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To back up Outlook Express you should locate the data you want to back up first. The main problem is that Outlook Express stores its stuff not in a single place. For ex., email messages are stored in *.dbx files in the OE Store Folder, contacts - in Windows Address Book, and all the settings, accounts, rules, signatures etc. are scattered all over the system registry. Therefore, to back up Outlook Express manually is a rather complicated process.

The first step is to find Outlook Express Store Folder and back up all the stuff inside. To find out how to locate Store Folder see the article about dbx files. When you're in, copy all the stuff from Store Folder to the safe place (let's call it back up folder). Do not forget to back up Folders.dbx file. It contains all the structure of your message folders and you won't be able to restore your messages without it.

Secondly, to back up Outlook Express contacts, locate the address book. Run Outlook Express and go to Tools>Address Book. Then in Address Book Help menu click About Address Book. When it's done, you'll see the path to the address book file (*.wab). Locate and copy it into your back up folder.
Also, it's better to make an emergency copy of your Address Book as comma-separated-text file. Go the Outlook Express, then File>Export>Address Book... Select Text File (Comma Separated Values), click Export. Type a name for a backup file, select fields you want to backup and click Finish.

Third step is backing up of Outlook Express accounts. Run Outlook Express, go to Tools>Accounts... Back up accounts you need by clicking Export... button and save received *.iaf files to the back up folder.

Now is the time to back up Outlook Express settings. Note that you have to work with the system registry, so you should be as careful as possible. Go to Start>Run... and type regedit, registry editor will appear. Locate the following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities\{GUID}\Software\Microsoft \Outlook Express \5.0 where {GUID} is Global Unique IDentifier for you identity. Find subkeys called Block Senders, Rules, Signatures. Export each of these keys and save as *.reg file to the back up folder using right-click in the subkey folder.

Also, if you are using Micorsoft Office Outlook, you can back it up using Outlook Backup program.

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