Reset Outlook Express

My Outlook Express is bogged down. Is there a way to just start over?

Often when a program doesn’t work properly the instinct is to totally reinstall. This may not be the case with Outlook Express. You can reset the folders, allowing you to get a fresh start.

To do this, find your way to the OE store folder. Not sure where it is? Go to Tools/Options then select the “Maintenance” tab. Click the “Store Folder” button and a pop-up will show the path to it. It’s probably in My Documents and may be called “OE” or “Outlook Express”.

Close Outlook Express.

With this information you can now navigate your way to the store folder. Change the name to “Old-OE”, that way you still have all the old email and folders if you ever need them.

Open Outlook Express and you’ll see that new folders were created: Inbox, Outbox, Sent Items, Deleted items, and Drafts. Your Accounts, Address Book, Signatures, and Message Rules will still be there (another benefit over reinstalling the whole program).

You will need to re-create any folders and sub-folders, especially those that pertain to message rules.


You can move old folders back into the new folder. Simply open your “old-OE” folder and copy (Ctrl+C) any .dbx files you want back, then open the new “OE” or “Outlook Express” folder and paste (Ctrl+V). You will need to delete the file called “Folders” or “Local Folders”. When you open OE again, that folder should be restored. If not, it may be that it was the trouble making folder in your previous setup.

Let’s hear it for new beginnings!

~ David

David Samuel Thomas

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