Finding the Windows Mail Store Folder

Learn how to find the POP3 email store folder on your computer

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

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 is not downloaded and stored as .eml files, so you can't back up email in this manner.

To find the Windows Mail store folder:

  1. Select Tools > Options from the menu.
  2. In Windows Mail, go to the Advanced tab and select Maintenance.
  3. Click on the Store Folder button.
  4. Highlight the full folder location by clicking on 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 have opened the store folder successfully, go back to Windows Mail and close the Store Location and Options dialogs with their Cancel buttons and the Maintenance button in Windows Mail using Close.

If You Can't Launch Windows Mail

If you cannot launch Windows Mail to identify the store folder in use:

  • Make sure Windows is set to show hidden files and folders.
  • Look in this standard location: C:\Users\­<username>\AppData\Local\Packages\ and open the folder \LocalState\Indexed\LiveComm. If you don't find it there, try C:\Users\userrname\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Mail.
  • Find the Mail folder and open it to see the .eml files inside.