Can't Delete Email in Outlook Express - Comments Page 1

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Posted by:

12 Jul 2005

I discovered something about Outlook that I don't think most users are aware of. If you look at your Deleted Items file, there will be nothing in it, but, when you check it's size, it's gigantic. In Windows Explorer, this file can be deleted and the next time Outlook is opened, it will be back but empty. I think this is true of all the folders as long as you have rebooted since creating any folders. Just be sure you want an empty folder before you have a disaster.

Posted by:

05 Aug 2005

I've had the EXACT same problem with my Outlook Express, and got frustrated to the point where I finally downloaded Thunderbird and transferred all my Outlook Express files to there. I was told that Service Pack 2 is to blame for this glitch in Outlook Express, and that if I have a good firewall and current anti-virus program, I can remove SP2 to resolve this problem. What's your input on that?

Posted by:

Bob Rankin
05 Aug 2005

The SP2 updates get blamed (and rightfully so) for a lot of things that go wrong. But in this case, I'm not sure if removing SP2 will help. There are a lot of important security patches in SP2 and I would be skeptical about what shape your PC will be left in after trying to roll it back.

Did you try Shift-Delete and the other suggestions mentioned above?

Posted by:

17 Dec 2005

I also had this problem with only 2 emails that I could not do anything with, what I ended up doing was move all othe emails from the in box to a temporary folder, closing outlook express and then going to my computer- c drive - documents and settings - (my) user - local settings (which is a system folder)- application data - Idenities - Microsoft - Outlook express.
in this folder are all of the .dbx folders.
Delete the inbox.dbx folder.
Open Outlook express it will automaticly make a new Inbox folder and you can move the other messages back in.

Posted by:

09 Jan 2006

Thanks for the post. This helped me with a customer that I had spent 30 minutes troubleshooting with.

The close preview pane and shift+delete worked.

Posted by:

29 Jan 2006

I have the same problem an empty deleted items folder but the deleted items file is about 900meg. It has nothing to do with SP2 as I have never installed it. I have renamed this file as described above and then re started my computer, next time an email is deleted a new deleted items folder is created. I have just found that the outbox folder is doing the same thing. I will try doing the same thing to it.


Posted by:

01 Mar 2006

I just fixed this problem thanks to the suggestions on this page. I think I know what caused it though.

I recently moved to another system, so I copied the .dbx files over to import. It kept crashing on import, and I tried several times. I was also importing Deleted Items, so the Deleted Items folder grew to be 2 GB somehow. My guess is that OE just choked on this huge file when trying to add new deleted items to it, or that the import crashes corrupted the file.

Posted by:

10 Apr 2006

Thanks! This also helped me with a customer that I spent 20 minutes trouble shooting with. Closing the preview pane and shift+delete worked like a charm. A+ job people!

Posted by:

Steve Charette
12 Apr 2006

I`ve been on the phone with Rogers and Microsoft for an hour each with no luck. Simple advice from your column fixed my Outlook Express problem in 2 minutes. Thank you sir. You`ve been added to my Favorites.

Posted by:

10 Jun 2006

WinXp Pro SP2.

Had an identical problems myself and the shift-delete workek just fine but then I went into the "Deleted Items" folders and manually deleted about 10% of the messages from there and after that everything worked pefectly. So there must be maximum memory setting in windows for how much you can put into the "Deleted Items" folder.

Posted by:

17 Jun 2006

Thanks for your advice on this matter we have been pulling our hair out for 3 days. The shift delete key worked. Thanks for your help guys.

Posted by:

09 Aug 2006

Outlook express, windows 98se, wouldn't delete inbox message after several phishing email were received. Preview pane was activated. Deactivating preview pane and using shift+delete worked. Any suggestions how to fix OE 6.00.2800.1123 so that the delete key will work again?

Posted by:

Khairun St. Pahlawan
13 Sep 2006

Thanks you so much for clear clues. It happen to my user too. The file inbox.dbx grew up 2 GB. So I deleted some email first.

Posted by:

25 Sep 2006

Thank you so much...the highlight shift delete tip saved my day with a message that was stuck and could not be deleted from the outbox in outlook. Very much appreciated!

Posted by:

26 Sep 2006

One of my friends is having a similar problem. He uses Outlook Express on his computer with Exchange on a local server. When he deletes an email in OE, it disappears, but if he checks his email on Outlook Web Access, the email is still in his inbox.

Posted by:

09 Oct 2006

Yes, shift+delete worked for me also. But this is a temporary solution. Does someone knows how we can fix it and get rid of it forever?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Try another email program with less quirks?

Posted by:

03 Nov 2006

I have an email sitting in my outbox that will not send. It's a 13mb file, and I have regular Outlook 2003. None of the previously suggested options have worked for me. I tried the shift delete, turned off the reading pane, emptied the deleted items folder, disabled my antivirus and firewall, etc. I even tried the repair option with my original Office 2003 disk. When I tried the shift delete option, the error message that came up said that I could not delete this file because it was moved, already deleted, or access denied. But it's still sitting there in my outbox! Any ideas or help out there?

Posted by:

03 Dec 2006

Thank you so much!! eternally grateful!!

Posted by:

10 Dec 2006

I have tried to delete old e-mails from my outlook express 6. The mails are deleting, but the file size still shows the same old actual size. For example, total identity file size was 600MB, after deleting 300MB, still showing 600MB.

Kindly help to solve this problem.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Did you try compacting the mailbox folders? On the File menu, point to Folder, and then click Compact All Folders.

Posted by:

25 Jan 2007

My problem is I can't delete using the right click delete I have to send it to another folder and then delete it and then it is gone and not sent to deleted items. Also I can't open links from emails anymore I have to copy them and paste them to IEx. What can I do to correct this?

EDITOR'S NOTE: What happens when you try to right-click delete? As for the link opening, I think that's a security setting. Poke around in the options and you should be able to turn it back on.

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