Author Topic: What is the Tilde (~) file that appears on Desktop?  (Read 1932 times)

Offline NI4NI

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What is the Tilde (~) file that appears on Desktop?
« on: January 14, 2006, 07:38:00 AM »
The file appearing on your desktop with the filename ~, commonly known as a tilde, is a backup of your Windows Address Book.

Whenever you make a change in your Windows Address Book file (*.wab file), Windows makes a backup of this file. Generally this backup is called username.wa~ , however the backup gets renamed to just ~ instead and saved in the directory where you start your Outlook Express. Most of the time, people start Outlook Express from a shortcut on their desktop, so the backup file gets placed there. This is how the tilde (~) file arrives on your desktop.

Can I Delete the ~ File?

The simple answer is yes, the file can be deleted. However if it is deleted, you wont have a backup of your Windows Address Book if a virus or something else corrupts it or you accidentally delete the information in the address book. You shouldn't necessarily delete the file without backing it up first.  Here are the steps to take to remain safe in case you need the file again.

1. Right click on the file and choose Rename

2. Type in a name for the file and add the .wab extension to it
For Example, you might want to rename it to addressbook.wab or something similar

3. Now, put a blank, formatted floppy disk in your floppy drive and right-click on the newly named file

4. Choose Send To, Floppy Drive (most likely A)

Now the file is backed up in case of emergency, right-click on the file on your desktop and choose Delete
Each time you make a change to your address book, this file will reappear so its a good idea to keep that floppy drive around and make a backup each time you make changes. This protects you from losing valuable email addresses in case of a disaster.

An alternative to this would be to change the Start in option for Outlook Express.

1. Find the shortcut to Outlook Express and right-click on it
2. Click on Properties
3. Make sure Read-only is unchecked on the General tab
4. Click on the Shortcut tab
5. In the "Start In" field, change it to an alternative path where the tilde file will appear, for example C:\
6. Click on Apply
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by NI4NI »