Its great when you set up message rules for your Outlook Express, or other email program, so all your emails are sorted into various folders to read. But what happens when your computer crashes and you have to enter every rule in one by one again. It is a nightmare to say the least. Here is how I prevent this disaster from happening to me.
Its simply called backup. However its not as easy as copying a file, because you have to enter the dreaded registry and export it from there. This is the do it yourself version.. If you are lazy you can always get a program that will save and backup your email message rules for you.
Here’s how. First you have to get into the registry.
- Go to the Start menu at the bottom left corner. Choose run from the menu.
- Type in regedit and then press OK.
- Windows Registry Editor will appear.
How to export your Outlook Express Email Settings to backup
- Press on the + sign next to HKEY_CURRENT_USER
- Another list will appear underneath that. Press on the + sign next to identities.
- Press on the next + sign next to your ID number. (Take note of where to find this number) There should be a folder called software, open this.
- Then another called Microsoft, then another called Outlook Express, then 5.0. (SEE SCREEN SHOT BELOW)
- To export the file, all you have to do is right click on the folder you want and a menu will appear.
- I usually right click on Rules folder as it contains information about the message rules. You could also backup Signatures here too.
- Then choose to Export. It will ask you if you want to save the file in My Documents.
- Then you must type a name for the file. Name it something that you can recognize. I name mine “My Message Rules” Follow the instructions below to restore.
This is what the registry file looks like.
How to restore message rules in Outlook express
The first thing to restore is your email account settings. Go here to find out how.
Then you should restore your emails and local folders. Go here to find out how.
Then you can restore everything else using the registry file you exported. Now we are going to edit this file to suit the computer you are putting it on. All we have to do is remove the ID number and replace it with the ID number of the new computer.
- Copy the registry file to the desktop of the computer you want to restore it to.
- Right click on the file, a menu will appear
- Choose Edit. This file should open with Notepad. If it doesn’t choose open with from the menu, and open it in notepad.
- In Notepad on the Edit menu, click Replace. We want to find all the old ID numbers and replace them with the new computers ID. Leave this open.
- Open Registry Editor again as we did above (but on the new computer now)
- Press on the + sign My Computer
- Press on the + sign next to HKEY_CURRENT_USER Another list will appear underneath that.
- Click on the identities folder to make it blue
- In the right column there is a list. Double click on Last User ID
- Copy that huge number, including the brackets.
- Go back to the notepad and Paste it into the section where it says replace it with.
- In the writing on the note pad is the other ID number you have to copy and paste into the find what section.
- Then press replace. It will remove the old ID and put the new one in.
- Save the notepad file
- Now you can double click on the file on the desktop and all the settings will go to Outlook Express
Notes on how to save your email message rules:
- When you export a file from the registry it only takes a copy of it. The original file is still left there, so don’t worry, you are not changing anything.
- Do not change anything in your registry if you do not know what you are doing!!!! It can cause your computer to stop working.