How to fix Outlook Express Locking up in Windows 2000/XP/2003

How to fix Outlook Express from locking up in Windows 2000/XP/2003

Outlook Express locking up is a very common problem that most people that use Outlook Express has most likely encountered at least once. Nine times out of ten the problem is usually simpler than seems. By default Windows has set a limit on the .dbx file sizes for a particular windows identity. (2GB)

How this happens is that an individual will neglect to delete there “Deleted Items” folder and over time it will grow to max capacity. This can especially be a problem if there is limited space remaining on the hard drive causing a whole host of other problems. I used this technique on many systems and have had very good luck with fixing Outlook Express. Use this guide if you can’t get to your Deleted Items folder through Outlook.

Here is the step-by-step:

Here is the step-by-step:

1. Make sure Outlook Express is closed completely.

2. Browse to your C: Drive. (Or whatever your drive Windows is located on.)

3. Go to this directory: C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR USERNAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{SOME LONG ### }\Microsoft\Outlook Express

4. Once there you will see all the .dbx files under this ID. (It helps to go to Views and set your view to “Details” so you can check the file sizes.)

5. Now this is a very important step. Look under column size and find the largest files. IF you notice that the Inbox.dbx is the largest file and you don’t won’t to lose all of your email copy it to your my Documents Folder and then delete it out of the Outlook Express folder. I don’t recommend deleting this file if it is relatively small.

6. Take note of the other larger files and do the same. Most of the time you will only have to delete the Deleted Items.dbx and you're done but just in case check the other files and make sure that are not huge.( Just as a note: I never delete Pop3uidl.dbx not sure if it matters but this file tiny anyway.)

7. Now, delete them out of your recycle bin.

8. Restart Outlook Express and the problem should be fixed.

Now, if you deleted your Inbox.dbx you will notice that all of your email is gone. Not to worry if you copied it out into your My Documents folder. Just recopy it back to C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR USERNAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\ {SOME LONG ###}\Microsoft\Outlook Express folder. If you have cleaned out the other larger files it shouldn’t cause you a problem. I would recommend going through those emails and backing them up to a safe place and or deleting the emails you no longer need.

Hope this guide was helpful.

Comments 1 comment

dirkjong 2 years ago

Another effective utility for DBX recovery known as Outlook Express Repair Toolbox. This utility is capable to repair inbox, sent, drafts, notes, tasks etc of your MS Outlook Express profile and recover lost or deleted emails in EML format for easy import to MS Outlook Express.

Visit to know more about the tool and download free trial version.

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