Change the message store of Windows Live Mail to removable drive: registry hack and NTFS junction
My netbook comes with a small SSD hard drive and recently it complains that the C: drive is low in space. I checked it, it’s like 40MB free. This is of course not a good shape. Simple search in Window Explorer shows that the Windows Live Mail message store, at%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\, takes more than 1GB. I have multiple emails accounts which support large inboxes, and Live Mail is buffering some of these messages locally.
I have added the the SD slot of the netbook a 16GB SDHC card, more or less permanently. So I tried to let Windows Live Mail use the drive (D:) of the card instead as its message store. This setting is available in Tools|Options…|Advanced|Maintenance…|Store Folder…|Change…. However, whenever I change to any folder on the D:, the OK button turns gray, preventing me from using the card.
I suspected that Windows Live Mail detects the drive is "removable" so disallow it. After a few tries, I come up with the workaround:
- Close Windows Live Mail.
- Create a target folder as the new message store on the "removable" drive, e.g., "D:\user\Windows Live Mail\".
- Open the registry, set HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\Store Root to "D:\user\Windows Live Mail\".
- Copy all the stuff under original message store (%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\) to the new message store.
- Rename the old message store (to e.g., Windows Live Mail -1\, such that Live Mail would not find it, to verify that it works with the new store.
- Launch Windows Live Mail, verify it still sees all the locally cached email accounts and messages. Close Windows Live Mail.
- Delete the old message store. This releases space to C: drive.