How to Backup and Restore Your Rules in Outlook Express

Many Outlook Express users have rules for their email they can’t live without. Plus sometimes the way you enter the rules disables other rules, so when you finally get them sorted you need to back them up.


The problem is when you want to format or perform a backup, you can’t grab your outlook rules as easily as you can your address or even your emails. These simple step by step directions for Outlook Express will help you back them up, and even later restore them at another time, or even another PC.

You will need to follow these directions step by step being very careful as editing the registry could end up comprising the whole system.

I recommend performing a backup of the registry before proceeding. Only you are responsible for any damage that may occur during your editing of the registry.

Go to your start button and click on run. Type in the word regedit and click OK. If nothing has happened you may have typoed, so be sure to check you typed regedit correctly.

A window will popup that looks a lot like windows explorer, except at the top it reads Registry Editor.

You see will five folders under the My Computer icon. If you don’t see them click the + so they drop down. The only folder we want to pay attention to is the HKEY_CURRENT_USER folder. Click the + by it, once again a lot of folders will drop down. Scroll down to the Identities folder and click the + again, and on the identity number folder, software folder, Microsoft folder, outlook express folder, and whatever version number you are using folder (5.0). Click the + by the folder named Rules and then click on the folder named Mail.

On that Mail folder you will officially be in HKEY CURRENT USER\Identities\(Identity Number)\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0\Rules\Mail Which you can see at the bottom of the folder in the status bar.

At the top of the window click on the word File, then click export. In the save box, change the location to your desktop and then name the file something you will know when you see it. Example “Mail Rules” then click save. It will save to your desktop very quickly.

Back in the registry click the X in the right hand corner to close. Now save your mail rules to your backup location.

To restore your Outlook Express mail rules at a later time or another PC follow these simple directions.

Once you have your email accounts set up in Outlook Express, simply double click the registry file you created from the above directions. It will ask “Are you sure you want to add the information (location) to the registry, click Yes. Now you are done.

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