Corruption in Outlook Express

Important Note: If you are still using Outlook Express, I urge you to migrate to another safer email program. There are several email programs that are free and will not cause as many problems as Outlook Express.  A popular replacement for Outlook Express is Thunderbird.

As Outlook Express gets older and is really no longer supported by Microsoft, more and more users are finding problems with their OE and are on the verge of losing many important emails.

Making a backup frequently can help alleviate these problems by doing a restore.  But if a user does not have a backup or a recent backup, then maybe all is lost.

To avoid Outlook Express corruption it is necessary to perform regular maintenance.

But if there is no backup, no regular maintenance has been done and Outlook Express has suddenly done things (bad) unexpectedly, then it is probably corrupted.

First you can try the process on lost email folders. This sometimes works.  Or you can try the process for fixing a corrupted Inbox.  If the corruption is in the Inbox, then you will be good to go.

If you are missing some folders due to a problem with compacting, try the solution for recovering .bak files.

Sometimes though, the corruption goes deeper. If you have enabled viewing hidden files and folders and have searched the location of your Outlook Express store folder (usually something like this: C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{F24BA81B-66ED-469E-BF60-51E078FFF968}\Microsoft\Outlook Express) you can see a lot of files ending in .dbx.

The folders with the .dbx represent every folder in Outlook Express including the default folders like Inbox.dbx, Deleted.dbx and every folder you have created within the program. You should also see a folder named Folders.dbx.

The extension .dbx represents a database file. The Folders.dbx is the database manager for all of the other folders in Outlook Express.

If when you open Outlook Express and open some folders where emails have been stored and see no emails, then it is possible the Folders.dbx has been corrupted. This can happen if Outlook Express was closed before compacting was completed or any one of several other reasons.

Try the fix on this page Outlook Express - Repair/Recovery of Corrupted DBX files which basically tells you to delete the Folders.dbx.

Caution is needed here, be sure to back up your Outlook Express store folder before proceeding.  (It is always a good practice to backup stuff before making any changes.)

You may receive a notice telling you that another program is using this file and you cannot delete Folders.dbx. If you receive this notice, close all programs and reboot your computer. Do not open Outlook Express and go immediately to the store location for Outlook Express and delete the Folders.dbx.

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