Share Outlook Express emails among multiple XP user accounts?

Dennis Faas's picture

Malcolm C. from Sydney, Australia writes:

" Hi Dennis!

First of all, thanks for the great Newsletter. It is very helpful and informative. And, now for my problem: I was reading an article in Microsoft Knowledge Base about 'How To Share the same email Store Folder among multiple Windows XP users [for a family PC, for example]' (KB 317031) and thought that might be a good idea.

Unfortunately, it seems somewhere I have made an error. I have 4 email accounts under my Windows login; now, all but 1 has lost all the emails and folders. The folders have been replaced with the standard Inbox, Outbox, Sent, Drafts and Deleted Items which are empty [similar to when Outlook Express is loaded for the first time].

I am by no means an expert but not a novice either and I really have no idea what I can do to recover these emails. Can you help me with any advice? Please! Thanks very much! "

My response:

Most likely, the Store Folder you're using to point all the identities to isn't the correct directory -- which is why 3 out of 4 emails folders appear empty.

The easiest solution to this dilemma is to search your hard drive for the largest set of .DBX (Outlook Express email folder files), mark the location of these files, and point all the identities' Store Folder to this directory.

To locate all .DBX files on your hard drive(s), Start -> Search -> Files / Folders, and search for:


As discussed in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article #317301, you can change the location of your Store Folder by:

  1. Loading Outlook Express (OE)
  2. Click Tools -> Options
  3. Click the Maintenance Tab
  4. Click the Store Folder Button
  5. Click the Change Button and navigate to the stored .DBX folder you want to use (for whichever XP account is logged in).

Good Luck!

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