Outlook Express has changed the face of mail clients forever with its brilliant and intuitive interface. In a time where some of Microsoft’s most cherished killer apps are starting to lose their luster, Outlook just keeps getting better. Still, OE is far from perfect, and there are still a couple little faults that, while not too horrible, are still a bit annoying. The Store Folder, for instance, can be a bit buggy sometimes, especially if you neglect it for too long. Don’t worry, though: We’ll walk you through it.

Step 1: Forget About Auto Maintenance

The reason why many people don’t take care of their OE Store Folder is because there is already an automatic maintenance feature installed in the program. But like many automatic programs, it leaves a lot to be desired. It is very easy for your files and messages to become corrupt, especially in the case of a power outage or computer crash. To avoid these scary possibilities, go to Tools section and select Maintenance. It will allow you to turn off the auto maintenance feature.

Step 2: Clean Up Your News Folders

One of the best things about Outlook is how it consolidates messages and news with such ease. But these News Folders can get clogged pretty quickly and will in turn hurt your computer’s performance. You’ll want to manually go into your folders and then delete any headers and messages you don’t want to keep. Remember, though, that anything that you clean up should also be compacted, since you’ve already turned off auto maintenance.  Once the files are compacted you’ll have more disk space to use because you’ve removed all the wasted space in those folders. You’ll see the compact option next to the remove and delete options.

Step 3: Clean up Your Mail Folders

Cleaning up your mail folders is even easier than cleaning up the News Folders. You’ll want to choose the Work Offline option under File first, though. Doing offline cleanup ensures that you won’t have new mail coming in while you compact these folders, meaning you won’t accidentally remove mail you haven’t read yet. You’ll see in the Folder section, under File, an option to Compact all Folders. You’ll want to click on this option and then simply wait for the PC to finish the job. This usually takes a few minutes so don’t worry if it is taking a long while. After it is finished, you’ll almost definitely notice a much higher performance from OE.

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