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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

1467. What about Outlook Express?

It’s finally time to upgrade my computer from Windows XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8. I’ve been using Outlook Express for years, and I have a ton of email stored in that application. Will I be able to use Outlook Express, and access all my saved email, once I upgrade?
There is a very simple answer to this question: no. Outlook Express simply will not run on Windows 7 or Windows 8. That’s the end of the story. Nothing you can do will make it work. As far as upgrading, we strongly suggest just “biting the bullet” and upgrading to Windows 8.1 Upgrade (the latest version). Although Windows 8 had its share of issues, Windows 8.1 Upgrade is stable, and we think it’s a great operating system, if you’re a Windows user. It may still be missing some important features (OK, we’d like to see a built-in Start menu) but besides its very shallow learning curve for existing Windows users, it’s a simple, stable, robust operating system.
Back to email, however: Because you cannot run Outlook Express, you’ll need an alternative. One simple alternative is to migrate your email and contacts to, Microsoft’s free online email client. You can read more about the process here: If you require a computer-based email client (so that you can read your email when offline), check out Microsoft Live Mail, part of the Windows Essentials pack ( It doesn’t work exactly the same as Outlook Express, but it’s close, and it’s the simplest free replacement available for the Windows 7 or Windows 8 desktop.
You can also take advantage of the Windows 8 Modern UI mail client, on the Windows 8 Start screen. This application is geared for a touch environment, and it works quite well with fingers or with a mouse. If you’re up for some experimentation, you can also try out a new email client for the Modern UI, TouchMail (available from the Windows Store).

Finally, if you would prefer to use the Windows desktop, you can try out Windows-based email clients as well. Mozilla Thunderbird is popular (, as is PostBox ( These applications have the added benefit of being available on both Windows, and on Mac OS X. If you’re willing to put some money into it, you can also use the excellent Outlook 2013 client application, part of the Office 365 suite ( You can find many more options, if you search the Web—these are the ones we’ve tried out personally.

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