How To Transfer Windows Live Mail Contacts to a New PC (from edb file)

If you have a new PC, or you have had to do a recovery of an old PC and you only have a backup of your Windows Live Mail folder (ie; not an export) recovering the contacts can be a little tricky.
Here’s a process that I used recently to recover data for a client faced with this problem.

Open your documents folder
Click on Organise Folder & Search Options
Click View
Click Show Hidden Files and Folders

Scroll down and remove the tick next to Hide protected OS files

Click OK

Browse to your User Folder and Open the AppData

 The Windows Live mail files are located in the Local folder in the edb database file and they will look something like this:-

C:\Users\taff\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts\{7fadbe1a-88f7-45ef-92d9-8228549cb5d9}\DBStore\xxx.edb

This is a system controlled file so if you haven’t removed the tick from Hide OS files, as mentioned above, you will not see the database file.

You now need to download a tool that can convert this edb file to a comma separated variable (.csv) file so that you can create a file that can be re-imported into your new copy of Windows Live Mail.

Download the EseDbViewer from Woan

(Post Note 1/12/13: Looks like the developer doesn’t provide a download for this but points an alternative tool. If you need a copy of the old EseDbViewer contact me via the links below)

Install EseDbViewer
(Note: you may be prompted to install .Net4 if it is not already installed on your system if so then install .Net4 as prompted)

You now need to run EseViewer in ADMIN MODE

Right click the EseViewer application
Select to Run as Administrator
EseDbViewer opens

With EseViewer open browse and open the edb file (note there may be more than one in the directory – try them all one at a time)

Now EXPORT the converted data in Windows Mode to create the .csv file

Save the converted file in a convenient location or memory stick

Open the new copy Windows Live Mail

Select Contacts – Import

Browse to the created csv file and import your contacts.

Note: If necessary remember to reselect to hide OS protected files on the old PC.

Of course this process is only necessary if you cannot access the original copy of Windows Live Mail with Contacts showing. If you have this option then the process is much simpler as you can export the contacts directly from Windows Live Mail to a CSV file and then re-import into the new PC.


Taff Lovesey (fantasy novels)

About taffybach

Author of the young adult fantasy novel series, The Portal Chronicles, including The Spider Gem and The Shimmering Gate. When not writing and promoting Taff runs a small IT support company, LITES PC based in Bourne UK.
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One Response to How To Transfer Windows Live Mail Contacts to a New PC (from edb file)

  1. Pingback: Solution: Recover/import Windows Live Mail Contacts to new computer | Triple-S Computers Blog – Louisville, KY computer repair specialist

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