Store Folder

OE Classic uses open storage formats. This ensures that the data you create with it will be readable by some other program in the future even if you choose not to use OE Classic anymore. This page documents formats OE Classic uses and may be updated from time to time.

Unless you really know what you are doing, please DO NOT modify store folder files manually. If you do so, you can seriously damage program and it may not work as expected. Often, program must modify several files to do a single operation so unless you manually replicate all of these modifications it may also cause malfunction. For these reasons if you do modifications, you do it entirely on your own risk and we do not take any responsibility or offer any support or help with that.

Where does OE Classic stores messages and settings

To make it all really simple, OE Classic stores all data inside just one folder. It uses standard LocalAppData folder for storing program settings and data, just like many other programs do.

To go straight into this folder on Windows 7, 8 and 10 you can press Windows logo key on keyboard (which opens Start menu or Start screen) and then type %LocalAppData%\OEClassic\User (and press Enter).

You may also notice that there are some other folders inside OEClassic folder, except the User folder. These are used by the program and you should not modify them. Your own data is stored in the User folder only.

Windows
OE Classic store folder
Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista:
C:\Users\{YOUR-USERNAME}\AppData\Local\OEClassic\User

Where {YOUR-USERNAME} is the actual username of the user as configured in your copy of Windows.
Windows XP, Windows 2000:
C:\Documents and Settings\{YOUR-USERNAME}\Local Settings\Application Data\OEClassic\User

Where {YOUR-USERNAME} is the actual username of the user as configured in your copy of Windows.
Custom location:
You can alter store folder location via registry key under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\OEClassic key name UserDataLocation (path must be without trailing backslash). Make sure you modify this while program is not running. Next time you run program, it will use new folder location. If it doesn't find any files inside, new folders and files will be created.

How to manually backup store folder

  1. Ensure program is not running before you do anything else. This avoids the situation where you copy a file and program attempts to write something to it. This is a critical step, make sure you follow it.
  2. Using the table above open store folder in your file manager (Windows File Explorer or any other). Above folders may be hidden by Windows, depending on your Windows settings (by default Windows hides these folders so you have to enable Windows to show hidden folders). Be careful because showing hidden files also exposes some other files required for Windows to operate correctly.
  3. Make a copy of all files, subfolders and files inside those subfolders which are all stored inside store folder. Copy all of them to your desired backup location. Make sure you preserve the structure - all files and folders must stay in exactly the same order relative to the original root store folder. This is especially important if you intend to copy these files back to OE Classic.

    Store folder on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista

    [C:] - root folder (C: drive)
    [Users]  
    [John] - this will be your username instead
    [AppData]  
    [Local]  
    [OEClassic] - OE Classic data folder
    [User] - folder to backup (everything inside)
    [John Smith] - include in backup (folder)
    [Main Identity] - include in backup (folder)
    _AddressBook.db - include in backup (file)
    _Identity.db - include in backup (file)

    Store folder on Windows XP, Windows 2000

    [C:] - root folder (C: drive)
    [Documents and Settings]  
    [John] - this will be your username instead
    [Local Settings]  
    [Application Data]  
    [OEClassic] - OE Classic data folder
    [User] - folder to backup (everything inside)
    [John Smith] - include in backup (folder)
    [Main Identity] - include in backup (folder)
    _AddressBook.db - include in backup (file)
    _Identity.db - include in backup (file)

    [OEClasic] \ [User] folder contents (identity folders)

    [User] - contains all of the data you created
    [John Smith] - contains an identity
    _Config.ini  
    _Folders.db  
    Inbox.db  
    Inbox.mbx  
    ... - more files here...
    [Main Identity] - contains another identity
    _Config.ini  
    _Folders.db  
    Inbox.db  
    Inbox.mbx  
    ... - more files here...
    _AddressBook.db - file contains contacts for all identities
    _Identity.db - file contains identity information
  4. If you need to copy backup files to OE Classic store folder to replace damaged set, make sure you use only backup files which you made for that particular OE Classic version. Using older backup files with more recent version of OE Classic may not work. If you make a copy of backup files, you may write a note which version of OE Classic you were using at the time. Store folder database format is not modified often so it may work across several versions but there is no guarantee for that.
  5. That's it, you're done.

How to manually move store folder to another computer

This example uses Windows XP as source and Windows 10 as destination. But it applies to any operating system on which OE Classic works. So you can move from Windows XP to Windows 7 or any other combination.

  1. Prepare an USB drive or another removable media which you will use as temporary storage of the OE Classic store folder and connect it to your Windows XP.
  2. Make a backup of the store folder on Windows XP following the steps described above (how to manually backup store folder). So in short - find store folder on Windows XP using the above table, copy everything inside to a folder on USB drive. So everything that is inside User folder must end up on your USB drive.
  3. You will now have a backup of your store folder on your USB drive. Connect it to Windows 10 machine.
  4. Run OE Classic on destination machine (Windows 10) at least once to let it create store folder and all the files inside. Close OE Classic after it has created the initial store folder.
  5. Now, using the above table, find the location where OE Classic has just created the store folder on Windows 10. Browse to that folder and delete all the files/folders inside User folder but keep the actual User folder itself. Note: Deleting this folder data will delete all emails or other data downloaded to Windows 10 machine - only delete if you don't have important data there!
  6. From your backup store folder on USB drive, copy all the files/folders exactly as they are into the store folder on the target machine. So, copy everything that was inside User folder on source system inside User folder on destination system.
  7. That's it, next time you run OE Classic it will see your transferred folders/emails/settings because OE Classic keeps everything in just this one folder.

What formats are used in store folder

Please do not modify store folder files manually. Read the note on top of this page.

In OE Classic, system files are prefixed with underscore ("_" character). User created folders can have any other name that doesn't begin with underscore (program prevents user to create files which begin with underscore).

Store folder MBX files don't have any practical size limits but in case if you are wondering - 2 gigabytes per single message in a folder and 8 exabytes per entire folder file (8,589,934,592 gigabytes).

  • INI file (e.g. _Config.ini) Standard Windows INI file - to read it use any text editor (Notepad or any other)
  • DB file (e.g. Inbox.db, _Folders.db) SQLite database (public domain) - to read it use any SQLite management tool - for a list of such tools take a look at SQLite management tools
  • MBX file (e.g. Inbox.mbx) OE Classic format (public domain), used for storing raw message data (text, HTML and attachments). Messages are stored one after another in one large file. Each message is preceded by a plain-text header line indicating 32-bit message length, followed by raw binary message data. To read this file you can use any text editor but note that some messages may store binary characters which some text editors may not read well. For this reason, MBX file should be treated as binary file.

OE Classic MBX format description

MBX is binary file format (public domain), although it can be read (in most cases) in plain-text editor (e.g. Notepad). Parts which are headers can be treated as text and parts which contain message raw data should be treated as binary.

Each MBX file begins with 42 byte header - usually:

MBX HEADER
[mbx][CR][LF] - general header
vers=1.00[CR][LF] - MBX file version
pack=none[CR][LF] - packing/compression
encr=none[CR][LF] - encryption
[CR][LF]

In version 1.00 "pack" and "encr" are unused (always "none") but if they change, whole header will likely remain the same length in the future.

Following the initial header are messages, one after another. Each message is also preceded by message header:

MESSAGE HEADER
[hdr][CR][LF] - message header
mlen=1234ABCD[CR][LF] - hexadecimal message length, 32-bit (unsigned)
[msg][CR][LF] - indicates message will begin in next row

The above header is 29 bytes in length but it should not be considered fixed length. In future versions, [hdr] section may be expanded with more lines (line order should not be assumed - they can be in any order). Ending of header and beginning of message is indicated by [msg][CR][LF].

Following is raw message data as received from server. It may contain binary characters like 0x00 or 0xFF so it cannot be considered plain-text data. Length in file is exactly as defined in message header "mlen" field (excluding the last [CR][LF] which is not part of the message - it ensures new message header begins in the next row).

Message ends with [CR][LF] after which another message header begins and so on until the end of the file. So the whole MBX file looks like this:

MBX HEADER
MESSAGE HEADER
RAW MESSAGE DATA[CR][LF]
MESSAGE HEADER
RAW MESSAGE DATA[CR][LF]
...
MESSAGE HEADER
RAW MESSAGE DATA[CR][LF]
END OF FILE - Last [CR][LF] (above) is the actual end of file
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