Part one of two on Outlook Express Repairs;
we're going to look at some common fixes for Outlook Express'
funny behaviour, just like we looked at Outlook a few
tips ago. Many of these solutions are quite simple and
will resolve issues that seem significantly bigger than
they really are.
Restart the computer
This simple step will resolve many problems
resulting from improperly closed files, programs that
have created memory issues, or damage to system files,
and not just with Outlook Express, but any program that
is affected by another program's "bad" behaviour.
Close other programs before you continue
You will need both Outlook Express and Internet
Explorer open. Save your work in any other programs and
close them. This allows your repair steps to do their
job without other programs making demands on your computer
at the same time.
Delete the Temporary Internet Files
In Internet Explorer, click Internet
Options on the Tools menu.
In the Temporary Internet files
window, click Delete files.
In the pop-up alert window, select the
Remove all offline files check box, and then
If you do not select the check box, the temporary files
used by Outlook Express will not be removed.
Remove all offline files to delete Outlook Express temp
Every time you display a message, either
in a message window (by opening an email) or in the
Preview pane, Outlook Express creates a temporary file
to help it display the contents of the message. Each
of those temporary files is stored in the Temporary
Internet Files folder that is used by Internet Explorer.
Sometimes one or more of these files are damaged, and
that can cause Outlook Express to behave badly when
displaying messages. All the files in Temporary Internet
files truly are temporary, so there is no danger in
deleting them. Doing so will not delete the actual messages
in your Outlook Express mailbox.
Compact all folders
- In Outlook Express, click Work Offline on the File menu
so that no new messages will be arriving.
- In the Folders Window, click on Outlook Express so that
no folder is open.
- Close the Folder Window by clicking the X in the upper
right-hand corner of the list panel. Alternatively you
can click Layout on the View menu, and then clear the
Folder List check box.
- On the File menu, choose Folder, and then click Compact
All Folders. Do not use your computer until the process
is complete, which might take several minutes.
If an error occurs, close Outlook Express,
re-open it, and begin the process again from the top. If
the same error occurs again, close Outlook Express, restart
your computer, open Outlook Express and then begin the whole
Let the compaction process finish before doing anything
5. Click Work Offline on the File
menu again so that you are returned to online mode and new
messages can arrive.
Many bizarre behaviours in Outlook Express
are caused by small errors in the file "Folders.dbx."
This file is the master index of the message store folder
-the place where all emails are kept track of- and damaged
entries there can create all sorts of chaos, such as the
wrong message or folder being displayed. When you compact
all folders you are also updating this master index. If
you don't compact all folders from time to time, you are
more likely to see distinctly unfunny behaviour.
Next time we'll cover some of the more in-depth
solutions that will resolve other bad behaviours in Outlook