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How to backup your email with Windows Live Mail

Posted on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 in User

My mail box has a maximum size of 48MB and it was running full. The thing is, when it gets full, it is difficult to empty it. So mails must be backed-up and deleted from the server before I hit the 90% mark. By now you must be asking what email provider has mailboxes of 48MB in size. My answer: the university email provider.

I use Windows Live Mail to aggregate my mail from different accounts, and it is an excellent solution for accessing your mail and attachments offline. It also has great support for Newsrooms, an RSS aggregator and some minimal calendar support (mostly only for Windows Live accounts).


WLM stores each email as an individual file ending in .eml. It is therefore easier to locate and move emails from folder to folder. The default location where WLM stores emails when you add an email account is here:
C:\Users\<Your Username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\”  
What we want to achieve is to move the emails from the account folder to a different location, thereby deleting them from the server. We need to do that from inside WLM.

Right-click on Storage folders and Click on “New folder”.


Give your folder a name and make sure “Storage folders” is selected as the parent folder. Click on OK and a new folder will be created. Now all you need to do is

  1. Go to the account whose email you want to backup
  2. Select all the email in the inbox (or whatever folder you want to backup)
  3. Right-click and select “Move to folder….”
  4. In the dialog, select the new folder which you just created
  5. Click Ok. You are done

Your email will be moved to the storage folder and deleted from the email provider’s server. The Storage folders are also located here:
“C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\Storage Folders” 
With the files in the Storage folder, you can now search your email through WLM as usual and even click on the storage folder to browse the backed-up email.

If you are not regularly making backups of your computer to an external drive, you are encouraged to do so and make sure you include your emails in the backup.

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Bring on the comments

  1. […] my previous post on email backup, I demonstrated how to backup email to a Storage folder in Windows Live Mail. Today, we’ll be […]

  2. Bryan says:

    How do I recover my storage folders on my Windows live Mail, mail page ??
    I have been serching for hours for an answer.I need these folders.
    Thank you Bryan

    • Ngewi Fet says:

      I don’t quite get what you mean Bryan. Are you referring to Windows Live Mail or Hotmail?
      And what do you mean by recover, did you experience a system crash or something?

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