If your still using Microsoft “Outlook Express” for email then you should be looking for an alternative sooner rather than later for the following three reasons.

  1. Hackers love sending mass emails from infected computers using Outlook Express
  2. You are most likely still using Windows XP or even earlier editions of Microsoft Windows
  3. Mail providers are now starting to block users connecting via Outlook Express (mainly for reasons 1 & 2), all email applications do a “hand-shake” with the mail services and thats when the connection fails and frustrates the email user preventing emails from arriving as previously expected.

Install Thunderbird

You can install Thunderbird on older computer systems and get used to Thunderbird’s functionality today and then migrate to a new computer tomorrow installing Thunderbird and retain the things you learned and apply this to the new computer (Apple, Windows and GNU/Linux systems).

Download the Mozilla Thunderbird application here: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/ Install this by opening your downloaded file and for Microsoft users still using Windows XP and Outlook Express, Thunderbird will import all your email, contacts and email settings for you.

Important note: Your first check for email, you will need your email password handy and select the “remember password” checkbox when prompted. Passwords are not part of the included migration process.


Need to contact your email / Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your email password?

I have created a list for the most common New Zealand ISP’s including telephone numbers and links to email setup guides here: https://supportu.nz/services/internet-service-provider – You can also give me a call 03-929029 if you just want tech help without the call centre treatment and hassles.

A Real Basic ThunderBird Guide

Thunderbird main window view

Creating emails using thunderbird

Thunderbird how to create new email

History of OE

(Credit Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outlook_Express)

Version 1.0 was released as Microsoft Internet Mail and News in 1996 following the Internet Explorer 3 release.[2][3] This add-on precedes the Internet Mail profile for Microsoft Exchange4.0 bundled in Windows 95. Version 2.0 was released at the end of 1996. Internet Mail and News handled only plain text
and rich text (RTF) email, lacking HTML email.

In 1997 the app was changed and renamed as Outlook Express and bundled with Internet Explorer 4. The executable file for Outlook Express, msimn.exe, is a holdover from the Internet Mail and News era. Like Internet Explorer, Outlook Express 4 can run on Mac System 7, OS 8, and OS 9.

At one point, in a later beta version of Outlook Express 5, Outlook Express contained a sophisticated and adaptive spam filtering system; however this feature was removed shortly before launch. It was speculated on various websites and newsgroups at that time, that the feature was not stable enough for the mass market. Nearly two years later, a similar system, using a similar method of adaptive filtering, appeared as a feature of Microsoft Outlook.

Internet Explorer 5 required Outlook Express 5 to save Web Archive files (see MHTML).[4]

Outlook Express 6 is the last version of the software with Outlook branding. It has a similar layout to Outlook Express 5. It was included with Windows XP.

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