Finding the Windows Mail Store Folder

Locate the POP3 email store folder on your computer

You can see your Windows Mail emails in your Mail inbox and other folders, but these messages also live somewhere else on your drive. Locating the folder where Windows Mail keeps its folders and messages is not immediately apparent. Still, it's not difficult to find if you use the POP3 protocol. After you locate the folder, you can back up your email.

The instructions in this article apply to older versions of Windows Mail that were released prior to Windows 10.

Identify Your Windows Mail Store Folder Location

The Windows Mail store folder can only be located if you use POP3 with Windows Mail. POP3 is designed to save .eml files on your computer. If you use IMAP with Windows Mail, the mail isn't downloaded and stored as .eml files, so you can't back up email in this manner.

To find the Windows Mail store folder:

  1. In Windows Mail, select Tools > Options from the menu.

  2. Go to the Advanced tab and select Maintenance.

  3. Click the Store Folder button.

  4. Highlight the full folder location by clicking the location with the right mouse button and choosing Select All from the pop-up menu.

  5. Press Ctrl+C to copy the string.

Open the Windows Mail Store Folder in Windows Explorer

Now that you have the path to your Windows Mail store folder in the clipboard, it's easy to go to that folder in Windows Explorer.

  1. Press Windows+R.

  2. Press Ctrl+V to paste the folder location in the Open box.

  3. Click OK to open the store folder in a Windows Explorer window.

  4. After you open the store folder, go back to Windows Mail and close the Store Location and Options dialogs with the Cancel buttons and close the Maintenance dialog using Close.

If You Can't Launch Windows Mail

If you can't launch Windows Mail to identify the store folder in use, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure Windows is set to show hidden files and folders.

  2. Look in this standard location: C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Mail.

  3. Locate the Mail folder and open it to see the .eml files inside. The folders that have these files correspond to their folder names in Windows Mail: Inbox, Deleted Items, Drafts, Junk E-Mail, Outbox, and Sent Items.

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