Fix: Windows Live Mail Duplicate Folders and Emails

Windows Live mail is a third party application that comes with Windows Essentials. Windows live enables you to sync your mail by downloading your emails, and sending emails through a host server. These emails are stored locally on your computer making it possible to access even when you are offline.

Usually, Windows Live Mail creates a folder on your storage space bearing the names of the categories of your mail, e.g. outbox, inbox, drafts, deleted mail and any other customized folders you create. Windows Live Mail then reads these folders and categorizes your mail for viewing. Incoming and outgoing mails are stored in these folders as well.

There have been reported incidents where many Windows Live Mail folders contain 100’s of emails but the content for each is the same. A similar is issue is where the messages are duplicated, appearing several times on your Window Live Mail folders. This issue occurs when Windows Live Mail crashes and attempts to recover the email data. The same case occurs when your mail gets corrupted due to a power loss, malware infection or bad encoding. Windows Live Mail tries to recover the corrupt mail and when it does so, it creates a messy looking directory structure under the Windows Live Mail directory in a Storage Folder.

The same issue is also likely to occur if you have set the wrong system time on your PC mismatching with the mail server, therefore resulting in WLM downloading emails over and over again. If you have configured the same email twice or more, then you will get the same emails being synced to your computer, and since the email id is the same, you will see this emails in your account.

If this is your case, this article is going to show you how you can restore all the original email content on your application.

Method 1: Remove duplicate email accounts

This will delete and prevent duplicate emails in your app. For each account created, Windows Live Mail generates a folder labeled first with the ISP, then the e-mail address and then, if both of those are duplicated, a numerical suffix eg (1), (2), etc. Within each folder there will be subfolders for Inbox, Drafts, Sent Items, Junk Email and Deleted Items.

  1. You might want to back up your emails incase anything goes wrong. You can then restore your emails if that happens.
  2. To remove duplicates: Open Windows Live Mail, simply navigate to the duplicated folder, right-click on the folder name and then select “Remove account”. Confirm that you want to remove the account. The duplicated account instance will be removed from all your folders.
  3. Alternatively, Open WLM > click the blue button at top left > Options > Email Accounts > then by selecting one at a time, click one of the duplicates > click Remove > repeat until all duplicates are removed > click Close when done.

Method 2: Set the correct system time

If the system time is wrong, WLM will download the same mails over and over as it tries to sync to the server time. To set your date correctly:

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open run
  2. Type timedate.cpl in the run textbox and hit enter to open the date and time window
  3. Click on ‘change time and date’
  4. Choose your date and time and click OK
  5. Click on Apply, then OK to finish setting up the time and date
  6. Restart Windows Live Mail. The dates will sync but if your duplicates still appear, you might need to re-add your account and WLM will download the mails again.

Method 3: Manually sort your email and delete duplicates

If your account settings and time settings are okay, trying to restore mail using your application will only double or multiply the mail you see in your WLM app. We will have to manually recreate our folders and then import this folder to be synced into the Windows Live Mail application. All your mails are stored in a windows live mail local directory. We will therefore work with this directory which is located in C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\. There you will find all your email account folders as well as other mail folders you may have created and the mail program related files. To restore original mails:

Step 1: Sort your emails

  1. Exit Windows Live Mail
  2. Copy all the email files in the WLM folder C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\ into a separate location and organized them into the folders you want.
  3. Scheme through your mails and delete duplicates. Find your emails and create folders into a nice directory structure that you like in the separate location.
  4. Take a backup copy of all the files in your WLM folder
  5. Delete all the emails folders from the Windows Live Mail directory.
  6. Deleted all the Windows Live Mail program related files under the main directory as well (edb.chk, ebd*.txt, edb*.jrs, Mail.pat, oeconfig and RssFeeds XML files, tmp.edb, WindowsLiveMail.txt, and the main one Mail.MSMessageStore file).
  7. Now delete the files (not the folder itself) under the Backup\new directory as well because if Windows Live Mail doesn’t find the original files it goes to the backup location.
  8. The Mail.MSMessageStore file (your mail database) might be corrupt in the backup location as well so you will still have the same problems when Windows Live Mail used the backup file. Delete that file too.
  9. Keep the folders which relate to your email account as well as the very long “account{<random_characters>}.oeaccount” file.  Those are related to your email account profiles so keep those in place.

If you cannot find any mail on your WLM folder, you can use Mailcure downloadable here to scan your drive C: for lost and deleted mail. Save your mail as EML file and then use step 2 below to import your mail. If you find duplicates, go back to step 1 and see how you can sort your mail.

Step 2: Import sorted mail

  1. Restart Windows Live Mail. It will recreate the necessary Windows Live Mail program related files that were deleted
  2. In your WLM application, Click on the Tools icon drop down arrow (or press Alt + F) and click on Import Messages. In the window that appears, choose Windows Live Mail and click next.
  3. Click on the Browse button and navigate to the Messages folder that you had worked on earlier. Select your folder and click OK.
  4. Select ‘All folders’ then click on the Next button.
  5. Click on the Finish button and let your mails import. If you had correctly named and arranged your files, you will have your original mail content back.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.