Windows Live Mail Tutorial

Windows Live Mail Account Settings


Import your Windows Live Mail settings to another PC Windows Live Mail stores part of its settings in the Local App Data store, and part of them in the Windows registry. There are other settings, like Windows' "new mail sound", which are operating-system-level settings on which Windows Live Mail only indirectly relies. You'll learn how to access the settings for any email account you've configured (active or inactive), with a quick breakdown of the Account Properties tabs. We'll also show you how to locate your profile and account settings in the Windows Registry, and where your profile folder and files are stored on your PC (Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 / 8.1). Knowing where to find Windows Live Mail settings for your own profile lets you easily import / export between different computers!

Note: a separate tutorial will show you how to import and export your settings, profile, and email messages between Windows Live Mail and other email programs like Outlook Express or Microsoft Outlook 2007 / 2010 / 2013.

Change your email account settings

View / customize current email account settings To view or customize the current email account's settings, select the "Accounts" tab in the Ribbon, and click on the "Properties" button: this will directly open the Properties dialog for the email address you were using.

From there, just navigate through the five tabs to configure various options. Here's the breakdown, per tab:

To access the settings of other email account you've configured, click on the "Windows Live Mail" button (top left), select "Options", and click "Email accounts": (Alt+F,O,E) Manually add email accounts in Windows Live Mail This will open the Accounts dialog: double-click on any them to customize it. (You can also click on the account name to select it, and then click "Properties".)

Account settings stored file location

Windows Live Mail stores user profile settings in local app data folder Unlike most other applications, Windows Live Mail doesn't store its settings in the "App Data" folder (which corresponds to the "%appdata%" environment variable, and whose location depends on the version of Windows you are using). It uses instead the local store, also known as "%localappdata%". This is actually the correct approach, since %appdata% should (in theory) only be used to store local user settings that are designed to be synchronized across computers. In practice, however, most programs store everything inside %appdata%.

Windows Live Mail profile settings in Local App Data folder The folder location for Local App Data varies based on the OS version you are using: if you want to backup your entire profile, exit WLM first, and just wait a few seconds. Then, copy and paste that parent "Windows Live Mail" folder onto another drive, or writable CD / DVD / USB removable media of any kind.

You'll recognize the sub-folder structure: "Your Feeds" contains .rss items for your RSS feed subscriptions; "Storage Folders" contains your email folders (double-click to explore), etc. You have everything covered, between the local settings folder and your registry (explained next). If you have a Gmail account, Yahoo Mail, and a Hotmail / email address all set up inside Windows Live Mail, all those accounts will store their data in separate sub-folders.

Side info: if you navigate to it, you'll see a bunch of folders and files related to your Windows Live Mail profile, like the Backup and Calendars folders, log files, as well as one or more ".oeaccount" files. (Note that several of these files are locked while Windows Live Mail is running, and you'll get a "sharing violation" error message if you try to open them, let alone edit them.)

Windows Live Mail account settings in the Windows Registry

To edit your account settings in the registry is definitely NOT recommended: go instead through the program's main window and Options dialog to customize anything. To VIEW your profile settings for any other reason, launch the registry editor by typing "regedit" in the start menu, and hitting Enter (this also works from the Run dialog). Then, navigate through the registry tree to this address - sample screenshot below:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows Live Mail Windows Live Mail settings in the Windows Registry

Registry settings for your Mail profile Under the sub-key "mail", you'll find several settings like your default font size, (values under "Font Name" and "Font Size"), whether or not to show detailed headers in the Reading Pane ("Show Header Info"), your Reading Pane orientation and position, etc. Under the "Compose" sub-key, you'll find various settings related to emails you have written - like recently used emoticons, etc.

Export Windows Live Mail settings for registry backup Tip: To backup your Windows Live Mail settings from the registry, right-click on the "Windows Live Mail" key and choose "Export" from the context menu. Pick a save folder, type a name, and ".reg" file will be saved in the destination folder. Double-clicking on it would add all the saved value to the registry of the computer from which you double-click on that file.

Import Windows Live Mail settings to a different computer

Import your Windows Live Mail settings to another PC The only import functionality in Windows Live Mail is to import messages from another computer. But, once you exported your profile folder and registry key for Windows Live Mail, importing your settings to that new computer only entails copying the folder to your new profile (type "%localappdata%" in Windows Explorer or the Run dialog), and to double-click on the .reg file to import those settings into the registry.

Caveat: make sure that Windows Live Mail is completely closed before you import any settings. Ideally, back up both the current registry entry as well as the Windows Live Mail folder inside Local App Data, to be on the safe side!
© 2016 Windows Live Mail Tutorial, all rights reserved - Legal & Privacy | Sitemap | Feedback - Tutorial last updated on September 16, 2014