Looking For Email Client That Reads Outlook Express .dbx Files

I've recently migrated from XP to Win7 and because of that, I'm looking for an email client. I've been using Outlook Express for some time now and have legacy messages that I would like to port to my new client.

Does anyone know of any email clients (other than Windows Live Mail or Outlook) that work well on Win7 and will import my old OE .dbx files directly?

I understand that there is software available to convert the .dbx to mbox or MH, but before I do that, are there any clients that read .dbx directly without having to resort to a third party?

Thanks, C:\

Hi Kemical, Thanks for the help.

I've done some research and reading into clients, and as you would expect, Thunderbird came up frequently. So, yes, I've considered Thunderbird, but it didn't make it to the top of my list. As to why it's not at the top of my list...

When you read reviews about anything (software, car tires, barbeque grills) written by the general public, what I normally find is that you usually have about an equal number of people who thing something is the greatest ever and those who think it sucks hard. The extremes generally cancel each other out and then you have everyone else in the middle. What you have to do is gauge the trends of the people in the middle to figure out where the entity being reviewed actually falls.

Problem is there seem to be way more people who dislike Tbird than like it. Completely subjective, but that's what my limited research lead me to believe.

So, I took a look at that mozillazine KB page you pointed me to, and I'm not sure I understand the details. They talk about the Import Wizard being able to bring everything in:
If you are starting up Thunderbird for the very first time, the Import Wizard will pop up, and you can then select the "Outlook Express" option to import your mail, address books, and settings.
That sounds to me like it will read .dbx folders in directly (which is what I want), but then they get into "Advanced alternatives":
Use either DbxConv or dbx2mbox to convert the .dbx files used by Outlook Express to mbox files. Then import the mbox files using the ImportExportTools extension.
So the question is, if thier import wizard does what they say it does, then why would you need "advanced alternatives"?


Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
I used Ritlabs "The Bat" for many years and changed reluctantly to Outlook but I'm fairly sure it would import dbx files - have a look here:

RITLabs. The Bat! Email Client

Thanks for the additional help guys.

The Bat! showed up on my radar, but it was a smaller blip. There didn't seem to be a lot of people using it so the number of opinions was limited. I'll dig into their website and see what I can learn.

Well, I've tried Pegasus Mail and Claws, and neither of them import .dbx directly. You have to use a third party program to convert to mbox, and then bring in the mbox file. Bummer too... Claws was pretty nice with that exception.

Pegasus wasn't for me. Very configurable in areas that I don't care about, and not configurable in the areas that I DO care about.

I'm currently playing with EM client, and I can confirm that it DOES import Outlook Express files directly, but you have to have a fully populated OE folder with all the files the program expects, or it will bomb. I had created a temp folder and dumped in just a few of my .dbx files and that didn't work. Only way I could get it to work was to have all the .dbx files available in that folder at the same time. You are presented with a choice of which ones you want to import, but they all have to be in the directory or things get confused.

That's fine with the exception of the incremental updates that I'm going to have to do in the future.

Also, I didn't try The Bat! because it seems I couldn't find a free version that I could drive around a little to see if it was what I was looking for.

Bottom line? Changing email programs after all these years....... Sucks.

Forgot something...

Only other thing I'm not sure about with EM Client is the format that it uses to store the mail. There is one huge file in the folder that I'm sure contains all the email messages. I suspect it's of proprietary format which (since I don't want to have to go through this ever again) is concerning to me.

Ralph Bromley

Extraordinary Member
For me I use thunderbird, ignore the reviews its better than outlook and eons better then live mail IMHO

For me I use thunderbird, ignore the reviews its better than outlook and eons better then live mail IMHO
+1 It does everything I ask of it but I may not be asking as much as you. I know it imported everything for me!

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