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Windows 7: Address Book Folders

18 Nov 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Address Book Folders

I have not been successful in exporting the folders from my OE Address Book on XP to WLM on Win 7. My OE address book had about 1000 contacts arranged in ten folders. I have tried both .wab and .csv. Instead of appearing in folders, the contacts all import in one huge list---no folders. [An aside: Groups (as distinct from Folders) which were not inside a folder imported OK.]

How can I export/import address book folders from Outlook Express to "Windows Live Mail"...? [Message folders imported with no problem.]

Many thanks,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2010   #2

Windows 8 Pro w/MC 32-bit

No. In WLM the "categories", as they are called now, are basically tags added to certain contacts. Even completely within WLM Contacts you can't preserve the categories in an export/import situation. However once set up in the "signed-in" version of your contact list, the MS website will keep the most recent version of your list, including categories, and use that to populate a new install of WLM when you sign in.

(It's not entirely impossible to preserve your categories for your "not-signed-in" list. To do that you must back up the entire Windows Exolorer tree containing the contact database and replace the contents of ".../Windows Live Contacts" with your saved version.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2010   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by roncerr View Post
(It's not entirely impossible to preserve your categories for your "not-signed-in" list. To do that you must back up the entire Windows Explorer tree containing the contact database and replace the contents of ".../Windows Live Contacts" with your saved version.)
Could you please expand. I posted after having already imported both the .csv file, and when that didn't give me my contacts folders, I imported the .wab file. The latter at least produced my Groups, but still not the folders. When you say to "back up the entire Windows Explorer tree containing the contact database", are you referring to something other than exporting and importing the .wab or .csv file?

When you say to replace the contents of ".../Windows Live Contacts" with your saved version are you referring to folder:
C:\Users\Janet\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\\15.4\DBStore ? [Where does the 15.4 come from??]

This folder has 4 files:

Which contents do I replace with what (given that all I have is a csv file and a wab file)??

A further strange point: When I open the .wab file in XP, I see the tree structure of all the folders and their entries; but when I open the same .wab file in Win7, I just get a pop-up window saying that I am about to import my contacts....

What are signed-in vs. non-signed-in contacts?
Will my whole contact categorization system be only with MS online and only transferable to future versions of WLM?? This whole set-up sounds more appropriate for people who are into social-networking and not for a business. I have 10 years of business contacts (1000+) in my OE Contacts folders--sounds like WLM is not the right program for me....(?)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Nov 2010   #4

Windows 8 Pro w/MC 32-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by janetb View Post
...Which contents do I replace with what (given that all I have is a csv file and a wab file)??
I think I confused you by adding additional information. The answer to your question is at the beginning: "No." When changing over from the previous versions of mail (OE or WM) you can import ALL your contacts, just not the groupings you had created. So you will have to sort them in to groups, called "categories" all over again in WLM.

After your are all set up and re-grouped or categorized in WLM contacts, the next issue is saving, or backing up the categories as well as the contacts. It's easy to do that as long as you are "signing-in" each time you start the WLM application. That's because your "signed-in" contact list is always being backed up at the website in full, including categories and all contacts.

However, if you don't want to sign-in (either automatically or manually) when you start WLM you can use WLM and the contact list that you create when not signed in: your "not-signed-in" contact list. If you choose to do the "export" contact thing with WLM you wll be backing up ALL your contacts but not their organization into categories. If you want to not sign in AND back-up your categories with the contacts, that's when you need to do the WLM equivalent of saving the *.WAB file as we did in OE. The equivalent thing to save is all the contents of the "Windows Live Contacts" folder in Windows Explorer. (Save the entire folder and rename it "Stuff".) When you later start up a brand new empty installation of WLM it will have a "Windows Live Contacts" folder in Windows Explorer, containing nothing of value to you since you have no contacts yet. To restore your backup, drag and drop the contents of your "Stuff" folder into the new "Windows Live Contacts" folder. Windows will ask many questions so just say "yes" and "try again" until the questions stop. All of the above steps are done in Windows Explorer with WLM closed. When you open WLM it's new "not-signed-in" contact list should look like the one you backed up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

1. Before continuing, we need to clarify your use of the term 'Groups'.

When I imported my wab file into WLM
a) it did import my groups (in addition to the individual contacts), but
b) it did not import my folders (tree structure).
c) Also, it did import groups that were in folders as well as groups that were not in folders.

When you refer to categories in WLM, are you referring to the equivalent of OE's groups or OE's folders?

2. Is there any email program compatible with Win 7 which can support the importing of OE's folders/tree structure?? Perhaps Outlook? With ten years of business correspondence, I can't afford to start recreating all my folders by dragging 1000 addresses one by one to newly created folders......:-(.....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2010   #6

Windows 8 Pro w/MC 32-bit

The term "groups" was used in OE and WM but has been changed to "categories" in WLM. The groups formed a tree structure in the contacts list of the older programs. Since you mentioned "wab" as your source, I assume you are not referring to the folder structure of your messages but of your contacts. In WLM the contacts are duplicated on the website (if you sign in when starting up WLM). But whether looking at the website or the contact list in the WLM application all I see are "contacts" and "categories" and the ability to add contacts or create new categories.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2011   #7

64 windows 7 p ro sp1 & xp sp3

I have over 3,000 contacts in some 15 specific folders . The only way after a year of trying to use windows live mail and folders is to use thuderbird which will allow you to import individual folders exported one at a time from OE as csv files. Then imported one folder at a time into thunderbird. Agree that Window Live Mail is not a good business application and appears to be designed with social networking in mind, not the small business user, to bad Maybe Microsoft will figure this out and create a fix. Untill that time will continue to use thunderbird as main business email client and WL for what little social networking I do and as a read only program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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