Where does Windows Live Mail store my mail?

A reader asked in what folder Windows Live Mail stores your inbox and other mail folders

A reader wants to know in what folder Windows Live Mail stores your inbox and other mail folders.

Windows Live Mail--part of Microsoft's Windows Live series of free downloads--is the logical successor to Vista's Windows Mail and XP's Outlook Express (Windows 7 doesn't come with a mail client). It works in XP and Vista as well as Windows 7.

If you've installed Windows Live Mail in Vista or Windows 7, chances are your email is stored in subfolders of C:\Users\yourlogon\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail, where yourlogon is, of course, the name you use to log onto Windows.

If you installed Windows Live Mail into XP, the path is probably C:\Documents and Settings\logon\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail.

You may run into trouble navigating Windows Explorer to either of those folders, however. That's because several of the folders within those paths are hidden. But you can easily get inside the hidden folders via the command prompt. In Vista or Windows 7, click Start, type %homepath%\appdata\local, and press ENTER. In XP, click Start, then Run, type %homepath%\local settings\application data, and press ENTER. You'll still have to drill down a few folders from there, but those folders will all be visible.

If the Windows Live Mail folder isn't where I told you it would be, here's how to find it: In Windows Live Mail, press ALT to bring up the old-fashioned menus and select Tools, then Options. Click the Advanced tab, then the Maintenance button. Click the Store Folder button. And there it is.

If you have other tech questions, email them to me at answer@pcworld.com, or post them to a community of helpful folks on the PCW Answer Line forum.

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Lincoln Spector

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