• David Moore

Leaving windows live mail behind



If you are still using Windows Live Mail then you are exposing yourself to at least 8 years of evolved security risks.

The most recent (read newest/latest) version of Live Mail is from 2011.

Microsoft ended support for it that long ago.

That means that the most recent threats it knows about come from 2011. The bad guys have 8 years of new stuff that can cause your live mail quite some headaches.


On top of that, the good guys have evolved such that Live Mail may not know how to talk to your email host for much longer (if indeed it still does).

Of course many people have a great proportion of their important information stored in email program (clients).

I regularly see clients with thousand and thousands of email in Live Mail and nowhere else. Not backed up in any way, not synchronized with a server...nothing.


This is massive liability and when you/they move to a new computer installer an 8 year old copy of Live mail is a very bad idea.

In the not recent past getting your email from one program to another and onto a new computer was probably the biggest pain of migrating to a new PC.

Everybody wants to keep all those thousands of emails even though chances are they'll never look at them again. Most don't even know what they've kept. I usually find the most emails in the Recycle Bin.

Most email programs have "a way" of getting your data from like-to-like i.e the same program on another computer.

But when you change, or are forced to change for your own good, things become a bit painful.

If you've been lucky ot smart enough to be using the IMAP email protocol in recent years then you'll be pretty fine.

IMAP is a synchronizing protocol which means we just have to collect your email with a new email program using IMAP and your emails will all show up pretty much they way they looked on the old program...folders and foibles and all.

Sometimes, where things are really incompatible between old and new PCs, I have been forced to use this strategy to migrate email i.e. set up or use an IMAP email service e.g. Gmail, on both PCs and copy what we want from the old email into the Gmail/IMAP email. It will then sync' up to the new PC via the Gmail account.


If that option is undesirable then the free email program Thunderbird now does a pretty good job of handling your old Live Mail emails.

Firstly you have to export you Live Mail email messages to an external hard drive so you can copy them to the new PC.

You then copy the exported folder (with all its sub-folders) to your new PC. Preferably under the Documents folder and logically (read clearly) named.

You then install Thunderbird and set it up as your new default email program.

You will then notice that the individual emails within the exported Live Mail folders have little Thunderbird icons on them. They'll have .EML file extensions.

You won't see the sender name or the subject by default but you can make those visible by adding the appropriate columns in Windows File Explorer in the Live Mail folder.

You then just find the email you want, double-click on it and it will open up in Thunderbird looking pretty much the way it did in Live Mail, just without the security risks.

More details and step by step instructions are here...


#email #thunderbird #livemail

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