.DBX File Extension

Outlook Express E-mail Folder

Miscellaneous File
.dbx files are used by Microsoft's Outlook express email application and contain your email messages.

Outlook Express saves your .dbx in a folder on your computer. To find this folder, open outlook express and select the maintenance option (tools > options > maintenance).
In this folder, you may find a number of .dbx files. Outlook Express creates a .dbx file for each message folder in Outlook Express. So inbox.dbx will contain emails from your inbox for example.

You'll also notice a file called folders.dbx. This file contains an index of all your message folders (and newsgroups) in Outlook express.

It is very difficult to extract individual emails from a .dbx file, however there are many applications available that are able to do this (see DBXtract link below).

Outlook Express comes bundled with most versions of the Windows operating system and is used to compose and view emails. Outlook express is probably the most common email client on the Windows platform. If you have the Microsoft Office suite, a more advanced version of Outlook Express, called Outlook is available which includes additional features such as a calendar.

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    Comments (30)
    showing 1-30
    Alan Fraser
    2007-04-01 14:05:51

    How can I look at old OE inbox files?

    Many thanks
    2007-06-30 12:31:10
    I compacted outlook express files. found them in recycle as .bak files. upon restoring they went into outlook express application data, etc. How do I return them to my outlook express folders?
    2007-11-15 15:53:18
    I saved emails to a CD in the DBX format which can ONLY be read in OE. Then I saved emails to the same CD in a FOLDER which can be read by Word or Notepad...but I don't know HOW I did it ! ! Anyone have any idea ??
    Jay /
    2007-11-16 11:47:20
    Hi Wm,

    Did you use the export function? What is it you're trying to do?
    2007-11-20 21:07:00
    Thanks, Jay. I saved 2 sets of emails. One set had a .dbx extension. Second set saved a a FOLDER, no dbx extension. Second set will open as any folder containing files. The files automatically open with OE, without IMPORTING them into OE. Each file is an envelope icon with the ewmail subject.

    I can make a snapshot and send you if I had an email address.
    Jay /
    2007-11-27 14:57:45
    Hi Wm,

    You could indeed send a snapshot but I don't think that will help solve how you created them. I'd take a guess and say that the first set (the file with a .dbx extension) was saved using the export function, whereas the second set (single emails within a folder) were saved by drag/drop to a folder.

    Are you trying to import your emails, or are you trying to find out how you created two different types of backup?
    w cummings
    2007-11-27 20:35:40
    Are you trying to import your emails, or are you trying to find out how you created two different types of backup?

    Answer...Jay, "trying to find out how I created two different types of backup." And I think you answered that. Thanks.
    2007-12-09 10:10:38
    Big problems (for me ) I'm a novice here.
    How do you find out what the file attachments are attached to e-mails are and how do you the open them when the screen reads find a file to associate to the attachment.
    Thank you
    2008-01-25 16:45:09
    I am trying to import my emails back into Outlook Express. I had some problems with a corrupted file and when I finally became operational, there were no emails remaining in OE, so 80k emails went missing (yes, I know it is a lot). I really need them back. I have found the files simply by doing a *.dbx search.
    I would truly appreciate any help here.
    2008-02-03 15:50:54
    I need to delete old OE stored files from my harddrive to free up memory. Two or 3 times I have filled up OE until I had to make a new identity (8 or 9 thousand message and it will quit). I need to find where OE stored these large files and their names and delete them as I don't need them any more. I don't want to delete anything that would affect my OE program. Thanks for any help.
    2008-08-28 12:12:02
    All my email folders were compressed and I found them as dbx extensions. How can I put them back into Outlook Express and/or how can I open them to read as I really need them.
    Live With Hope Centre
    2008-09-04 07:20:33
    I found all my email folders deleted. How can I get all the inbox and sent items.
    2008-10-10 08:49:12
    I want to print the list of emails sent or received from one of my outlook express folders, I don't want to print each individual email just the information of who sent it, what date it was sent or received and who the email it was from. Is this possible?
    2008-10-16 09:27:43
    I lost an all day job on a file dwg extension because i was working on the email i receved throw outlook express (so i was temporary) without saving it.there is a way to recover it? Also i saw some dbx files: maybe from that?
    2008-10-23 02:20:52
    Like Icmeo, I allowed Outlook Express to compact messages and it deleted them. They are all sitting in my recycle bin as .bak files within the names of my different folders created in the inbox. Please can somebody advise how I can restore or re-import them to my inbox. If you right click on the .bak file and restore they get lost in the abyss. Also, how do you reply to these posts? I would like to ask Icmeo if he got the answer.
    2008-12-15 18:37:51
    How can I open the dbx file or restore the compacted folders - especially the in-box! need help urgently!
    2008-12-29 19:47:01
    I have a file in my backup folder for Outlook Express named contacts.dbx, and I'm having the hardest time restoring it. I have copied the file to my current OE account, but cannot open it. I was able to restore all my messages, but the contacts is another story. This is the file which contains all my email addresses, and I can't do anything with it. Also, I don't have a WAB (I know I should), and this is a separate thing from my contacts list for OE. Furthermore, my contact list in Outlook is totally different than my contact list in OE, so it's not like I can import from Outlook. What can I do?
    2009-01-16 13:31:36
    How can I print a table of all the email messages I received in my Outlook Express Email Inbox? I am able to do so in Outlook by going to "File - Print - Table Style."
    Jeanne B
    2009-02-02 08:54:07
    How do I get a dbx file backup/restore into a folder in OE?
    2009-09-27 08:04:28
    All my email folders were compressed and I found them as dbx extensions. How can I put them back into Outlook Express and/or how can I open them?

    I also found them in my recycle bin as BAK files. What to do please?
    Emmanuel Joseph
    2009-10-15 16:46:17
    I have changed my operating system from Windows Vista to Windows XP - but I can't retrieve my emails, what is the next move?
    Dave R
    2010-01-13 14:10:58
    Currently outlook express DBX files are taking up almost a third of my hard-drive. Is there any means of deleting or purging the sent and deleted DBX files to recover some of my disc space, or is dumping outlook express as my email service the only viable solution?
    Jay /
    2010-01-13 14:17:56
    Hi Dave,

    You have a few options, you could select all your emails then drag and drop them directly to a CD/USB memory stick (which is what I used to do) or you could use the 'export' function in the file menu.

    Your other option would be to switch to a web-based email client (such as Google mail) which almost eliminates the problem of storing them on your computer - plus you can then access your emails from anywhere.
    2010-01-25 11:08:24
    I had a hard drive failure and managed to save my DBX files. I had 4 separate accounts on my OE but when I try to import them (the messages) I get only the principal account. I have tried to import them using the principal account and then each individual account but it always imports the same messages. What am I doing wrong?
    2010-02-04 18:36:40
    OE compacted all my folders. Would like to get back sent folder messages. How do I do this? I went into my recycle bin and restored files but they are not in my OE. What am I doing wrong?
    2010-05-02 17:59:02
    It is easy! You just look at the original path of the bak file before you restore it from the recycle bin.

    If you mark the file in the recycle bin, at the bottom of the window you can see the original path of the file. Click "restore", and then go to that folder (or first go to that folder and then copy the "inbox.bak" file in manually. Then remove the damaged "inbox.dbx" file from that folder, and rename the "inbox.bak" file from the recycle bin into "inbox.dbx". That's it! Be careful with any new emails you have received since the problem has occurred, there will not be included in your original, undamaged file from the recycle bin.

    In fact, this worked for me and is taken from the microsoft support page. Good luck!
    Virender Kaushik
    2010-06-15 05:23:59
    Is is possible to restore backups from Windows Live Mail to MS Outlook Express?
    Eric Bregg
    2010-06-28 17:10:12
    I have deleted files stored in a folder call delete.dbx. I am currently trying to retrieve them and it's asking for which program to use. How can I retrieve them?
    2011-06-01 21:55:50
    I compacted some of my outlook folders. Would like to get back sent folder messages. How do I do this?
    Dilshad Khan
    2011-08-22 07:30:02
    What is Extension File Out look Express What is diffrent between MS outlook and Out look Express