Outlook Express is a very handy email program that comes packaged with Internet Explorer and Microsoft Windows. You can use it to check many different email accounts at the same time. Later versions even allow you to check different types of email account, such as IMAP and encrypted emails.
But what do you do if one day Outlook Express stops responding?
If you open Outlook Express and it freezes, the pointer will probably disappear and you will see an hourglass instead. This usually happens when the computer is trying to open an email that is corrupt. A broken email can put Outlook Express into a loop, and it may never open properly.
One trick is to disconnect your computer from the Internet and try again. Sometimes the email that Outlook Express is trying to open has live content, and by disconnecting from the Internet it may simply give up or time out. You can then delete the email, reconnect your Internet and all will be well.
Another solution is to compress your mail. Emails in Outlook Express are all stored in a database, and this database can also become too large or corrupt. By compressing the database the files are reorganized and start working again. You can compress your email folders without loading Outlook Express from the control panel.
Another solution is to clear your cookies and history. Outlook Express uses Internet Explorer a lot while it’s running, so anything out of place in Internet Explorer could cause Outlook Express to crash. You can easily clear your Internet Explorer cache and history by going to “Tools” and then following instructions to delete your browsing history.
Finally if you’re still having problems, you may have to resort to more drastic measures.
Outlook Express uses a file called “inbox.dbx” to store emails. If you have no other options, you can delete this file.
Next time you load Outlook Express the file will be recreated, but you will have lost your emails. It’s always a good idea to have a backup of your inbox, so if you need to do this you can restore your emails afterwards.