Trying to delete a problematic message from Outlook Express

My co-worker got a message in Outlook Express from a customer that is screwing up her Outlook. She is having a problem deleting this message (trying to delete it locks up the program), and it is making her Outlook unusable - as soon as she goes to her inbox, it freezes because of this message. Is there some way for her to get rid of this message? We’ve tried all the obvious things (selecting delete from the edit menu, right click delete, exporting to delete file) and it just won’t go.

Any ideas?

Each folder is stored in its own file on the hard drive. As a last resort, she could delete the Inbox file for that account from her hard drive, although I honestly don’t know what kind of repercussions that might cause (aside from the obvious one of losing all the other messages in her Inbox for that account).

Just as an example (this will depend on what OS she has, what her account name is, and so on), the full path for my college account’s inbox on my Win XP machine is C:\Documents and Settings\Brandon\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities{8DBA6F01-637C-498C-A78E-DF029879D4D4}\Microsoft\Outlook Express\ - Inbox.dbx. If you want to find her folder, a good thing to search for would be “Inbox.dbx” and then open the containing folder.

I’m having the same problem with a message that stuck in my deleted items in Outlook. In my case the message wants to send a receipt and whether I say yes or no it always crashes the program, but I was at least able to send it to deleted items. You may be able to export certain folders to an outlook file of a different name and then delete the outlook express file that holds the messages and then import the the file you exported. The Outlook Express files have an extension of dbx.

We tried exporting the message, and it locked up the system that way too. So, if we delete the inbox.dbx file, will that delete the messages in the inbox, or will that delete the whole inbox? If we delete the whole inbox, can we recreate it again?

What version of Outlook Express are you using? If it’s not the current version perhaps an update will fix the problem. I would do that first.

If you delete the inbox.dbx file that will delete the whole inbox. You can recreate it by taking another one of the dbx files and renaming it to inbox.dbx.

My parents in law had to same problem. All junk emails, would make an error pop up then tell us about the illegal action the application will close blah blah, and we could not even delete them… I tried all I could do, but nothing worked. They were still supported by the company that sold them the PC so I called them and he said the Outlook Express was corrupted, emailed us a new version (the “legit” emails were ok, only spam was bringing the mess) and I had to install the newest version (basically upgrading) and now it works fine.

Is the email being opened when you try and delete it? I mean, do you click on the name, it opens in that “preview” box in the bottom half of the screen, and the whole thing crashes? I’m not entirely sure, since I don’t use Outlook, but if this is the case, it should be possible to find an option (in the “View” commands, or something) which turns off the preview section of the screen, giving you ONLY the list of emails. Then it wont try to open it when you click on it, and you might be able to delete it. Once thats done, just be sure to empty the Trash box, and then you can turn the preview back on.

Okay, we managed to get rid of this email (probably more luck than anything). We went in, created a copy of inbox.dbx called inbox.bbx, and when we went back in, the original problem email was gone. We’ll have to see everything is okay now - she might have to reload Outlook. Is it just me, or does Outlook seem like a really shaky program to anyone else? I mean, sure, we all hate Micro$oft, but I use Word and Excel all the time with very few problems - Outlook and Access just seem like a waste of time.

Where are my manners today? Thanks all for your help and suggestions.

There are two versions of Outlook. Both are pretty bad in a lot of ways, but MS Outlook (the business version) is the worst. It really screws things up in a heap of ways, as it tries to be all things for all people and has this Network thing that is meant to make things easier for appointments and diary settings and crap like that.

Outlook Express, the home version, is a little better as it has fewer fancy features like that, and each new version has improved on itself, though not flawlessly.

Generally, I do not recommend any Outlook related program at all, but I can’t recommend a perfect alternative either, as every email program I know has its quirks.

I use Eudora, though.

I’m using a Pine, although that probably doesn’t help for people whose email accounts require that they download their messages. It has to be installed on the server, anyways, not on your own computer.

But if there’s any sort of text-based downloadable email reader, I’d say get it… what I love about Pine is not only do I not have to download the messages onto my own machine, but that the program has no clue what to do with attachments. If an email has graphics, animations, music, HTML, a virus, or whatever, there will just be a line of text saying that there is a file attachment of such-and-such a file type.

Whatever program you use, get something that will let you read the text of an email without opening whatever attachments happen to be in it.

Pine doesn’t have to be on the mail server, and it definately can download locally. I’m not sure about options the MSWindows version offers, but Indefatigable is right that text-based is the way to go.
I use Pegasus (which hasn’t been upgraded in forever), and my biggest problem is that you can’t turn off HTML totally. E-mail was invented to send text, and there was never a problem with viruses or the like until MS decided to try things their way.