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Monday, 25 June 2018

Backup Windows 10 Mail app

If IMAP is used with the Mail app, there is normally no need to backup messages as they are still stored on the server and will appear again when the same account is setup. However, messages retrieved from a POP3 account may or may not still exisit on the server, and sent messages probably will not be. I have found the following process useful in backing the E-Mail up and restoring it after reinstalling Windows 10:

These instructions contain the raw ingredients of the procedure only - I hope to add screenshots and better instructions when I have more time available.

Backup:
1. Export and save the following registry key to a backup location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ActiveSync
2. Create a new local user account with administrator privileges.
3. Sign out of the account with the Mail that needs to be backed up and sign into the new account.
4. Enable the viewing of hidden files and folders.
5. Navigate to the following folder: C:\users\account_name_that_needs_to_be_backed_up\appdata\local
6. Save the folder called 'Comms' to a backup location.
7. Double click on the 'Packages' folder and save the folder called 'microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe' to a backup location.

Restore:
1. Start the Mail app and close it again without setting up any accounts.
2. Create a new local user account with administrator privileges (skip this step if the account created in the backup process still exists).
3. Sign out of the account that the previously backed up Mail needs to be restored to and sign into the new account.
4. Enable the viewing of hidden files and folders.
5. Navigate to the following folder: C:\users\account_name_that_needs_to_be_restored\appdata\local
6. Rename the folder called 'Comms' to 'Comms.old' and restore the original 'Comms' folder from the backup.
7. Double click on the 'Packages' folder and rename the folder called 'microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe' to 'microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe.old'
8. Restore the original 'microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe' folder from the backup.
9. Sign out of the new account and sign back into the account where the Mail needs to be restored to.
10. Import the registry backup containing the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ActiveSync key.
11. Start the Mail app - the messages should be restored but the password for the E-Mail account will need to be re-entered for the app to be able to retrieve new messages.

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