Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Migrating from Windows Live Mail to MS-Outlook

Which email client does your law office use?

I raise this question, as the purchase of a new computer for my desktop has necessitated the migration of all my emails – around 20 Gigs worth – to my new machine.

Out of habit, if nothing else, we have used Windows Live Mail as my office’s email client of choice.

While I suspect MS-Outlook has long been most lawyers’ preferred email software, I was always fond of Outlook Express, the predecessor to Windows Live Mail. When OE was discontinued, we migrated to Windows Live Mail as the path of least resistance.

Windows Live Mail, however, has become increasingly clunky over the years, and key, “can’t live without them” features, such as the ability to use email stationary, have for unfathomable reasons, simply been eliminated from the software.

We worked around these limitations by continuing our use of older, legacy versions of this software. And it worked just fine.

As we discovered, however, Windows 8.1 does not appear to allow the installation of these legacy versions.

As a result, I have made a long-avoided migration to MS-Outlook.

The migration process was a rather simple, if time-consuming, three-step process.


  • First, I exported all required emails from Windows Live Mail to a version of Outlook that was already installed on my old computer. Note that to use this method, it is necessary to have Outlook installed (with a profile set up) on the computer from which the export is being done;


  • Using Outlook on my old computer, I then exported all emails, via the resulting PST file, to our data server, where it will also be permanently archived for backup purposes;


  • Using Outlook on my new desktop, I imported the PST file from our data server, and my emails, including storage folders and subfolders, were restored.

  • My email life can now seamlessly carry on.

    Outlook has numerous advantages over Windows Live Mail that were apparent even in this transition process.

    Windows Live does not support exporting directly to our data server, for example. The software’s export function only allows saving to the desktop that hosts the program. This makes backing up and archiving a very cumbersome process.

    The ability to export to a single PST file also has numerous advantages for archiving purposes.

    So I am finally aboard the Outlook train.

    Are there any other Windows Live Mail holdouts out there?
    - Garry J. Wise, Toronto


    Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

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