Outlook Express 6 Outbox Not Moved To Sent Items

Last week, I’ve been to a client for fixing a staff PC regarding Outlook Express problem. It can send email but the mail is not saved to Sent Items, instead they remain on Outbox. It took me more or less an hour to find the exact problem thanks to the wonderful internet.

The Problem

When I tested sending mails, it get sent however the message in Outlook Express 6 remains in the Outbox folder. It must be moved to Sent Items. On initial search on the internet, there are related problems such as timeout setting, exceeding limits, etc. However, I found the real problem when I tried to copy or move a message to the Sent Items folder.

An error occurs every time I attempt to either move or copy any message to Sent Items. Therefore we can conclude that there are problems on the folder itself. Too bad I forgot the URL where I get to solution (forgot to post this immediately), but here it is. The problem is that the Sent Items folder is already 2GB too large.

I’m talking about the storage for the Sent Items database file. The solution is to replace the Sent Items database with a fresh one by deleting the old one, of course backup the old by splitting the contents into several folders and move by say “by month” or so. Since I have some free time, I’ll give some not so detailed step-by-step procedures.

Solution

This is only possible (I think) on Outlook Express for Windows XP (version 6 I think).

1. First, open Outlook Express and open the Options dialog. Click Tools -> Options.

Open options

2. On the Options dialog, click Maintenance tab.

Click maintenance tab

3. On the Maintenance tab, click the Store Folder button.

Click Store Folder

4. The location of the mail folder database is shown in a small dialog box. Highlight it so that you can copy it and we will paste it somewhere. Actually what we want is to open that folder where the mail folder databases are stored.

Store folder show

5. Close Outlook Express. Open the Run dialog box. Click Start menu -> Run. Paste the location we get from step 4 and press ENTER.

Run dialog

6. The databases are shown as .dbx files. Delete the Sent Items. If you wanted to backup the Sent Items, you have to create new folders in Outlook Express and copy (not move) the messages you want to backup. Of course you can choose to delete them forever if you want.

Outlook Express folder

7. After deleting the Sent Items database, open Outlook Express again. You now should have a fresh Sent Items folder. You should be able to send message and is saved to Sent Items automatically.

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38 Responses to Outlook Express 6 Outbox Not Moved To Sent Items

  1. madeline ward says:

    can you please advise how to correct same problem as above in Outlook 7. Message remain in outbox and are not being sent.

  2. lysender says:

    @madelin – Do you mean the message does not get sent to the recipient? If it does not send, then we have different problem. Maybe there are problems in your mail settings.

    I’m no expert in any MS software but somehow there are available solutions on the internet already. Maybe you can give more details it may help.

  3. Sajila says:

    -Drag and drop all the mails from your server mailbox outbox \ sent items to your local PST. In your outlook go to File > Account settings > Account Settings > Email Accounts
    -Double click on your Microsoft exchange account, you would get the server settings window opening.
    -Check the “ User cached exchange mode” > click on next > Finish.
    -Restart your outlook and try sending a test mail once again

  4. Dietrich Movsessian says:

    I have an Outlook Express 6 and I am having a problem with my Sent Items Box, the e-mails I send disappear from the screen without going into my sent items box, can you please help me.

  5. jan viner says:

    i am having problems clearing my messages in the sent items box thankyou

  6. lysender says:

    Jian Viner,

    If you reached the 2GB in sent items, move/split them into several folders, then delete your Sent Item.dbx file. If I’m not mistaken, a new fresh file will be created.

  7. Gunnar Thurfjell says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! My grayhairs have returned to it’s normal colour.
    / gunnar

  8. Kim Macc says:

    Thank you so very much. This was most helpful. Can I do the same thing with my deleted items folder stored in the Administrator? If I delete the items in the folder the same way will it give me a fresh folder when I reboot? Thanks so much:)
    Kim

  9. lysender says:

    @Kim Macc,

    It will give you a fresh Deleted Items after you restarted Outlook. No need to restart. Of course you should move those items to other Outlook folders if you still need them just in case.

  10. Sandy says:

    I’ve reached the 2gb size in the Sent Items folder in OE6, and it will no longer allow access to the folder. It created a new “Sent Items (1).dbx” file. How can I access the old dbx file to delete and distribute messages into smaller folders? Thanks

  11. lysender says:

    @Sandy,

    Here is the trick. Close OE and rename Sent Items(1).dbx and Sent Items.dbx into something different. Open OE again and check if it creates a new Sent Items.dbx file.

    The close OE and delete the newly created Sent Items.dbx and rename that 2GB into Sent Items.dbx.

    If it does not work, it must be close. Try more combination of these steps.

  12. Les says:

    Do as it says and the error will go excellent work people many thanks

  13. John Shillito says:

    Thanks for posting the solution. Do as it says. One tip – After creating the new Sent Items folder I moved 1 year’s worth of sent items back into it for easy access. Cool.

  14. ashok says:

    thanks this is very helpful and i resolve that problem

  15. satish says:

    I’ve been to a client for fixing a staff PC regarding Outlook Express problem. It can send email but the mail is not saved to Sent Items, instead they remain on Outbox.I’ve reached the 2gb size in the Sent Items folder in OE. And i created new folder and tried to move all sent items to new folder, again i tested sending mail but mail not saved to send items it remains in outbox when i press send\recive all the mail ra repeating no of time

  16. lysender says:

    You have to delete the Sent Items.dbx file to start a fresh copy.

  17. satish says:

    not deleted but moved all files of Sent Items.dbx to another folder Sent Items1.dbx

  18. lysender says:

    If you move the messages inside the Outlook Express program, it will not decrease the file size of Sent Items.dbx even if you will delete all messages.

    My suggestion is to move the messages to several folders (to not reach 2GB while trying to move them and add more problems) and close Outlook Express, then delete the file and re-open Outlook Express. It should start a fresh Sent Items folder.

  19. Raj says:

    Thanks man…

  20. YS says:

    That tip worked! Thanks Sajila!

    -Drag and drop all the mails from your server mailbox outbox \ sent items to your local PST. In your outlook go to File > Account settings > Account Settings > Email Accounts
    -Double click on your Microsoft exchange account, you would get the server settings window opening.
    -Check the “ User cached exchange mode” > click on next > Finish.
    -Restart your outlook and try sending a test mail once again

  21. florence says:

    Thanks a lot Lysender! Above solution has slove my outlook express problems. =)

  22. Vipan Passi says:

    I tried everything but nothing was working. It was very frustrating. Finally I found a good and simple solution to the problem. Here I share it with you.
    Open Outlook Express. Go to Tools — Accounts — Mail — highlite imap.gmail.com — Properties — IMAP — Uncheck “Store Special folders on IMAP server — OK.
    That’s it !! It works. This is my first ever posting on the internet, and I hope it saves you all a lot of trouble.
    Vipan Passi

  23. Taslima says:

    Thank you so so much Lysender .. I have been trying to solve this problem for weeks with no joy,and much frustration and just happened to come across your solution. You are an absolute star! THANK YOU
    Taslima

  24. ziyaad says:

    thank you

    this sorted out the problem i have been suffering with.

  25. lysender says:

    Seriously? Still using Outlook 6? Just install Outlook 2003/2007 or better install Mozilla Thunderbird.

  26. dumra says:

    I have a similar problem. When i sent any message it stuck in outbox and shows error but it is eventually sent to the receiver. And i make a new folder and copied some of sent items to new folder, but then all the mails from the new folder lost and after fews days, all the mails from the sent item disappeared. Please help!!! now all sent items are lost and the old problem is also there

  27. dumra says:

    I mean old outbox stuck problem is still there…

  28. dumra says:

    And sent mail reached 2gb as well

  29. lysender says:

    @dumra, the post explains how to fix that problem. You may have missed some steps, example, deleting the sent items file, restarting outlook, etc.

  30. dumra says:

    There is only written about outbox problem. I want my all sent items back. all are disappeared..

  31. dumra says:

    Actually i moved some sent items to a new folder, but then all the mail disappeared. I need to retrieve all the mails. Please help!!! Dont want to get scold from boss!!!! 🙁

  32. dumra says:

    I havent done the above process yet. Firstly i need to retrieve my old sent items and then want to sort out the stuck outbox problem!!!

  33. lysender says:

    @dumra, I’m not sure what happens but there is a good chance that the sent items database gets corrupted while moving some items to a new folder. You should have made backups first. You should have copied items instead of moving them around.

  34. dumra says:

    But sentitems.dbx still shows 1.99gb….. But it is not visible in the sentitem folder

  35. dumra says:

    Do any one know link for “oe mail recovery” software for free?

  36. john morey says:

    Does MS Outlook have a larger storage capacity limit the Outlook Express ?

    If it does, can I avoid all this copying, and then having limited access to the old emails.

    How can I copy OR import the contents of Outlook Express into MS Outlook ?

    Cheers
    John

  37. Marie Fisher says:

    After spending hours on end trying to delte items in my sent folder on outlook Express i finally decided to google the problem and thank goodness and found your answers. Cant say thankyou enough. You have just saved me a technician call out and it works perfectly now.
    Thanks a Bunch Marie

  38. lysender says:

    @Marie Fisher: I’m glad it helps.

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