Backing up your MailWasher settings

For any of you that use MailWasher, have you gotten tired of manually re-entering all of your email account data every time you re-install, re-build or switch computers? I know I have. If you don’t have to do that very often, or if you don’t have more than one or two email accounts, it’s not that bad. But still, there is all of the data in your Friends list and Black list that you might not want to re-create. If you don’t know what MailWasher is, it’s a great email management and anti-spam tool that we featured as a Cool Tool awhile back, check it out.

Recently, I switched to another computer as my main machine, therefore I had to do a clean install of MailWasher. Rather than re-enter all of my settings by hand, plus start over with my lists, I set out to find a way to backup the application data so I could just pull it into the fresh install. I actually am kind of surprised that it’s not an option in the application.

I did some Google searches for how to backup my MailWasher settings, and came up short. I found a couple utilities that I could buy that would do it for me, but that wasn’t really what I was looking for. Instead, I wanted to know how to do it myself. I ended up figuring it out on my own (wasn’t too hard after all), so I thought I would share it with all of you. There really are two parts to backing up your data, one is the mail account information which is stored in the registry, and the other is the Friends and Black lists, plus learning data, which is stored locally on the hard disk.

Let’s start with the mail account data in the registry. Essentially, I opened regedit, found the registry keys that hold the data I needed, and exported them to a text file (.reg) so I could import them on the computer with the fresh, blank install of MailWasher.

*WARNING* This involves running regedit and getting into the registry. Changes made here are permanent, so if you make a mistake, it’s made. We here at Solarum can’t be responsible for any problems that arise from following these steps.

I did this by opening regedit (Click on Start, then Run and type “regedit” in the box and click OK), finding this registry key:


I then right clicked on FireTrust and chose Export from the menu that popped up. When prompted, I picked a place and file name to save the file. Notice the file will have a .reg extension, this is important so make sure you save it just like that. I called mine simply “mwsettings.reg”, and it worked well for me. Now you have all of your registry specific settings for your MailWasher install in this file, super! To restore these settings on the machine with the new, fresh install, simply right click the file and choose Merge from the menu that pops up. This will put those registry settings back into place on the new install.

Next, we need to look at grabbing your lists and learning data, this is really easy. Navigate to the MailWasher directory where it stores all of your user data. For me, the path was this:

C:\Documents and Settings\Laz\Application Data\MailWasherPro

Save everything in that directory, either zip it up or just copy it, it’s not that big so it shouldn’t be a problem. When you re-install, or on that new machine, just put it back into the same directory on the machine where the fresh install is and you are set. Be sure to note that part of that path is the username, so if that changes between installs or machines, that part of the path will have to change too. MailWasher will have to be install before you copy the data back over, so find the directory created from the new install and use that.

There you have it! This worked really well for me, I hope you find it useful as well.

9 thoughts on “Backing up your MailWasher settings

  1. I always wondered who discovered Mailwasher when I first started working at SLS. It was always recommended to me by the other techs who worked there, but I had wondered …. who discovered all of this cool software. Now I know. Ha.

  2. What can you do to restore your settings from a previous version to a newer version? I tried importing my registry settings as you described but when launching Mail washer I get an error stating: ‘List index out of bounds (-1)’

    Any ideas?


  3. That’s a tough one, if they change the way the settings are stored, or what settings there are you won’t be able to simply import your settings. About the only thing I can think of would be to export the keys from the new version and compare to the keys of the old version. You might find something simple that you could change that would allow you to get them imported after all. Hope that helps.

  4. After importing the reg file i only got the email settings correct – not the friends list etc – any idea about why ?

  5. The Friends list and the Blacklist are stored as simple text files, they aren’t stored in the registry. I would try to find them in the application directory or in the Application Data section of your profile.

  6. I may THANK you dear. You are Gr8. I looked for the solution all over the net, but you are the ONLY one, who could show the way.
    And it was so simple…

    Thanks once again & Hats off to you….

  7. Thanks a lot!!! I’ve done this manually too many times and copying/merging the registry settings is a real timesaver.

    Your unselfish sharing is appreciated.

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