Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


Transfer Mail and Address Book to new Laptop?

I have a PC desktop and I just purchased a Dell Laptop. The technician at my internet provider helped me transfer my e-mail account so that I would get all future e-mails on my laptop. He couldn't tell me how to transfer my address book, old e-mails etc from my desktop, onto my new laptop. I was wondering if you could advise me on how to make that happen? Or maybe you could tell me where to get that info?

Transferring the address book is relatively easy. In fact, while this won't help you since you're switching computers too, many email programs will actually import address information from other programs or older versions on their first run. All you really need is some sort of media (floppy or USB drive) to copy the information over. You could probably even email it to yourself if you know how to use attachments.

Outlook Express

In Outlook Express, select File --> Export and select Address book. I recommend that you use a comma-separated values (CSV) format as it's more portable and can be recovered if something happens since it's just a basic text file. Copy that onto the new computer, choose File --> Import, and select the CSV file. That should do it!

Backing up email is more difficult, however.

Here's the basic process in Outlook Express..