Outlook Express may be the worst email client ever for business purpose. If you only use email for your personal life, where email is not that important, maybe outlook express will be suitable for you. But for your business or daily works, the rule is simple, DO NOT use outlook express. You can use Ms Outlook, or even better use Lotus Notes for your daily works, both email clients are stable as rock.
With outlook express, you will be facing many problems.
These are the most common problem that I encounter with outlook express.
Missing emails (corrupt dbx files)
Outlook express based on dbx files. Each folder in outlook express actually one dbx file. The structure of the folders are stored in special file called folders.dbx.
The problem with folder in outlook express is if the outlook express closed unexpected, one of the folder may become corrupted. Whe the folder got corrupted you will notice missing emails, worst case all the emails in that folder are missing.
When this happen, DO NOT run compact, or you will loose your emails for good.
There are many utility to recover the corrupted folder, the utility actually extract each emails from the dbx file into may eml files. One email one eml file.
The utility that I like most is Advanced Outlook Express Repair,is very simple and do the job done.
There is also freeware for it called Macallan Outlook Express Extraction, or many more in http://www.insideoe.com/resources/tools.htm or try google it for more tools.
Thanks for Alex for this info.
Can’t send and receives emails
These two problem most likely because the inbox folder or sent folder already reach it maximum size, which is 2 GB.
The real problem with outlook express is there is no warning at all if one of the folder reaching it maximun size until it’s too late.
When you can send email or your email stack in oubox folder than your sent items folder is already full, reached it’s maximun size.
If you can’t receive email, than your inbox folder already full.
There are two options to fix it.
1. The easiest way is to moved emails from sent or inbox folder (respectively) to another folder and than run compact. It may take sometime to finish.
2. Or you can create a new folder, click it once so outlook express will create the dbx file. Quit outlook express. Find the dbx file in windows explorer and delete the dbx file that you just created. Find the inbox or sent folder (respectively), rename it with the same name of the folder that you just created. When you run outlook express again, it will re-create the inbox or sent folder (respectively). The old inbox or sent folder is now in the folder you just created.
There is also another possibility that outlook express can’t send and receive emails because of buggy anti virus software. I found it with symantec anti virus 8 and symantec anti virus 9. With symantec you just disable the internet email auto protect, with other anti virus should be similar.
Relaying Not Allowed
You can send email to your colleague within the same domain, but you can’t send email to another domain. You will get the 505 Relaying Not Allowed message.
If this happen, try to enable outgoing email requires authentication. It seem the mail server you use require smtp auth for users to send emails to another domain.
Can’t open Outlook Express
This problem some times happen without any reason at all. It actually still trying to load, just take a long time to finish. Many user will think that their outlook express is hang or crash.
To test it very simple. Just login in safe mode, and try to open outlook express. If it run, than there is nothing wrong with your outlook express, just need a longer time to load. In my case it may take 30 minutes to one hour.
If in safe mode the outlook express still not run, than you might have corrupt folders. You can take a look at my previous post about it.
That’s all, the most common problem that I encounter with outlook express. Maybe other people have another problem that not in my list. For that try this Inside Oulook Express for solutions.