I received an email recently from a reader who was having problems with Outlook Express. As I have written several times recently, when you delete emails, they’re not really deleted — even if you "empty the deleted emails folder." Your email program still has the email in its data file — it has only marked the email as deleted.
The next time you compact the email folders, the folder would be rewritten without the deleted email.
Yury, though, was having difficulties compacting one of his email folders:
I can not compact my Sent folder. By the end of the compacting process I am getting an error message “The folder is currently in use by Outlook Express or another application”.
After closing the message the whole computer slows down, and some times I have to reboot it. I have an impression, that something is running in the background.
Also, lately when I am trying to back up my e-mail on the external drive, the process running continuously 2 or 3 times and volume is in gigabytes. It all indicates, that I have old unerased messages sitting somewhere in my computer.
As a result, I have problems sending e-mails. The e-mail seemingly does not leave Outbox, but in fact Outlook keeps continuously send it out, and the e-mail never shows-up in the Send folder. I had this problem before, and it always because there are to many unerased e-mails in my system.
Except before I was able easily to fix it by deleting and compacting files.
Please, advise. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
I wrote back to Yury to tell him how to proceed:
First, let me comment that you wobbled back and forth between Outlook Express and Outlook in your message. These are two VERY different programs. Both do email, both are from Microsoft, and they both have the word Outlook as part of their name..
Your message header shows that you were using Outlook Express 6.0.
Try booting into Safe Mode, without networking. From there, start Outlook Express. Since you chose Safe Mode (without networking), Outlook Express won’t be able to try to send emails. Now, at that point, compact your email folders.
www.terryscomputertips.com/archives/news_20070826_2.php — includes Howto Boot Into Safe Mode
And, Yury wrote back to say that, by following this process, he was able to solve the problem.