How to Back up or Copy Your Windows Mail or Outlook Rules

What to Know

  • Open the Windows registry and go to Computer \ HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft.
  • Go to Windows Mail > Rules > Mail, or go to Windows Live Mail > Rules and select File > Export to save your backup.
  • For Outlook Express, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\­Identities\your identity string\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0.

This article explains how to save a backup copy of your Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail, or Outlook Express mail filters so that you can transfer them to a different computer.

Back up or Copy Your Windows Mail Email Filtering Rules

To create a copy of the filters you have set up in Windows Mail:

  1. Click Start in Windows.

  2. Type "regedit" in the Start menu search field.

  3. Hit Enter.

  4. Navigate to Computer \ HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows Mail \ Rules.

  5. Click on the Mail key.

  6. Go to the folder where you want to keep the backup copy of your Window Mail rules.

  7. Type "Mail Rules" under File Name.

  8. Make sure Registration Files (*.reg) is selected under Save as type:.

  9. Now make sure Selected branch is chosen under Export range.

  10. Click Save.

Why Risk Losing Work You Can Save?

If you carefully built a system of mail filters in Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail or Outlook Express that automatically sort and organize your incoming and outgoing messages, you certainly don't want to lose these filters. If you back them up, you can transfer your Windows Mail or Outlook Express mail rules to another computer or restore them in case of data loss.

Windows Live Mail and Outlook Express are no longer supported, but these instructions should work if you still use those programs.

Back up or Copy Your Windows Live Mail Email Filtering Rules

To create a copy of your Windows Live Mail rules:

  1. Open the Windows Run dialog or the Start menu's search field.

    In Windows 10:

    • Click on the Start menu with the right mouse button.
    • Select Run from the menu that has appeared.

    In Windows 7 or Vista:

    • Click Start.

    In Windows XP:

    • Click Start.
    • Select Run… from the menu that has appeared.
  2. Type "regedit" in the Run dialog or the Start menu search field.

  3. Hit Enter. If prompted by User Access Control, click Yes.

  4. Navigate to Computer \ HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows Live Mail \ Rules.

  5. Select File | Export... from the menu.

  6. Change the location to the directory where you want to keep the backup copy of your Outlook Express mail rules.

  7. Type "Mail Rules" in the File Name box.

  8. Make sure Registration Files (*.reg) is selected under Save as type:.

  9. Make sure Selected branch is chosen under Export range.

  10. Click Save.

Back up or Copy Your Outlook Express Mail Rules

To create a copy of your Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail or Outlook Express mail rules:

  1. Click Start.

  2. Select Run… from the Start menu.

  3. Type "regedit" under Open:.

  4. Click OK.

  5. Navigate to \HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ ­Identities \ {your identity string} \ ­Software \ ­Microsoft \ Outlook Express \ 5.0. You can find your identity string by opening your Outlook Express store folder; its name contains the identity string.

  6. Open the Rules key.

  7. Click on the Mail key.

  8. Select File | Export... from the menu.

  9. Change the location to the directory where you want to keep the backup copy of your Outlook Express mail rules.

  10. Type "Mail Rules" in the File Name box.

  11. Make sure Registration Files (*.reg) is selected under Save as type:.

  12. Make sure Selected branch is chosen under Export range

  13. Click Save.

Remember where you keep your backup copy so you can recover or import it when needed.

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