By using this method, you will be able to restore all your mail folders, all your mail and news accounts settings, and your address book for one Identity. You will lose all your subscribed newsgroups, all message rules, all Block Senders entries, all custom views and all custom toolbars. If you use multiple Identities, you must repeat this process for each Identity, or else use the Complete Backup for Advanced Users.
Please read the Files & Settings section if you have not already done so.
1. Backup your OE mail and news accounts.
Click Tools| Accounts, select the account to backup, then click the Export button. This will store the account's settings in a *.iaf file at the location you specify. You can later import any *.iaf file by clicking the Import button. Your account password is stored in encrypted form in the *.iaf file. Be sure to export all mail and news accounts, and any user-created LDAP accounts you might have created. The default LDAP accounts will always be created fresh when you install or upgrade OE.
2. Backup your address book.
Open the Address Book and click Help| About Address Book to see the full path to the current *.wab file used by all your Identities. Find that file in Windows Explorer and copy it to your backup media. You can later import the backup by opening OE and clicking File| Import| Address Book.
I recommend that you create an emergency backup of the Address Book as well. Open the Address Book by double-clicking the *.wab file. Click File| Export| Other Address Book, then click on Text File (Comma Separated Values). Click the Export button, specify a destination folder, and click Next. Select all the fields shown for a complete backup, then click Finish. The resulting *.csv file can later be imported using File| Import| Other Address Book| Text File (Comma Separated Values).
Note: If you do not see a path to a *.wab, then you have set OE to share the Contacts folder in Outlook98 or Outlook2000, and you should consult the Outlook Help file for instructions on backing up your entire Outlook *.pst file.
3. Backup your mail folders.
In OE, click Tools| Options| Maintenance| Store folder to see the path to the folder currently being used for your message store. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the Store. Copy the Folders.dbx file and all <mail folder>.dbx files to your backup media. It is not necessary to copy any <newsgroup>.dbx file because OE will not import newsgroup messages, only messages in mail folders. You must include Folders.dbx in your backup or you will be unable to import the mail folders!
To restore your mail folders, open OE and click File| Import| Messages| OE5 (or OE6 if OE5 is not listed)| Message store directory, then browse to the folder containing your old messages. Do not copy the backup files into the current OE message store or the import will fail. If you saved your backup on a CD or a networked drive, you will need to copy the backup to your hard disk and verify that none of the *.dbx files are marked as "read only", or the import will fail.