How to backup and restore MailEnable configuration and user data


It is relatively straight forward to backup and restore MailEnable. When using the default configuration storage method (i.e. not using a database for configuration) you can simply backup everything under the "Mail Enable" directory to an alternate location (by default MailEnable is installed to your servers "Program Files (x86)" path).  If you are migrating MailEnable to another server, you normally would not do a backup/restore but use the method described in Article ME020073.


There are three main areas where MailEnable stores configuration and user data. You can use the MEBackup utility supplied by MailEnable or your own third party application to backup the three items. The MEBackup utility is only recommended for small data stores or when you are making a quick local backup of the configuration information, as it just copies files.

When using a third party application or manually backing up, the following three items are necessary for a complete backup and restoration of the MailEnable email platform.


The Windows registry contains server specific configuration information. To back up this, use the Windows registry editor (regedit.exe) to export the following registry branch:

On 32bit versions of Windows

On 64bit versions of Windows

More information on how to use the registry editor is available from Microsoft's web site. To recover the backup, stop all services, replace the directory tree from the backup and then import the saved registry file into the registry. 

When recovering your registry make sure in the case of changing machines that you use the correct path for the machine you are migrating to this is imperative if the operating system differs. This is especially the case when going from 32 bit to 64 bit or visa versa. In this case the paths as outlined above are required to be used. It is also required that IME_ADMIN and/or IME_SYSTEM have full control of this registry branch after a restore, you can simply install the latest MailEnable release for your version over the top after all data is recovered to fix any permission problems that may exist however.

Note: Backing up the Windows registry is not critical in nature unless you are using encrypted passwords. If it is lost or not backed up, the outcome will simply mean you need to reconfigure any options in the administration program. If you have a lot of non default settings then it would take time and effort to reset these but if you have not changed many then resetting these options would not take too long.

File System

MailEnable stores its messages and mail data as files on disk. Each mail message is a separate file.

These folders should be backed up:

1. Message Store (Typically: [Program Files]\Mail Enable\POSTOFFICES) - Recommended to use incremental backup of the message store.

2. Inbound and Outbound Queues (Typically: [Program Files]\Mail Enable\Queues). Note: The data in the queues is temporary - and backing it up may not be of high value since it changes state so frequently.

3. If you use Bayesian Filtering and have a trained dictionary then you could backup this folder also: Mail Enable\Dictionaries

The Diagnostic Report contains the actual paths for the the above storage locations.

Exclusions: If you are using automated or incremental backup software, you should exclude the following files from being backed up (*.blk, *.tmp, _activity.*, *.MAID).

Configuration Store

The configuration store (by default at Mail Enable\Config) contains details on domains, mailboxes, and other items. If you have changed any data store locations from the default with your installation then you will need to ensure these are included in your backup.  If you are unsure of your storage location then you can find out the paths in the following section of the MailEnable Administration Program:

MailEnable Administrator Program (MMC)->Messaging Manager (Properties)

The Configuration directory is critical as this contains all the mailbox, domain and post office lookup data for each container in your system, if this is lost then you cannot recover from a data loss.

MailEnable Enterprise and Enterprise Premium allow you to store configuration information in either MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server. If you have configured this, use the recommended backup procedures for the database software. You will still need to backup the Config directory.

Partial message or folder restore

If you are restoring just some email messages in a folder, then you should only restore the files with the .MAI file extension. These are the messages themselves. When you do this, create an empty file named _change.dty into the folder. This will indicate to the mail services that the message contents of the folder have changed and the index for the folder will be updated. If you are restoring a number of messages across different folders, an easy way of doing this is explained at Article ME020652.

If you restore a folder that was deleted, you need to delete the _folder.xml file in the parent directory. This file contains a list of the folders, and deleting it will cause it to be recreated, and include the deleted folder.


A basic utility is included with MailEnable for backup purposes. This utility is not for migrating MailEnable to another server, it is only suitable to recover to the same server. If you wish to migrate email and configuration data to a new server, please see The MEBackup utility has a graphical interface and also provides the following command parameters:

/BACKUP - automated backup (no user interface)
/RESTORE - automated backup (no user interface)
/NOLOGS - do not backup Log Files
/NOSTORE - do not backup the Message Store
/HIDE - do not display Windows

Note: On large installations, it is recommended to use a third party file backup solution for incrementally backing up the message store.


How to recover a corrupt configuration of MailEnable: Article ME020069

How to recover configuration data if a system corruption occurs or is accidentally deleted?: Article ME020156

How to automate backups with the MailEnable Backup Utility?: Article ME020114



Microsoft Window's registry information:;en-us;256986

Product:MailEnable (All Versions)
Class:HOWTO: Product Instructions
Created:4/04/2002 8:35:00 AM
Revised:Wednesday, January 19, 2022