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Windows 7: Where on hard drive does windows live email store email attachments?

25 Apr 2012   #1

windows 7
Where on hard drive does windows live email store email attachments?

I can open an email and open an attachment on that email.

I can look on my harddrive and find the same email text file easily enough on my harddrive, and open that text file using notepad.

But I cannot find where the attachment(s) is stored on the harddrive? I've looked everywhere.

The reason is that I want to write a program that will archive windows live emails - and their attachments.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Apr 2012   #2

Win7 H.Prem. 32bit+SP1

This gives the info you need. WLM Contacts Database.pdf

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2012   #3

windows 7

Thanks for the reply. I did find the contacts database on my harddrive.

But that's not what I need.

What I need to know is where on my hard drive does Windows Live Mail store the attachments to my emails?

Today, I can open an email from 1998 and save its attachment to my desk top. But I cannot find out where the mail program was storing that attachment, or over a decade of other email attachments, on my hard drive.

There must be a place on my hard drive that has a ton of email attachments. But where?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Apr 2012   #4

Win7 H.Prem. 32bit+SP1

Are they not stored within the email. Other than that I don't know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2012   #5

windows 7

I originally thought the same thing. But no, it's not included inside the email file.

I checked two ways ...

i) By opening an email, that had an attachment, with notepad. There was no text that might have been an 'attachment'. Everything was simple human readable stuff. No block of hex code or whatever that might have been some kind of attachment.

ii) By checking the size of an email file, that had an attachment. The email was 3kb. The attachment was far larger. Hence, the email could not have contained the attachment.

Conclusion, no. The email file does not contain its attachment. The attachment must be located somewhere else on the hard drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2012   #6

windows 7

What I have done is to create a file. I named it xyz123abc.jpg

I then attached that file to an email and emailed it to myself.

I have started a search on my hard drive for that file. A long shot. But who knows?

It's amazing that I can't find anyone who knows the answer to this critically important question, or maybe that nobody considers the question as important as I do.

I mean, if I'm backing up my email store folder, but the attachments aren't in it, then how good is my backup?

Why does MS have to make this so hard?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2012   #7

Win7 H.Prem. 32bit+SP1

Hi Robert,
have a look at this till I try something else. Export & Import Messages in WLM.pdf

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2012   #8

windows 7

That IS interesting. I think I might know what you're thinking with that? I might try exporting one small email with a large attachment, taking that export folder to another computer, importing it. If the attachment is present, then it must be inside the export folder. Should be easy finding it then.

I'm going to be out for the next couple days. But I'll get back into this as soon as I can.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2012   #9

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64

I think that they are stored within the email itself.

To verify that, I sent myself 2 identical emails, with the same title and text content (even down to punctuation and upper/lower case), one with an attachment and one without. The one with the attachment weighed in at 3,002 KB, whereas the one without was just 2 KB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2012   #10

windows 7

Dwarf, that's an intelligent idea. This is getting interesting.

Are you using windows live mail?

I'll try that same test also to see what I get.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Where on hard drive does windows live email store email attachments?

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