Friday, 5 September 2014

Outlook Express File Extension

As a computer user, you must be very well aware of emails .And using emails for day-to-day communication and share information. If you use email services then you must have heard about Outlook Express .Outlook Express is an email client designed by Microsoft Corporation. It is one of the most popular email Client among windows users and available for free. It is used to send and receive message or emails. To use Outlook, you just need to configure an email account to send and receive emails. Outlook allows you to have more than one email account .the services can be used for business, home or as multi –purposes.
The most important feature of Outlook is that all your email resides on your system. Once you are connected, it downloads all your emails and save it to the local machine. Outlook store files in its database in various formats. Some of the formats are DBX files, EML files, TXT files, WAB files for address book, VCARD files and IAF files for internet account, etc.

·        DBX file:
   All emails in Outlook Express are stored with .dbx extension. The DBX files contain a folder created by outlook email application. These folders contain email messages of a specific mailbox.

·        EML file:
    This is also a format for saving Emails in Outlook .Outlook allows you to save your emails under this extension(.eml) as it is a standard formats for emails.

·        TXT files :
   These are simple text files that contain email messages as text. These are simple ASCII files without any specific or standard formatting.

·        HTM or HTML files:
   Html file are ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) file but with comes specific format. File contains HTML tag so, outlook handle these file a little differently. Outlook express has a built –in tool HTML editor to read and interpret the file.
·        WAB file :
   WAB stand for windows address book. Outlook Express Address Book is exported in the .wab format .It is recommended to keep a back up of address book and email messages regularly. So that, you can restore the address book an emails lost due to any crash or virus attack etc.


Let’s come back to DBX, for understanding this file extension more clearly. Outlook Express is an email application in which folders contain files with .dbx extension. The messages in the folder are stored of specific mailbox, called as Store Folder. Outlook store message folder in separate .dbx files, one folder per file. The files are named according to the corresponding Outlook folder name.DBX file are encoded in UTF-8 Most importantly, if you need to keep a back up of Outlook email then you can save .dbx file at safe location.



2.     Click on the TOOLS.

3.     Select OPTION.

4.     Click on MAINTAINENCE.

5.     Select the STORE FOLDER.

6.     Browse LOCATION.

7.     Click OK.


When you open store folder, you can see all the .dbx file. Every file contains messages from specific folders. For example: INBOX.dbx, SENT.dbx and so on. Main folder i.e. FOLDER.dbx is an indexing folder and contains all the mails and other synced data.


Various issues have been encountered related dbx file. Some of the issues are discussed here:

  • The most common problem occurs when we move our Outlook Express messages to other identity or other system. For this when you copy dbx file from one folder to other, you need to copy the FOLDER.dbx file too as it is the indexing folder.
  •   The other problem occur when DBX file get damage or corrupted ,in this case you need take  the help of some tools for recovery of DBX files.
  • The extremely large size of INBOX.dbx, DELETE.dbx and SENT.dbx file, sometimes slow down the Outlook Express or even cause loss of data .To avoid data loss   need to make a back up of emails at regular intervals.
  • If, you try to open a dbx file using notepad, it will look like image below. The screen if informative if observed carefully as forensic expert. 
  • A view of DBX file in Text Editor

Need of conversion:
It is difficult or almost impossible to extract .dbx file manually. So, it is recommended to convert DBX file into EML file. After conversion it becomes easy to extract emails from DBX files. Various tools are available in the market for conversion but it is recommended to go with the trusted brand.



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