Outlook Express has been one of Microsoft’s most cherished killer apps in recent years. If the latest trends are any indication, OE will continue to be the number one business management programs for at least another PC generation. The ability of OE to seamlessly register your important emails, contacts, numbers and much more makes it the perfect business tool, but only if you know how to take full advantage of the software. In this installment, we’ll look at how OE stores files on your hard disk.

The Store Root

Under normal circumstances, your messages, emails, folders, newsgroups, and anything else that you might be subscribed to in OE will be consolidated into a single folder that is known as the “store root”. This folder contains all the files that are stored on the hard disk and it can be found by checking the Options icon under Tools and then going to “maintenance”. Here you’ll be able to access your store folder.

File Extensions

The curious thing about OE is that you can actually put these files into any folder you wish besides the store root, but you should not move these files manually. Instead, you should let OE take care of the job itself because this will reduce the chance of the files being deleted accidentally. The extension for an OE file is .DBX and you should see this extension when looking in the store root. You’ll want to remember this folder because it is here that you’ll be able to delete the .DBX files that are causing your main folder problems.

Storing Problems

Unfortunately, as great as OE is, there are still a couple shortcomings in the software. For one, Outlook Express gets clogged up pretty quickly and easily when too many files, emails, and newsgroups are accessed without being cleaned up. Larger files are even more prone to corruption so you should regularly compact your data before your store folder gets too bloated. You can do this by going to the Maintenance area of Options just as you did when you accessed your store folder. It is important to keep clearing out old data before it gets too piled up because once your OE folder is corrupted you run the risk of having to delete all of your data. But a smart PC user also does a data backup of his or her data regularly to avoid just such an accident. So there you have it: Outlook Express is a wonderful business tool provided that you stay responsibly on top of your files. If you do so, you’ll continue to enjoy this clever program for years to come.

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