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How do I repair Outlook Express?

I have been reading all the problems with OE not responding. I
thought I would try to repair OE in Add/Remove Programs, but it doesn’t show
up! I have Windows XP with SP2. I am using Outlook successfully, but OE will
not open…just hangs, and I am not game to change registry entries. How can I
get these programs that are missing to show up in Add/Remove?

It is confusing. Windows gives you this nice facility for adding and
removing software in Control Panel, and then neither Internet Explorer nor
Outlook Express show up in it.

Fortunately, there is another approach.

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First, be aware that Outlook Express is part of Internet Explorer. You might
not think of it that way, but that’s how it’s packaged and delivered.

And both are considered part of the operating system.

That means you can run the System File
to repair either Outlook Express and Internet Explorer.

The other alternative is simply to reinstall Internet Explorer, and with it
Outlook Express, by downloading the latest version.

Do this

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61 comments on “How do I repair Outlook Express?”

  1. Operating system:Microsoft Windows ME (Millennium)
    Can’t find or open my outlook express messages!
    I got a brief message that my outlook express was full or something like that. I now can’t open or find my e-mail messages. How do I restore my email messages? I could delete some and if needed but I can’t find the program!
    Please advise.


  2. When I go into outlook express it says “there was a problem swithching folders, possibly because the folder was busy. Please wait a moment and try again” and it will then not let me access my messages. Any ideas???

  3. I’ve not heard of that error message before, if you’ve transcribed it exactly. I would make sure you’re not running Outlook Express twice, perhaps, but other than that I’m not sure.

  4. I have just received this error message in outlook express “there was a problem switching folders, possibly because the folder was busy.”

    I cannot read any HTML formatted emails after this point. Outlook cannot open any messages either and throws strange “Do you wish to save unknown ‘.htm’ file to disk?” whenever it starts up.

    MSIE (which I rarely use) is no longer able to open web pages any longer either, wanting to save the pages immediately to disk.

    So in summary, corruption in Internet Explorer could be a strong source for this error message that you are receiving.

  5. FYI, the solution in my particular case was to enter the following command into “Start -> Run”:

    regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\mshtml.dll

  6. Hi (I could not find an article to match my issue)
    I “selected all” emails in my “sent” folder to delete. There were over one thousand.
    In the middle of doing this which was taking a while, OE failed. Message screen said the system had an error.
    After I rebooted I can not delete anything from any folder, nothing.
    What do I do in order to be able to delete my emails?
    thank you very much for your time.

  7. Pardon my stupidity. I don’t seem to see a soultion to the “0x800C0133” error code. Can you help? Gary Apps 800 ***-****. Thanks.

    [ed: removed phone number. NEVER post your phone number in a public forum like this.]

  8. Hello, the “help” won’t open in my IE6? I don’t get an error message, it just doesn’t do anything. (I’m also having the same problem with MS office…don’t know if that’s related). Thanks for any help! Jennifer

  9. On March 1, 2006, my Outlook Express (OE) duplicated all incoming emails. When I tried to open them, they were slow opening. Meantime, the system kept saying I was receiving mail, although no new emails came in. This prompt never ceased. Whenever I would delete a copy of an email, it would go to the Deleted box and then return the next time I opened OE. Finally I had perhaps six copies of every email on March 1 and no actual new emails coming in, just clones of the original emails. Then for a long time I could not open OE at all. While this went on, I ran Norton Anti-Virus 2006 and updates to the moment, and Spy Sweeper also updated. Nothing was found that fixed the problem. I shut off the modem to the Internet. Then my OE opened much faster, emails opened instantly, and copying stopped. Obviously my virus/Trojan, whatever it is, is connected to something on the Internet. Curiously, when I was still connected and wanted to use Fire Fox to get to Semantec, it kept directing me to McAffe. I conclude that Norton’s has been targeted by the intruder and maybe a greater vulnerability would be obtained if I followed the hijacked page and bought McAfee. I didn’t. Short of re-doing my entire computer hard drive, what is to be done?

  10. To resolve this behavior, rename the Pop3uidl.dbx file, and then restart Outlook Express. Follow these steps:

    1.Click Exit on the File menu to quit Outlook Express.

    2.Click Start, point to Search, and then click For Files or Folders.

    3.In the Search for files or folders named box, type Pop3uidl.dbx, and then click Search Now.

    4.Under Search Results, right-click the Pop3uidl.dbx file, and then click Rename.

    5.Type Pop3uidl.old, and then press ENTER.

    6.To start Outlook Express, click Start, point to Programs, and then click Outlook Express.


    I sent the following to you on 7-7-05:

    5. I am receiving multiple copies of messages. How can I fix this?

    This problem has been seen in Outlook Express before. In the program, go to Tools –> Accounts –> Mail –> Properties –> Advanced. At the bottom is a section called Sending. The box “Break apart messages larger than” is probably checked. The value in the KB box is usually what is causing the
    problem. Raise that value to 3000 or just uncheck the box all together. Click OK, and then Close.


    By any chance, are you using Mcafee SpamKiller? I noticed in a forum that the program was causing the problem of duplicate emails:

  11. I have a tough one, lets see how good you are… :)
    My father has been receiving SOME of his email 2-7 days later than when they were sent. Were do they go ? Maybe they stop for coffee on the way. He’s using OE, Kasparsky Anti Virus, a mail forwarding service, and the ISP says nothing’s wrong with them. Any Idea ?

  12. It depends on where the mail is coming *from* more than anything else. But on the surface, I suspect the mail forwarding service, whichever one that might be.

  13. right heres my problem….
    i have microsoft outlook express 6, but when i login with hotmailwhat happens is it says i no longer can send e-mails. when i try to download another one what happens is that it says there is a newer version already on the system and i can’t send anything. Also the big problem is I have to send my teacher a project by monday but outlook express doesn’t work.
    How can I fix this??????????????????????????????????????????
    really important please get back to me A.S.A.P.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. My system is around 1 1/2 years old and runs win xp service pack 2. Alls well to this point. Just installed some critical updates from microsoft and now the box that comes up when you click “Send/Receive” just flashes on the screen for maybe a half second. This Progress Box used to open and it would say, connecting, sending mail, disconnecting, connecting, checking for mail, receiving mail, disconnecting, and all the while it was receiving or sending, the progress meter would show the progress. Now, it is there but it just flashes and it’s gone. I remember an update to my virus scan “Hauri” also just before this went haywire. Maybe that’s another player in the game. What do you suggest? Not the registry, I hope. Thank you, Janet

  15. I’am receiving 100 to 150 unable to deliver e-mails in the last 2 days. The funny thing is that i’am not sending any e-mails out, but my e-mail address is on every returned e-mail comming into my in box.Norton Anti Virus has been checked and it is working. No virus.Can you help?????

  16. Eac time I attmept to open any email, I get a pop-up that says, “Unable to open the Address Book. The address Book may not be installed properly.” Another pop-up tells me “there was an error opening this message. An error has occurred.” Another one tells me “the address book failed to load. Outlook Express is incorrectly configured, please re-install.” I desperately need help. I have tried all kinds of remedies. Pleas help.

  17. To J.B.

    Here is how i’ve solved the problem. (On Windows XP)

    1. Try to recover your Address Book (I recommend you “Address Book Recovery”, a small tool that recovers your contacts as .Vcf files which you can import in Address Book.
    2. Close OE and MS Messenger.
    3. Open Task Manager and close every instances of “msimn.exe” and “msmsgs.exe” in Services if they still run.
    4. Uninstall Outlook Express and Windows Messenger with Control Panel->Add/Remove Programs-> Add/Remove Windows Components. Dont.t worry, you won’t loose nothing.
    5. Install again OE and Windows Messenger with Control Panel->Add/Remove Programs-> Add/Remove Windows Components.
    6. Open Regedit and find “HCCU\Software\Microsoft\WAB\WAB4” If you have a DWORD key “UseOutlook” put it on “0”. Otherwise, create it with the value of “0”.
    6. Find you Address Book, some files with extension .wab and .wab~ and move them to another place.
    7. Open OE and close it to create a new Address Book.
    8. Restore your Contacts by double-clicking one by one all .vcf files previously saved at step 1 (if you save them, otherwise you must add those contacts by hand.)
    9. Now, if you open OE, you should be able to open your messages.
    10. Good Luck!

  18. J.B., The recent update to Outlook Express has broken the application and the adress book. The best solution is to uninstall security update KB911567 from “Add Remove Programs”. Also, disable automatic updates so that windows doesn’t automatically reinstall it. From now on we need to check for windows updates manually and skip over KB911567.

  19. Joe – you hit the nail on the head with that one. I wish the MS guys would be more diligent with testing this stuff . I removed that patch by running the uninstaller from the hidden uninstall folder in c:\windows, opened the address book, exported it to CSV format, closed the address book, re-installed 911567, deleted the .wab and .wab~ from ‘c:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book’, then opened OE again, opened the address book and re-imported the CSV file. Unfortunately the groups didn’t reappear (presumably a limitation of CSV export), but I can live with that.

  20. I used system restore to 2 days ago, and then immediately changed the automatic updates to manual. Then i did exactly as arch said – chose not to install update 911567. cheeky microsoft techies!
    Thanks you guys!!! btw – this update is installed with no problem on my laptop…

  21. Thanks so much for your posting about the Outlook Express address book error. I spent so much effort trying the Microsoft help pages to no avail. It appears that your step 6: … If you have a DWORD key “UseOutlook” put it on “0”. Otherwise, create it with the value of “0”. was the main problem, since I didn’t have this key.


  22. I have got a Win 98 mechine with Outlook express 5 installed. When I clicked Create mail, Forward or Reply it gives an error msg. It means it doesn’t allow me to create mails, but I could receive n save them into my PC. What could I do to over come this problem. Plz send me a reply.

  23. I had Outlook express and then got Microsoft Outlook. I use Micosoft outlook for my mail. I wanted to continue using Outlook express to read newsgroups. I cant open Outlook Express any longer and I dont know how to set up newsgroups on Microsoft outlook. Can you help me?

  24. When I insert a midi file into OutLook Express mail it will not play, however I can insert a wave file and it plays. I’m running I/E 7 & Media player 10. Help

  25. Suggestion to: “When I insert a midi file into OutLook Express mail it will not play, however I can insert a wave file and it plays. I’m running I/E 7 & Media player 10. Help”
    Posted by: Ejay at May 5, 2007 05:34 PM

    This was MY solution to the same problem: Check the SW Synth or MIDI Synth volume in your volume control panel. Make sure it is not set to zero or muted.

    Hash: SHA1

    Right click on it in the list and click on delete.

    If by “open” you mean it shows up in the preview pane, then turn the preview
    pane off.


    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


  27. Outlook Express is driving me a bit crazy. I can receive e-mails but I can’t send them. I’ve tried creating a new account and I get the same results. I figured reinstalling OE6 might help, but the only issue I’m having with that is I don’t use Internet Explorer as my web browser. I use Firefox. Is that going to matter? If I install IE6 with OE6 is that going to effect my Firefox? I think this all started b/c I switched from one ISP to another. Help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Hash: SHA1

    Without knowing exactly HOW it’s failing for you (error
    messages, details and the like) I can only guess.

    My guess is that your configuration for your email account
    with your new ISP was not entered properly into Outlook



    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


  29. If your pst file is lost or corrupted try Inbox repair tool to repair it.To run Inbox repair tool fallow the steps:

    1. Click on start goes to the search then click on files or folders option.
    2. In search box type scanpst.exe.
    3. Double click on the scanpst.exe file to open the inbox repair tool.
    4. Then enter the location of Pst file and its name or browse it for the path.
    5. Then start to repair.

    This way you can fix the pst corrupted file. But sometimes when your pst is badly corrupted you are not able to repair it. To repair your pst file you need Pst repair software. It helps you to recover your data very easily. You can download the trail version of Pst repair software at:

  30. I am not able to open attachments to play in media player in outlook express. They will open in windows live hotmail and but they take long time and have to download. I think this problem began when I did windows live messenger update and thanks to your site and two hours of searching, I found out how to uninstall that in add and remove. Right now outlook express is also not showing up in my add and remove program. I thought it was there and had clicked on it to see if it had option to repair like messenger but didn’t so I closed out of add and remove program. But did not click on remove. I have paid for hotmail to forward to outlook, but I must not clean out good enough or what, and it kept repeating wildblue forwards then didn’t get to my msn address in hotmail to forward those email. so took that out long time ago from outlook express. I believe the verison I have is 6 in outlook. I am in contact with microsoft also, by sending email. When I got rid of messenger 9.0 thanks to you, I then installed 8.1 it gave me msn home page and said I had installed exp 7 and I had 8. But put in google home page and it says now 8. Not sure if I have two or not but says only 8 in add and remove program. Hope this gets to you, sorry so long.But wondering if you think this will repair my problem the tool you have.

  31. I just loaded Office 2007 and french is the only spell check option now in my Outlook Express spell check. Is this one of the corupt files that can be repaired with the tool mentioned above? Otherwise is there another free safe download available to add english back? Thank you for any assistance.

  32. I could not load OE. I reinstalled it but still no go.
    Then I noticed a tiny padlock on the OE desktop icon. I right clicked on the icon and saw a reference to ‘sandbox’ which I knew nothing about. I took a chance and clicked on this.
    Hey presto, the padlock dissapeared and OE now works OK.

  33. When sending emails through OE, I get an “ERROR” and the emails are stuck in Outbox and are sent multiple times (12-40 times) until I delete.
    Thank you for your reply.

  34. I have the same problem as Becky…

    When sending emails through OE, I get an “ERROR” and the emails are stuck in Outbox and are sent multiple times (12-40 times) until I delete.
    Thank you for your reply.

  35. Hi, Jim.

    It seems that the problem is with the “Sent Items” folder. Outlook Express just cannot move the message from “Outbox” to “Sent Items”. If the “Sent Items” folder does not contain important messages, just delete it. Next time Outlook Express starts the folder will be created again. If the folder contains important messages, use

  36. Hello, I have an email that I cannot Delete. It never stops downloading, and now I cannot Delete any other Email. If I click on it, I cannot do anything else and I have t use Ctrl, Alt, Del to get out. Thank You for any Help

  37. FYI, the solution in my particular case was to enter the following command into “Start -> Run”:

    regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\mshtml.dll


  38. Hi
    When I open Outlook Express it automatically changes my screen resolution. When I reset it back it is working until I restart my computer than again when I first time start it changes my screen resolution.
    Thank you

  39. hiiiiiiiiii i m karan from india i have outlook express in a machine
    it has inbox data n size of inbox data is 191mb but data is not show when i open the inbox.
    and same it is problem with the senbox data. the size of sendbox data is 14.4 mb. but draft n delete data as it is show.
    so pls give me solution.


  40. Hi
    Every time i send a message it sends from 30 to 100 times regardless whether i send to 1 or more recipients. Frustrating.

  41. The password is not remembered when I log into OE 6 so everytime I start OE I have to type in password (option for remembering the password (tick) is not allowed). How can I activate this option (allow to mark the tick).

  42. My OE can receive e mails ok but it will not send e mails. I get an error message 421 saying that the server cannot accept the e mail from my computer. If I access my e mails via my my internet provider (virigin media) web page I can both send and receive e mails ok. Virgin media have checked my OE settings and confirmed they are ok so it is their view that something is worng with my OE

  43. Just created new identity, the existing identify could be corrupted and the registry is already messed up, i encounter this kind of problem before and the only solution that i found is to create new identity and re-create my email, but first of all, you should backup your email data first :) Hopin this one help you guys :)


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