you might experience sluggish operations when opening Outlook.
Note : This article is for Outlook users, not for Outlook Express. Most users whom purchased M$ Office should have M$ Outlook also. Outlook Express is built-in with Windows XP.
At times, it even hang or refuse to respond when you click on the Outlook icon to open the application. One of the possible solution to this problem is that you can use the built-in "Inbox Repair Tool"
The Inbox Repair Tool or scanpst.exe is located at
C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033If you are unable to find the scanpst.exe file, you may consider downloading from here.
A PST file aka "Personal Storage Table" is actually a the file which contains all your emails and its subfolders within Outlook itself. Outlook organizes the emails and folders within a PST file. By default, when a new email address is created for receiving mails in Outlook, an "Outlook.pst" file is created.
Before running the scanpst.exe file, it is recommended to close Outlook first. If Outlook had not started properly, you should use "Task Manager" to end the Outlook.exe task.
Once you open the scanpst.exe file, you will need to tell the Inbox Repair Tool where to find the PST file. Outlook usually creates this file in a folder within the current user's working directory.
C:\Documents and Settings\USER_NAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\
Once the scanning starts, it'd take some time depending on the number of emails which are in your INBOX and its subfolders. When it completes its scanning, it'll prompt the user for actions.
It is recommended to create a backup of the original Outlook.pst file before beginning to repair.
Once this is done, Outlook should be able to start normally.
To have proper housekeeping of Outlook inbox emails and subfolder emails, it is recommended to "regularly" archive your emails by creating another PST file to store older emails and to delete emails which are no longer relevant or no longer needed to keep for records.
After the deletion of emails and emptying of the deleted items folder , the PST file should be compacted to recover the space.
For ridding yourself of the Outlook problems, you can consider one of the following opensource email clients for XP/Vista/NT etc:
1) Mozilla Thunderbird
2) Qualcomm Eudora
3) Pegasus Mail
4) Gmail [ Web based client that can also receive and send emails via external domains ]
For a more concise list of email clients and their features and comparison, visit Wikipedia here
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