Restoring contacts.edb in Windows Live Mail 2012 (SOLUTION)

Restoring contacts.edb in Windows Live Mail 2012 (SOLUTION)

Contacts appear to be stored in
 C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\Default\DBStore\contacts.edb

However, if you attempt to copy this file to a different computer, you will quickly discover WLM will not read it. This makes it impossible to perform an automatic backup without creating a microsoft live account.

You will also fail if you copy the entire folder
C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\

Some people report having success with EseDbViewer from woneware being able to read the contacts.edb from earlier versions of WLM like 2010 and 2011 but it doesn’t appear to work on WLM 2012.

I have had inconsistent success with copying the contacts from one user to another user on the same computer, but it always failed when I copied it to a differant computer.


1. Download the Nirsoft ESEDatabaseView program from here:

2. Run ESEDatabaseView.EXE
3. Click file, open ese database file, and choose your old Contacts.EDB file.
4. Choose SimpleContact from the dropdown list at the top (not EmailAddress like you would expect)
5. You should see the data here. if you dont have that many contacts, it will be easier to just type them back into WLM manually from here, otherwise, keep reading.
6. Select everything (Ctrl+A)
7. Go to File—-> save selected items.
8. Click Save and choose CSV for the file type and save it to your desktop.
9. Now you can run WLM and click Contacts, and Import, CSV!
12. enjoy!

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