Hotmail, now officially known as Outlook.com, is one of the most popular webmail services. Many users have years or even decades worth of emails stored in their Hotmail inbox that they may want to back up or export for various reasons. Here are some key things to know about exporting your Hotmail emails:
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Why Export Hotmail Emails
There are several reasons you may want to export your Hotmail emails:
- Back up your data – Exporting creates a separate copy as a backup in case something happens to your account. This protects valuable memories and information.
- Free up storage space – Hotmail has storage limits. Exporting removes emails from the web interface while saving them locally so you can delete them from Hotmail and free up space.
- Migrate to another service – Export Hotmail emails to import into another email platform like Outlook or Thunderbird.
- Offline access – Saving emails locally allows you to access them without an internet connection.
Manual Method to Export Hotmail Emails
Hotmail does not have a built-in tool to export all emails. However, you can manually export individual emails:
- Open the email message
- Click on the More actions icon (3 dots)
- Choose Save as
- Select storage location on your device
- Click Save
This exports the email as an EML file which can be opened by email clients like Outlook and Thunderbird.
- Extremely time consuming to do for thousands of emails
- Only exports one email at a time
- Attachments may not be included
Use Email Backup Software
For a faster and more effective Hotmail export, use third-party email backup software that is designed to export Hotmail inboxes. Some top options:
Hotmail Backup Tool
- Exports Hotmail emails and attachments
- Saves emails in formats like PST, PDF, MBOX, EML
- Filters emails by date, folder, sender, etc
- Easy to use with step-by-step wizard
Mail Backup X
- Backs up unlimited Hotmail accounts
- Encrypts backup files for security
- Option for incremental backups to only export new emails
- Works on both Windows and Mac
- Auto-syncs Hotmail emails in real-time
- Backs up emails, contacts, calendars
- Schedules automatic daily, weekly or monthly backups
- Fully customizable backup locations and settings
How to Use Backup Software
The general process to export Hotmail emails using backup software is:
- Download and install the email backup software
- Enter your Hotmail email address and password
- Select export settings like file format, folder exclusions, date range, etc
- Pick a storage location on your device to save the backup file
- Click export and wait for the process to finish
- Access your exported Hotmail emails on your device storage
Be sure to read all instructions carefully to customize settings before starting the export.
Access Exported Hotmail Emails
The exported Hotmail backup file can be opened using various programs:
- PST files – Microsoft Outlook
- EML files – Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple Mail
- MBOX files – Thunderbird, Mozilla Mail, Eudora
- PDF files – Any PDF reader
You can also import the files into another webmail provider like Gmail.
Exporting Hotmail emails allows you to create a separate backup copy to prevent data loss. Manually exporting individual emails from Hotmail is extremely tedious. For best results, use advanced third-party software to automate exporting your entire Hotmail inbox and attachments. The exported file can be securely accessed from your local device storage without needing internet access. Just be sure to use strong passwords to restrict access.