Mail App - Backup Email Messages in Windows 8

How to Backup Your "Mail" App Email Messages in Windows 8 and 8.1

information   Information
Windows Mail App in Windows 8 and 8.1 does not have an archive & backup function. Luckily all messages are stored locally in a Mail folder located deep in the hidden AppData folder.

This tutorial will show you how to search, copy, archive, and backup your "Mail" app email messages in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.

Note   Note
Messages are stored as EML files. To read them outside the Windows Mail App you need a mail client capable of handling EML files (Microsoft Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird or similar).






Step 1:

Locate the Mail Folder


Windows Mail App stores the messages locally in the following folder:

Code:
[HL]C:\Users\Your_Username[/HL]\AppData\Local\Packages\microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_[HL]XXXXX[/HL]\LocalState\Indexed\LiveComm\[HL]YYYYY[/HL]\[HL]ZZZZZZ-ZZZZ[/HL]\Mail

Please notice:

  • [*=1]C:\Users\Your_Username is the default location of your personal hidden AppData folder. If you have relocated the main Users folder or your personal user folder, change the path accordingly
    [*=1]XXXXX and YYYYY are random alphanumerical strings, ZZZZZZ-ZZZZ is a numerical string consisting of groups of 6 digits and 4 digits separated with a hyphen
The main Mail folder has subfolders for each mail account set up in Mail App. The subfolder for the first account you have set up, the so called login Microsoft Account, is named as "1", all other accounts (subfolders) have a two digit hexadecimal folder name as seen in this screenshot:
2013-07-03_184714.PNG

Various mail folders like Inbox, Sent, Drafts, Outbox and so on have all their individual subfolders under the email accounts main folder.

warning   Warning
Please be extremely careful when browsing and handling these folders as your Mail Application might stop working if the folders are removed, renamed or moved. Also do not delete individual email messages in File Explorer, use Mail App's Delete function for that.





Step 2:

Create a Desktop Shortcut for the Mail Folder



Right click on Desktop, select New > Shortcut and create a shortcut for your Mail folder. See this tutorial for creating shortcuts.

Notice that AppData is by default a hidden folder. If you cannot browse to the AppData and its subfolders you need to first enable showing hidden files and folders as told in this tutorial.



Step 3:

Browse and Search your Messages


Open the Mail folder by double clicking the shortcut you created in Step 2.

First thing you'll notice when browsing your Mail folder is that the messages do have a very unfriendly name. Here the messages from my main account's Inbox, there's no way to tell which message is what:
2013-07-03_193322.PNG
Luckily there's a practical workaround. Simply type an asterisk (*) to File Explorer search field; this will show you the senders and titles of messages instead of the unfriendly names:
2013-07-03_201752.PNG
In fact anything you type into the search field changes the Explorer behavior, showing more understandable titles than the default unfriendly file names.

Now you can use Windows Search to find and sort your messages. Here a few examples:
  • modified:yesterday from:Harry
    • this would find all messages sent yesterday by Harry (any sender with the string Harry in sender name)
  • modified:2012 from:="Harry Smith"
    • this would find all messages sent in 2012 by Harry Smith (exact sender name)
  • CC:Kari
    • this would find all messages where Kari is in CC instead of or in addition to TO
  • BCC:Kari
    • same as above but BCC instead of CC
  • TO:Anne
    • this would find A) all messages sent by you to a receiver with the string Anne in receiver name or address, and B) all messages sent by someone else where Anne is mentioned in TO field
  • Content:="Eight Forums"
    • this would find all messages where the title or message body contains the exact phrase Eight Forums
  • Content:Eight
    • this would find all messages where the title or message body contains the string Eight as an individual word or part of a word



Step 4:

Backup your Messages


Create a new folder wherever you'd like to, for instance I have the Mail Backup Folder located in Documents. Using the Windows Search as told in previous step find the messages you'd like to backup and copy them to the backup folder.

That's it. Easy and fast, quite simple.

Kari


 

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Great tutorial Kari. :)
 

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Thanks Shawn. Luckily you guys got that layout issue sorted.
 

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Why not just make a Library containing the c:\users\username\AppData folder, and let that be backed up with File History?

Is that too simple, or have I missed something?

cheers
 

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Thank you for your article, but could you please tell me it's useful to backup the mail info? the mail info saved on Microsoft sever, need to backup mail info?
 

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Hello gayxq, :)

What did you mean by "mail info"?

This tutorial is only for backing up your email messages.
 

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Yes, i know it will backup the email messages, but all the emails saved on Microsoft Sever, is the backup useful? thank you.
 

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Having your messages saved on the server is fine if that's all you wanted or need to use. Backing them up yourself is just another precautionary option available to help make sure that you do not lose any emails that you can't afford to lose. It's always best to be safe than sorry later. :)
 

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    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
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    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
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    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
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    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
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    Corsair Hydro H115i
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    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
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    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
You're welcome. :)
 

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    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
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    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
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    Thermaltake Core P3
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    Corsair Hydro H115i
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    Logitech wireless K800
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    Logitech MX Master 3
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    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
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    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
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    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
Hi, thanks for the instructions how to backup your emails in Windows mail app, but i tied testing the backup and restoring the emails back to the windows mail app folder and they did not show up:cry:, have i missed something here? i deleted the emails in the windows mail app, then copied back the emails back to the mail folder. but emails still not showing, any suggestions.
 

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Hi, thanks for the instructions how to backup your emails in Windows mail app, but i tied testing the backup and restoring the emails back to the windows mail app folder and they did not show up:cry:, have i missed something here? i deleted the emails in the windows mail app, then copied back the emails back to the mail folder. but emails still not showing, any suggestions.
I'm encountering the exact same problem.:(
 

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You cannot restore the backed up email messages. When a message in Mail app has been deleted and the Deleted folder is empty, there's no way to restore the message.

The only point of having the mail messages backed up is just that: to have it at least on the local PC when it has been deleted from the Mail app and the mail server.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP ENVY 17-1150eg
    CPU
    1.6 GHz Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 Graphics
    Sound Card
    Beats sound system with integrated subwoofer
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" laptop display, 22" LED and 32" Full HD TV through HDMI
    Screen Resolution
    1600*900 (1), 1920*1080 (2&3)
    Hard Drives
    Internal: 2 x 500 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 7200 rpm
    External: 2TB for backups, 3TB USB3 network drive for media
    Cooling
    As Envy runs a bit warm, I have it on a Cooler Master pad
    Keyboard
    Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser (bluetooth)
    Mouse
    Logitech MX1000 Laser (Bluetooth)
    Internet Speed
    50 MB VDSL
    Browser
    Maxthon 3.5.2., IE11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender 4.3.9431.0
    Other Info
    Windows in English, additional user accounts in Finnish, German and Swedish.
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