How do I import from Windows Mail (Win7) to Windows 10 email?

Just upgraded from Win7 to Win10.

I had thousands of old saved emails in Windows Mail (the local computer based Win7 compatible mail client, not the webmail).
Win10 says my old mail is still there, and SAYS I can import it, and I have the Win10 email app working.
But I see no method, and discover none up to now, to import anything into the Win10 email client.

Very frustrated as I have two decades of email there (having migrated forward from Outlook Express, to Vista's mail client, and then to Windows Mail under Win7.


Fantastic Member
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I'm pretty sure Win7 didn't come with a native Mail app; you had to use something called Windows Live Mail and that required a download from Microsoft via Microsoft Essentials. There were about 4 flavors of WLM; 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012. WLM has since been eliminated from being upgraded further (sort of like the way Outlook Express disappeared). Win10 Native Mail app now replaces all versions of WLM. The good news is that the W10 Mail app can import your old Email from OE & Windows Mail (Vista) and various versions of WLM. However, it is not an easy process; as I've done this on a couple of my computers upgraded from both Vista and Win7.

There are a couple of shortcomings in Win10 Mail, and the main one is that if you try to import both contacts and your Mail messages at the same time to the Win10 Mail app, this won't work and you'll have to do them separately. In addition, the Win10 Mail app is very finicky about using certain ISP webmail accounts such as Verizon, AT&T U-verse, Cox, etc. So, even if you get your Message history and Contacts moved over, you won't be able to get any NEW E-mail unless you first DISABLE your antivirus/antispyware/firewall security apps. And if that fails to work, you'll have to logout from your Microsoft Account login, go to a Local Login or create a Local Login if that computer you are running Win10 Mail app on doesn't yet have a Local Login; delete all of your E-mail accounts, add them back in 1 at a time; get your E-mail sending/receiving, logout from the Local Account and then Log back in with your Microsoft Account and try to send/receive again. It's a very unfriendly and difficult process. I spent several weeks figuring it out. If you have Internet-based webmail such as Yahoo, Gmail, or AOL this is easier than having to deal with one of the ISP webmails as mentioned above.

I'm not familiar with the actual size limit on the Win10 native Mail app, but if it works like previous versions of WLM, or OE, regardless of your webmail provider, you may run into problems with a really large message store; especially if you have more than 500 messages in your inbox. If you have substantially more; say 3,000 messages or more in the inbox, the W10 native Mail app may stop working, hang, or crash. This has been a long-time limitation of E-mail going back the 2 decades you mentioned (actually back to OE97). So, if you've been aware of this problem and chances are good you ran into along the way over the years, you would have filed your messages you wished to archive into folders, which can then be easily imported (i.e.: OE->WLM->Win10 native Mail app). There are several pitfalls here, and though Microsoft has done a nice job with the streamlining of the Win10 native Mail app; these issues remain, as well as reduced functionality of the Mail itself.

If you really want to get around all these issues, and use a really large Mail message store (.PST or .OST file), I suggest you consider changing to Outlook365 or Outlook2016. I finally did this as it was getting really frustrating moving my various E-mail accounts over to Win10 native Mail app as I mentioned. I did get it done, but I've been an E-mail administrator for at least half a dozen companies over the years and have expert E-mail skills. This move from WLM to Outlook365 wasn't real easy either, as I had to start a brand new .PST file for each E-mail account (I setup 5 originally, but now have 4). But, the extra functionality was something I missed having run Outlook since 1995 for work purposes. In 2010, I had to give up Outlook and switch to WLM, due to the high cost of an Outlook2007 to Outlook2010 upgrade (over $300!). I will tell you that it's been very warm & fuzzy being back on Outlook, especially the Calendar function, which I had sorely missed with WLM. My upgrade cost is $119 per year with Outlook365 part of the Office365 online annual subscription. I gave up transporting my hundreds of thousands of E-mails between various E-mail clients due to size limitations and corruptions of old .pst files etc. and moved all of my really important archived stuff to my Yahoo! webmail account back in 1999 or so. I find that now I only access that really old stuff once maybe twice a year if that; and have been paying for it all these years. Of course, that's up to you--but, it turned out to be an effective method. Once your .PST file reaches over 500MB or so, things stop working well anyway, and when I was on Outlook2007 with a file larger than 500MB I began running into lots of quirky problems. Microsoft tells you that the .PST file is infinite, but as far as home computer use goes, the product really breaks down unless you build a dedicated MS Exchange E-mail server for huge .PST files.

This is probably more than you ever wanted to know, but you seem savvy on E-mail from your comments, so I thought I'd give you some further explanation and possible advice on how to proceed. Hopefully, it's helpful to you.

Best of Luck,:thumbs_up:

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