Outlook Express DBX Files

  Jackcoms 10:16 02 Nov 2004

Hidden well away within my Documents and Settings folder, a whole series of other folders finally brings me to a folder called Outlook Express which contains all my OE DBX files.

One of those DBX files is called 'Deleted Items.dbx' and is a pretty huge 23mb.

I'm not really interested in saving a record of all my deleted e-mails and could make better use of 23mb of space!

Can I safely delete this DBX file?

  Dan the Confused 10:28 02 Nov 2004

Easier to do it in OE. Select Deleted Items in the Folders window, select all in the Deleted Items window (ctrl-A) then right click on them and select Delete. This will remove them permanently.

  Jackcoms 10:50 02 Nov 2004

Dan the Confused

Thanks for your reply but I think you misunderstood my question.

I'm not talking about the Deleted Items folder in OE - which is empty and empties whenever I exit OE anyway.

I'm talking about my OE .dbx files hidden away within my Documents and Setting folder.

I want to know if I cam safely delete an OE .dbx file.

I'm running XP SP2.

  Danoh 11:02 02 Nov 2004

If OE is anything like Outlook, it would not automatically reduce the size of the DBX file even after you have deleted everything from it.

In Outlook, I have to do a "Compress" command from Properties, for that particular system file (.pst in Outlook's case rather than .DBX).

I don't know Outlook Express but maybe my experience with Outlook could strike lucky for OE as well.

  Danoh 11:04 02 Nov 2004

Sorry, that should be "Compact Now" in Outlook, before any Outlook users get confused, spots my error in my previous post and comments! :-)

  scotty 11:04 02 Nov 2004

The dbx files contain the information from your folders in OE. You should have a dbx file for each folder (Inbox.dbx etc.).

The fact that you have an empty Deleted Items forder but a large associated dbx file is strange. Perhaps the files hidden away within your Documents and Setting folder are old files left over from a previous installation of OE? What are the modified dates for these files? If they have not changed recently then perhaps your active dbx files are stored elsewhere. You can check by searching for files named *.dbx

  Danoh 11:07 02 Nov 2004

If you delete files which Outlook expects to be present, it will ask you to create another one but allows you to specify the location as well on the assumption you wish to change it.

Generally I would say not to delete a file which is used by an application as the code expects it to be there. Deleting the file will crash the application system when you try to use it.

  Dan the Confused 11:09 02 Nov 2004

That's odd, my Deleted Items folder is empty too but my 'Deleted Items.dbx' is only 59k, as are all empty OE folders (like Outbox). I use Win98 so can only assume that's the difference, still not sure it is safe to delete though. You could try renaming it and see what happens.

  Jackcoms 11:22 02 Nov 2004


Yes, I have a dbx file for every folder in OE.

I am regularly prompted to compress OE and I always hit OK to compress.

There hasn't been a previous installation of OE. I did a complete HDD format and re-install of Windows on 12 December last year and that is the 'Created' date showing for the 'Deleted Items' dbx file.

The 'Created' date for all the other OE dbx files show various dates since 12 December and those dates are OK as far as I can recall, because I have created various folders in OE this year.

I did a search for *.dbx and all it found was the same files as in my OE folder.

  Gongoozler 11:39 02 Nov 2004

I suggest that instead of just deleting the Deleted Items.dbx file, you move it to a temporary folder. OE should then create a new Deleted Items.dbx and if all then works well you'll be able to delete the old bloated version.

  Jackcoms 12:36 02 Nov 2004


That's seems to be the answer. I created a temp folder and moved the Deleted Items.dbx file into it.

I re-booted.

Re-launched OE, hit Send and Receive and received one e-mail which I read, deleted and closed OE.

I then had a look in the folder where the original .dbx file was. OE has created a new Deleted Items.dbx file of 135kb (presumably the above-mentioned deleted e-mail).

OE is working OK, so I'll leave the original 23mb file in the temp folder and, if all's still well in a week or so, get rid of it.


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