Sherrill Kerbaugh wrote about a major problem she and her husband were having on both of their computers:
We have a major problem….
My husband has been unable to delete daily e-mails for a few weeks now….we can’t figure out what in the world is wrong!?!?!?! Now, all of a sudden I can’t delete e-mails on my computer (same local area network and e-mail…Outlook Express)! HELP!!!!!!!!! Also, John can’t download or use Adobe Reader on his computer, but I can!?!?!?
We are going crazy here!
What are your thoughts? We just found your website this morning….hope you are our "computer angel"! : )
I wrote back to tell Sherrill that Outlook Express has a problem that will creep up on you and prevent you from deleting emails. When you delete an email, it goes into the Deleted Items folder.
When you empty the Deleted Items folder, it looks empty, but isn’t really. Outlook Express, like almost all other email programs, didn’t really get rid of the email and rewrite its storage file — it just got "marked" the message as deleted so the program wouldn’t show it.
When the storage file gets too big, you can’t delete emails any longer (you can’t move them into the Deleted Items folder).
The fix is the step that people don’t do — or don’t know to do — even though OE will warn you occasionally. You have to Compact the mail folder.
Read more in these articles:
Sherrill wrote back to report their success!
Just as you suspected in your Computer Tip, the Deleted Items folder was overflowing. Noting that the Deleted Items folder indicated empty, John nevertheless compacted all folders. (This is Outlook Express.) It took 15 minutes to compact the “empty” Deleted Items folder! Once that was accomplished, he began deleting old Sent Items, Inbox e-mails, etc. and then emptied the Deleted Items folder again. Everything is back to normal. This situation occurred on both of our computers almost simultaneously. Obviously, we need to empty our trash and then compact more often! Thanks for your help; we look forward to more of your clear, helpful Tips!
John and Sherrill Kerbaugh