There are many reasons for Outlook Express not starting or for other
problems that may or may not return an error message.
1. 3rd-party filtering software
The AVG anti-virus message scan plug-in can be a cause, although it has not
been reported for some time. It is recommended that this feature not be
used. The A-V normal scan will still protect the PC.
2. Damage to a DBX file.
There is sometimes an error message, but when this is absent finding the
(possibly) bad DBX file becomes a guessing game. The problem could be with
Outbox.dbx, Sent Items.dbx, Inbox.dbx or other file. These can be renamed
one at a time. The key file Folders.dbx can become damaged, and it can be
renamed or deleted. [See Inside OE to understand what can occur when
Folders.dbx is replaced. http://insideoe.com/files/store.htm#deldbx ]
After renaming one try starting Outlook Express. (see below) To help prevent
compact messages on a regular basis. This is most safely done in
offline mode when the files are not being written to. Do not set
Outlook Express to automatically compact messages in the background. This
option is not available in the newer versions.
It is also recommended that messages be periodically removed from the Inbox.
A new Outlook Express folder can be created, or backup procedure performed
if ready access is not required. This will help prevent a corrupted Inbox
and help safeguard messages you wish to keep.
3. Corruption in the registry for the Outlook Express identity.
It is sometimes possible to create a new identity, and then import messages
from the old identity. This may not be an option from the OE window, but
this does not prevent tackling these issues.
4. Damage to the Outlook Express installed program.
Outlook Express may need to be reinstalled, but first explore other
possibilities. Back-up the store folder holding the DBX files before doing
anything. Create a new folder on the desktop to hold ALL the DBX files.
This behavior can occur if the client mail store contains a damaged .dbx
file. The damaged file is often Outbox.dbx, Inbox.dbx, or Sent Items.dbx,
but another file could be at issue.
To resolve this behavior, rename or delete the damaged .dbx file:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, and then click
2. In Windows Explorer, on the Tools menu, point to Find, and then click
Files or Folders.
3. You may need to include hidden files and folders (Windows 2000 and XP).
4. Type Outbox.dbx in the Named box, and then click Find Now.
5. Right-click the file name, and then click Rename.
6. Rename the file to Outbox.old.
Note that deleting a .dbx file also deletes any e-mail messages or other
data in the folder.