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Solved: can't delete emails in outlook express


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greygem's Avatar
greygem greygem is offline
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06-Apr-2010, 08:46 PM #1
Solved: can't delete emails in outlook express
Windows XP. When I try deleting mail I get an hour glass then nothing. I tried dragging to delete folder, nothing happens. I tried moving and I get an error message, "seleted message cannot be moved. an error has occured.". Some mail it will let me delete, about 50%. Hope someone can help me.
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06-Apr-2010, 09:14 PM #2
You might have too many e-mail messages or a corrupt Inbox.

Move ALL messages from the Inbox to a new folder, then compact the Inbox.

1- With the Inbox open, click on File > Work Offline.

2- File > Folder > Compact.

3- Let it run.

4- Uncheck Work Offline.

If no luck,

Open OE and select Tools > Options... > Maintenance > Store Folder... You'll then see the path for your e-mail folders.

In there you will see several files with ".dbx" as the extension type. You will need to delete the INBOX.dbx. (Your OS may be set to hide the 3 letter extensions, so it may just say INBOX.")

If you do not see these files, check to make sure that you have the option to show hidden files and folders turned on.

So, once you identify the Inbox.dbx file, delete it. Then the next time you start Outlook Express, it will create a new inbox file for you.

***NOTE: make sure you have saved any other e-mail in the inbox that you wish to keep before doing this. Make a new folder in Outlook Express (call it "Saved Messages" or something like that) and move the messages you want to keep into there.)
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greygem's Avatar
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07-Apr-2010, 09:41 AM #3
can't delete emails from outlook express
I did the first suggestion and still couldn't delete some incoming emails. Tried the second and what I saw was documents and settings\my name\local settings\application. What now? I was not able to delete mail from the new folder but was able to delete the whole folder. Thanks for your help.
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07-Apr-2010, 10:02 AM #4
Quote:
Tried the second and what I saw was documents and settings\my name\local settings\application. What now? I was not able to delete mail from the new folder but was able to delete the whole folder.
You need to delete the Inbox.dbx file, as specified in my earlier post. First, save the e-mail messages you need. Then the next time you start Outlook Express, it will create a new inbox file for you.
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07-Apr-2010, 11:32 AM #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by greygem View Post
Tried the second and what I saw was documents and settings\my name\local settings\application.
Click in the text box, then use the arrow keys to scroll the text in the box so you can see all of it.
Or, click in the text box, press HOME, then CTRL+SHIFT+END to select all the text, CTRL+C to copy it.
Click Start | Run (or press WinKey+R), type ", then press CTRL+V to paste into the Run box, press END, type another ", then press Enter. It will open the folder for you.
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07-Apr-2010, 11:58 AM #6
Cannot find said file.
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07-Apr-2010, 12:00 PM #7
Did as you said and got the message that it can't find that file. Repeated to make sure that I typed correctly and got the same message. Thanks
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07-Apr-2010, 12:36 PM #8
You must have both the starting and closing quotes or it will give you that message. If it's not working, you can just paste the path into Notepad so you can read it, then you can navigate to it in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
The default path is usually something like this:
Code:
C:\Documents and Settings\<User Name>\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{GUID}\Microsoft\Outlook Express
Where GUID is a hexadecimal string of characters like F4D6F4B5-274D-4A5F-82DD-94CB2F8F09A0, different for each computer, even for the same account.

You may have to change your view settings, as these are usually Hidden folders:
To change View Settings to show hidden and system files:
In Windows Explorer, click on Tools | Folder Options -> View tab
(In Vista/Win 7 press the ALT key to display the Menu bar)
Check the following:
  • Display the contents of system folders (not present in Win2K/Vista)
  • Show hidden files and folders
Uncheck the following:
  • Hide extensions for known file types (WinXP/Vista)
  • Hide file extensions for known file types (Win2K)
  • Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)
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07-Apr-2010, 02:55 PM #9
Found the right file, deleted it and reopened outlook express and the new inbox doesn't let me delete things either.
Thanks
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07-Apr-2010, 04:26 PM #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by greygem View Post
Found the right file, deleted it and reopened outlook express and the new inbox doesn't let me delete things either.
Thanks
Go back into the Message Store folder (where you found and deleted the Inbox.dbx) and delete the Deleted Items.dbx file.

T.
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greygem greygem is offline
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09-Apr-2010, 03:02 PM #11
Smile can't delete emails in outlook express
Thank you to all who helped with solving my problem! Most of all to throoper for the advice to delete "deleted items.dbx" as that was the thing that fixed everything. I can now delete whatever I want. Thanks again to all.
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