View Full Version : Outlook Express compacting things
12-27-2000, 08:44 AM
Maybe this has been covered before, I don't know, a quick search of the board turned up nothing.
When closing Outlook Express, running win98, I get a message saying "Compacting Deleted Messages". At other times I get similar messages of "Compacting Folders" etc. for folders that are seemingly empty.
My question is why is this- why is it compacting these folders? Are they being deleted or saved somewhere? If their not being deleted, how do I go about permanently deleting these items from my HD? I really don't need to keep things I say I want deleted.
It basically boils down to me wanting to keep my system running lean and mean. I only keep a small number, maybe 10, e-mails on my system at any one time and can't understand why OE wants to keep compacting stuff.
Thanks in advance for any ideas and/or suggestions.
12-27-2000, 08:58 AM
Are you emptying your deledted items bin? If acts just like the recyling bin in WinXX, for things to be really be gone, you have to empty it. To find out exactly how much info you have in each folder, right click on Outlook Today, and then click the folder size button. It should then give you a read out of each folder and the kb its taking up.
12-27-2000, 09:08 AM
I believe that Outlook Express, like its distant cousin Outlook, keeps all its e-mail messages in one big file. When you delete a message that's contained in the middle of the file, for performance reasons it doesn't immediately move every message down to fill that space. It just marks it as deleted. Newly saved messages get appended to the end of the file. So after using it a while, you get a file that's bigger than it needs to be, with gaps of unwanted info scattered through. Occasional compacting shifts all those messages to get rid of the gaps.
Ten e-mails on your system? I can't imagine - I archive thousands. Most e-mail messages are quite small*, and even thousands don't take that much disk space.
* They're small if you don't include big attachments, such as with "stationery" in Outlook Express. E-mail messages should be sent plain text, not HTML or Rich Text. Many people's e-mail programs can't format HTML (mine doesn't).
12-27-2000, 09:22 AM
That, of course, is in Outlook. I've never used Outlook Express, and have no idea of the similarities. Hope I could be of help anyway.
12-27-2000, 09:26 AM
Compacting the empty space is what it's doing. All the best email & newgroup programs do that. Did you look at the instructions? I bet there is a setting for Compacting.
12-27-2000, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by handy
Did you look at the instructions?
What are those? I've heard of them once...
But seriously, as far as I can tell, the only compacting options are those that deal with newsgroups. Those commands list when and how to compact news but not e-mail.
Part of the reason I bring this up is because of an online notice I received stating-
Users of Outlook and Outlook express would be shocked to know that every mail that they've ever deleted is in their deleted messages.dbx in Outlook and express.
Most of my clients have no idea that:
a)OLX stashes a copy of every email they send
b)Deleted email doesn't get deleted by clicking the Delete button, nor does the space get reclaimed by deleting it from Deleted Items
c)Compact All Folders does only part of the cleanup job
All in all a good notice and it got my attention, except they don't explain how to remove or reclaim the lost space. Every search of 'tweak' sites and the such completely ignore what this guy brought up.
Is it a legit concern or simply B.S.?
12-27-2000, 06:28 PM
& this is all they have in the manual?:
To compact and back up mail folders
Select a mail folder, click the File menu, point to Folder, and then click Compact.
To back up the compacted folders, find the files with the extensions .mbx and .idx, and then copy them to a backup folder, floppy disk, or network drive. Each message folder has one message file (.mbx) and one index file (.idx).
Some message files might be too large to back up onto a floppy disk.
If you are using a program other than Outlook Express to send e-mail messages to newsgroups, check your e-mail program's documentation for information about compacting and deleting mail folders.
Well, you can use other programs like Free Agent from forteinc.com which is free & real cool & yes, it does compacting too :-)
12-27-2000, 07:11 PM
Well I'll be damned...
I did a search of *.mbx files and found what I was looking for- about 15 megs of what I thought were previously deleted e-mails.
It goes back to (surprise) the last time I rebuilt the computer.
Thanks Handy. Exactly the info I was looking for.
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