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  1. 3 Star Lounger
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    Turn off auto compacting in Outlook Express?

    I really need help with this!! Outlook Express 6 compacts all folders after you open it 100 times.

    I need to shut off the automatic compacting. I am quite happy to do it manually, a folder at a time, whe I am not busy. I know there is no way under Tools/Options/Maintenance to shut off the auto compact "feature" so went to the Registry looking for it. Could not find it. But I assume it must be there somewhere!

    Would someone please tell me how to shut off the automatic compacting?

    BACKGROUND:
    Last night OE went through a lengthy compact process only to hang up at the end with a message that "another program" has one of the folders "in use." There was a folder that gave me that message when I went to manually compact it several months ago. It was new and almost empty so I deleted it. There must be another one now.

    I manually compact folders that I frequently move things out of so that they shrink to their "real" size - just good housekeeping, I think. I also split folders, moving messages to a new folder when the old one gets too many messages in it. This keeps each folder relatively lean, and I compact after splitting.

    At any rate, after OE gave me the "folder in use" message last night it stopped compacting and I could use the program again. This morning I began using email and all of a sudden it started compacting, unasked, attempting to start from the beginning. Compacting takes a very long time - more than an hour - and I can't have it doing this when I am working. I cancelled - scary because that can cause lost messages and I totally depend on OE for my work.

    Can someone please help me shut off the automatic compacting?

    Thank you very much!!!!

    Kelliann

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  3. Administrator
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    You can't disable the automatic compacting. You may be able to trick it though. See if Turn Off Compact Message helps.

    NOTE: Not compacting the message store in OE is very risky. OE is notorious for corrupting the mail database.

    You should consider switching to a more modern reliable mail client.

    Joe

  4. 3 Star Lounger
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    Thank you, Joe! I'll check that article out. I truly am diligent about manually compacting my folders (some on a daily basis), and splitting folders so that they don't become huge. I always have in mind that if the database were corrupted I'd be in the soup.

    Twice, messages have disappeared entirely during the automatic compacting process, but only twice, and not all that many, relatively speaking, thank heavens. Taking the program offline and not cancelling in the middle are two safeguards I know of, as is keeping your folders small (I think that's the best safeguard of all -- know when to split them!)

    I haven't found a mail program that operates as easily and *efficiently* as OE yet. I use mine for business so needs are a bit different from needs of many other computer users. Hopefully, one will come along soon for us.

  5. Administrator
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    Wow!!! I would not want to rely on OE for business purposes. I'd spring for something like Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Business. Outlook is much more reliable and robust that OE.

    Joe

  6. 3 Star Lounger
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    Hi Joe - thanks for the office 2010 link -I'll go take a look!

    I thnk many of us with small businesses find OE suits our needs perfectly, though. Outlook itself is just too big, too full of features I will never use.

    I need a place to store online research quickly (put it in blank emails and then store in folders), along with writing assignments and and emailed input from sources and have instant access to all of it in the same place. I do my writing using Word. The pair is a perfect combination for my needs. But I will still look at the link you sent. Never know!!

  7. Administrator
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    You should check out the OneNote app. You can save all sorts of things in an unstructed way and then go back later to organize or use in a different Office app. OneNote is probably the least publicized Office app but one of the most useful once you get to know it.

    Joe

  8. 3 Star Lounger
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    Joe,
    OneNote sounds fantastic. I'll see if it is on my other computer. I know it's not on the one I am using. Thanks for the tip on that.

    Kelliann

  9. Administrator
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    See OneNote blog for more information on using OneNote.

    Joe

  10. Lounger ruosChalet's Avatar
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    Sounds like the OP really should be using a better app for "research," however, the direct answer to OE's compacting is this:
    Prior to SP2, I believe, OE had the option to turn off "background" compacting, which was the main source of instability and corrupted files in OE. In lieu of automatic compacting, OE now prompts the user to compact after 100 closings.
    However, this is a PROMPT, not an automatic start to compacting.
    Whether you manually compact all folders periodically, or do it only when prompted, OE resets the counter and will not prompt again for another 100 closings.

    That the OP's OE is compacting in the background suggests it is not XP-SP2 or later, or has not had all security patches applied. As others have pointed out, OE is long in tooth and may not be worth fixing. It still works just fine for me, however. Ron_R

  11. 2 Star Lounger
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    I've used OE for years

    I've been using Outlook Express since 1997 with little trouble. I have several folders with hundreds of messages in them, some have thousands. I compact the folders periodically and have had no issues with corruption or missing messages or folders. "I do" switch to "work offiline" first, set the view so none of the panes are showing and don't so anything else until the process is completed. I also make regular backup's on the OE folder as well.

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