Subscriber Ed Pilarczyk wrote me to say:
Long time subscriber…Great tips. Thanks! Problem:
Just recently, when I exit Outlook Express, it started asking me if I want to compact the messages. I can not find anything about shutting this usless reminder off – been to tools, options, and everywhere else. Any thoughts?
I wouldn’t call the reminder (to compact the messages folders) a useless reminder, unless you’ve been compacting the OE folders routinely and OE just wants to nag you.
Outlook Express, just like many other email programs, really does not delete emails from its data files when you hit the Delete button or Empty Trash.
All that happens is that the program _marks_ the entry in its big data files to indicate that the particular entry is no longer valid.
If you don’t compact occasionally, the data file will just get bigger and bigger.
Eudora, which I use, does the same thing. So does Outlook. So does Thunderbird. In fact, I can’t think of a program that doesn’t do it this way — primarily for speed. It takes a while to rewrite a big file when you delete one email.
Take a look at my article Outlook Express – Backing Up Email Folders to find where your Outlook Express data files are stored — and how big they are.
My article When I delete an email, it’s gone, right? discusses the issue and tells you where to find the Compact All Folders function in Outlook Express.