Beware Outlook file size limit of 2GB
Over the past 6 months a handful of customers started seeing some strange email problems. Emails not being downloaded or emails not being sent, now the email client in question was the old faithful Outlook Express.

After a little digging the errors were tracked to file sizes, as Outlook Express has 2GB file size limit. Basically each folder: inbox, sent items, etc., in Outlook Express is stored in a separate file on your PC, and should these files reach 2GB in size then you'll be in trouble. No error messages will be displayed, emails will just not work as they should.

There are two things we can do here, firstly prevention.
Many people leave all of their received emails in the inbox, which can rapidly overflow. Create folders for specific companies or projects, then move relevant emails into their new folder. Not only will this reduce the chance of file problems, it'll make it easier for you to find emails when you are looking for them.
The Sent Items folder can easily overflow, especially if you send a lot of large attachments, so the same folder trick can be used here. Each year create a new folder, e.g. Send Items 2010, and move all of the 2010's sent emails into that folder.

But, what if your mailbox has reached 2GB and emails are not working?
Firstly try to locate your email files, from the menu select, Tools > Options > Maintenance > Store Folder.
This will display the location of your email files, use Explorer to view the files and see which file has reached the 2GB limit.
Then move / delete emails from the offending folder, but this will not reduce the size of the folder on the disk.
You need to select the folder in the list, then click File > Folder > Compact, which will process the folder and reduce the size. Should you receive any error messages during this process it is time to call in desktop support, as the file has become corrupt. Not Good.

There are a number of Outlook Express email recovery programs, but many of these are not easy to use and give mixed results.

If in doubt contact us at Selvatico and we can help recover the damaged files, we have a very high success rate in email recovery.

Outlook and Outlook Express
Check your file sizes before you get email problems

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