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MS Outlook Express - A Guide To Origin, History And Replacement

Published on 12 June 15

In the vast domain of email clients, there will be a name that will always be remembered for its HTML emails and scripts. Outlook Express a widely used email client in its time, was introduced with Internet Explore from version 4.0 to version 6.0. It was also a part of some versions of Windows OS like Windows 98 to Windows 2003, Windows 3.x, Windows NT 3.51, Windows 95 and Mac OS 9. MS Outlook Express replaced Microsoft Internet Mail and News.

Due to the similarities in their names, MS Outlook and Outlook Express are often considered as related to each other. In fact, Outlook Express is said to be the descendant of MS Outlook. But this is not true. It is completely a different application from MS Outlook and holds no similarity except common architectural philosophy.
History Of Outlook Express

The origin of Outlook Express is marked by Microsoft Internet Mail and News. It was email and news client introduced in the year 1996 as a part of Internet Explorer version 3. In 1997, the program was renamed as Outlook Express with Internet Explorer version 4.0. The executable file of Microsoft Internet Mail and News, i.e. msimn.exe was handed down to Outlook Express as the executable file. In the later times, with the release of beta version of Outlook Express version 5, an advanced spam filter was introduced in it. But because of the criticism faced by it due to its instability for mass market, the feature was removed soon before getting launched.

The database of Outlook Express 4.0 was MBOX format. The emails were stored in .mbx file. But in Outlook Express 5.0, this database format changed to .dbx files. For each default folder of Outlook Express, a separate DBX file is created.
Versions Of Outlook Express


Operating System



Windows 98

Microsoft 98 For Macintosh

June, 1998


Windows 98 Second Edition

June 1999


Windows 2000

February 2000


Windows Me

June 2000


Windows XP

October 2001

Issues With Outlook Express

Difference In Email Standards

One of the issues faced by Outlook Express users was the incompatibility of email standards of OE with other email clients. For instance, MS Outlook and MS Exchange deploy a Transport Neutral Encapsulation format for its attachments. This format is not decoded or supported by Outlook Express and thus its users are not able to understand the attachments sent form such email clients.

Corruption Issues

The main reason behind corruption in Outlook Express is issues in its database due to exceed in its size limit. The maximum limit of the size of DBX files is 2 GB. In case the database size increases, the database gets corrupted and hence leads to abrupt functioning of Outlook Express.

Issues In Security

Being one of the earliest email clients to use HTML scripts, the emails in Outlook Express were usually infected with virus. Another issue that was usually encountered with the email client was that any script used to get open as an attachment.
MS Outlook Express - A Guide To Origin, History And Replacement - Image 1
Replacement Of Outlook Express

Eventually, Outlook Express was supervened upon by Windows Mail and after a period of time by Windows Live Mail in the form of different software for Windows operating system.

In Macintosh operating system, OE was superseded by Entourage up to 2008 edition. After that Macintosh was replaced by MS Outlook 2011. Many tools started to make this conversion automatic such as this dbx to pst converter from FreeViewer which help the Microsoft OS user to make the transition smoother when they are upgrading their email client or OS.

This blog is listed under Development & Implementations Community

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  1. 06 July 20

    I would like to suggest you can Download ZOOK DBX to PST Converter. It can maintain the all email properties of DBX file into PST after the conversion of files too. The email structure of file contains To, Cc, Bcc, From, sender, receiver, etc. all will remains same. It is a safe and a reliable solution for users to convert their DBX files and archive them into PST. the tool is also capable to preserve the same folder structure to save Outlook Express emails in same folders and sub-folders. It can smoothly install on Windows OS because it easily supports Windows 10, 8, 8.1, 7, Vista, XP, and all below versions. Try the free demo of the tool and convert DBX to PST format which offers to export 25 items only. Explore More:-

  2. 14 September 17

    An effective way to repair your DBX files and convert into Outlook PST format. The repairing function involves many steps which should be executed correctly by selecting right option at every step. If you need steps to perform to execute this process, then you can read the post suggested below carefully:-

  3. 30 October 15

    Use this DBX to PST Converter software to convert dbx to pst files in easy steps. DBX to PST Converter supports all major Outlook versions including Outlook 2007, 2003, 2010 and 2013. Use this DBX to PST Converter to convert dbx to pst files. See more information at :-

  4. 26 August 15

    Perfect DBX to PST Converter is a professional utility for the migration of Outlook Express DBX Files into usable and importable Outlook PST files.It supports conversion of DBX, PST, EML and MSG files into PST, MSG, DBX, EML, RTF and HTML format. Go through these details:

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