Thursday, November 13, 2008

Outlook Cannot delete mails

"I received an email recently, with no attachment, and when I tried to open it, my computer froze. Even a ctrl-alt-del wouldn't help. Every time I try to open, or just click on and delete this message my computer freezes. I didn't think it was possible for an email to cause this kind of problem, if there was no attachment. I'm using Outlook Express, and running Windows XP Professional Version, Service Pack 2. I just want to delete this message from my inbox -- I have no idea what is in it and I don't care at this point!"

Stranger things have been known to happen to folks using Outlook Express, but I'm sure that's little comfort to you now. Here are some things you can try to remove the offending item from your inbox.

  • First, have you made sure that you are current with Windows Update patches and fixes? There are a bunch of nasty bugs in Outlook Express that can leave you open to attacks from specially formatted emails -- with or without attachments. Some viruses can be activated and spread to others just by viewing a message in the preview pane, but ONLY if you are using an old, unpatched version of Outlook.
  • Next, is your anti-virus protection up to date? If your service has expired, renew it ASAP. Or check with your ISP to see if they offer any free anti-virus software.
  • Try turning off the preview pane in Outlook (use View / Layout and UNcheck Show Preview Pane). Then right-click the offending message and select Delete.
  • Some users report success with pressing the Shift and Delete keys after highlighting the message. Note: This technique will delete the message without sending it to the Deleted Items folder.
  • Finally, it's possible that the undelete-able email does not contain any harmful content, but attempting to open it triggers a flaw in your anti-virus scanner. If you are certain that the email is a harmless message from a known person (and they are using anti-virus software), you could try suspending your anti-virus program, then attempt to delete the message.
  • BOB RANKIN... is a tech writer and computer programmer who enjoys exploring the Internet and sharing the fruit of his experience with others. His work has appeared in ComputerWorld, NetGuide, and NY Newsday. Bob is publisher of the Internet TOURBUS newsletter, author of several computer books, and creator of the website. Visit Bob Rankin's website for more helpful articles and free tech support.

    1 comment:

    Alexis said...

    This morning I have opened my MS Outlook and observed there unpleasant thing: some of my emails were lost. I used the Google,but could find nothing. To my good fortune accidentally somebody called me up,it turned out it was my friend)). He advised me an interesting software - recovery ost files,which I used and was discouraged,reason of its restore all my damaged emails for seconds. And as I knew later for free. I have been using the program for 2 weeks. I have been glad...