How to restore Windows Live Mail Contacts?


I recently rebuilt my dad’s computer, from Windows Vista to Windows 7. I have everything back now, except for the contacts in Windows Live Mail. How do I restore these from backup? I had his whole user directory C:\Users\<user>\ being backed up to a NAS. So I located the contacts.edb file from the backup, located at

C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts\<guid>\DBStore\contacts.edb 

So I copied that file (along with the others stored there contacts.pat, dbstore.ini, edb.chk) to where I found contacts.edb after installing the latest version of Windows Live Mail 2011:

C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\Default\15.4\DBStore
C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\Default\15.4\DBStore\Backup\new
C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\Default\DBStore
C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\Default\W4CR1\DBStore

But this does not seem to have restored the contacts. When I open WLM and go to Contacts it tells me there are 0 contacts. How can I restore the old contacts?? Of course I did look first for a Windows Live Contacts folder to restore them into, but there is no such folder under the new WLM apparently.

Failing this, is there some way to extract the contacts from the EDB file, into a format which can be imported into WLM (csv, wab, .contact)?

Asked by eidylon


To anyone finding this in the future, THIS CAN BE DONE! Use this program – EseDbViewer – to export the file to a CSV file, and then you can import that where ever you want.

Note that you pretty much need the whole file structure containing the edb, not just the edb file.

Hat-tip to @MicrosoftHelps on twitter.

Answered by eidylon