How Do I Copy a Folder From Outlook Express to a Flash Drive?

By Nick Davis

Outlook Express is an email client for Windows-based computers. The program is bundled with Windows XP and is a scaled-down version of Microsoft Outlook. Outlook Express includes the ability to access newsgroups, send and receive emails, and access web-based email services. Like other email programs, you can copy individual folders of email from Outlook Express to a flash drive or other removable media. You don't need a special third-party application to make a backup of your Outlook Express folders.


To copy a folder from Outlook Express to your flash drive, make sure your flash drive is formatted and ready to accept files and folders. To check the status of your flash drive, insert the flash drive in any available USB port. You should hear a chime from your computer's speaker. This chime indicates that the flash drive is recognized by the Windows operating system. A dialog box will appear next showing the contents of the flash drive. If you don't hear a chime or see a dialog box, the drive may not be formatted. Navigate to “My Computer” and find the icon for the flash drive. Right-click on the flash drive's icon and select “Format” to prepare the drive for files and folders.

Navigating to the Outlook Express Folder Path

Open Outlook Express by clicking on the application's icon on the desktop or from the menu located within “Start.” Once the program is open, click “Tools” then “Options.” Click the “Maintenance" tab then click the "Store Folder" button located toward the bottom of the dialog box. The "Store Location" dialog box will appear listing the location of where the various Outlook Express folders are stored on your computer. Click inside the "Store Location" dialog box with your mouse, highlight the path by holding the right mouse button as you move the mouse to the right. Once the path is highlighted, press “CTRL” and “C” to copy the contents you just highlighted.Open a Windows Explorer window by clicking “Start,” then “My Computer.” Click in the “Address” box at the top of the Windows Explorer and press “CTRL” and “V” to paste the Outlook Express path into the “Address” box. Look at the end of the path and you should see “Outlook Express” at the end of the path. Highlight the “Outlook Express” wording and delete it. Press the “Enter” key. Windows Explorer will open the folder containing your Outlook Express folders you want to copy to a flash drive.

Copying Outlook Express Folders

Right-click on the Outlook Express folder (data file) that you want to copy to your flash drive. Select “Send To” then “Removable Disk (X:).” The “X” represents the drive letter assigned to your flash drive. The Outlook Express folder (data file) will then copy to your flash drive.

Removing the Flash Drive

Do not remove the flash drive from your computer without properly stopping the drive from within Windows. Click on the two-arrow icon located on the task bar by the clock. The “Safely Remove Hardware” function will open. This function properly closes the active files on your flash drive and keeps the drive from becoming corrupt. Select your flash drive from the list of hardware and click “Stop.” Your computer will pause for a moment, and then the flash drive will disappear from the list of hardware. You can now remove the flash drive from your computer.