OUTLOOK help needed

The messaging interface has returned an unknown error. If the problem persists, restart Outlook.

All of a sudden, that’s the message I get when I try to do anything in Outlook. I can’t delete messages or move a message from one folder to another. And I can’t send/receive. I can read my existing messages, and I can switch to different folders, but I can’t change or send anything.

Needless to say, I tried restarting Outlook. I also used the “repair” function on the start-up disk, shut down windows, and started it up again. No change.

Any idea what could be wrong? I’m wondering if I need to completely re-install MSFT Office, but I’m concerned that I’ll lose my messages and contacts. Thoughts?

Oh, I’m running Windows XP on a Dell laptop.

Outlook saves all its information in a file called something like <profilename>.pst. If the .pst file gets too large or becomes somehow corrupted, it will start spitting out that error message.

Here’s a page at MS’s knowledge base that talks about that problem:

That’s for Outlook 2000 - you don’t say but I assume you have an older version of Outlook? That page has a bunch of things to try, several of them quite simple.

For future reference, it’s not a bad idea to archive old .pst files and create a new one for each year. Outlook runs better if the .pst file is a reasonable size. And for back up purposes, you’ll want to keep regular copies of those .psts file in your backup plan.

Thanks. Yes, my version is older, vintage 2002.

Gotcha. 2002 is newer than that first page I linked. Here’s a page describing essentially the same thing but geared toward versions from 2002 and later. It’s a pretty common error. If this doesn’t help, maybe someone with better Outlook-fu than myself can be more specific.

Hopefully this helps!

The first link did the trick! Thanks,