Outlook Express Sends Messages Where There Are None

Do you use Outlook Express and even though your Outbox appears to be empty, it keeps trying to send a message? What's going on?

There are a couple of things you can check before you go off and switch email programs.

The first thing you'll want to check on is your Outbox folder. Go in there and click on the View menu and choose Current View. Once there, make sure the "Show All Messages" choice is selected. This ensures that you're able to see all of the messages that are contained in your Outbox folder. If you then see an email message appear, you can send it off normally or even delete it if you want.

The next thing you can check is within the Outbox folder itself. Go to File, Folder, Compact. If nothing happens, your folder is probably okay and you don't need to worry about it any longer. If you happen to get an error message, the Outbox.dbx file may be damaged. There are a couple of causes for this.

One could actually be an antivirus program that scans outgoing email. Unknown to some, the email scan isn't really necessary to protect your computer, especially if you have a regular antivirus program running as well. Go ahead and disable any email scans to prevent database file damage in the future.

If you did have a damaged Outbox file, the next thing you'll want to do is repair it (obviously!) To do this, you need to know where your store folder is for your emails. If you're not sure where it is, go to Tools, Options and click on the Maintenance tab. Toward the bottom is the Store Folder button. Click on that and a box will pop up telling you where your store folder is located on your computer. It will give you a drive letter. Write that down if you think you'll forget. You can also change the location at this point if you want to do that.

Once you have that, close Outlook Express and open up your store folder. Find the file titled "Outbox.dbx" and delete it. When you open Outlook Express again, a new Outbox folder will automatically be created, so you can continue to use it like normal.

Most of the time, the problem lies within an unsent message, but just in case that isn't so, it's good to know your options.


Alex said…
I know a good tool - Outlook Express repair, extract all messages that should be recovered from the dbx repair file, save all extracted messages to the hard drive as message files in the eml format before a repairing Outlook Express.

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