocoMail built it from the ground up, incorporating the best features of most mainstream email programs, while rejecting the not-so-great features.

In this day and age, when installing new software feels more like playing Russian roulette, PocoMail is a breath of fresh air. It doesn’t attempt to dominate your computer, it won’t derail existing settings, and it maintains a neat and tidy presence on your computer which makes it easy to work with, particularly when it comes to locating mail folders.

If you want to save a specific mail folder, use Windows Explorer and navigate to your C:\Program Files\PocoMail\Mail folder. Click the little + sign to the left of the Mail folder to expand it, and you’ll instantly see any and all mailbox folders you may have created, as well as Poco’s default mail folders.

Each mail folder consists of two files, an .MBX and .IDX file. The .MBX file is the mailbox file itself that contains your email; the .IDX file is the index file for that particular mailbox. When you copy a mailbox, the only thing you need to remember is to copy both .MBX and IDX files.

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