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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Best way to clean up WLM inbox with over 60K emails?

    Against my best advice, my wife *never* deletes any emails or moves them to storage files, so now her inbox for her POP account in WLM 2012 has over 60,000 emails in it and of course it's painfully slow to do anything in WLM on her machine. Now she's looking to me for help. What I'd like to do is to move her entire Inbox (not just individual emails in it) under Storage Folders and start with a clean (empty) new Inbox folder. I'm not sure if I can do this in WLM itself, so I was thinking about doing it from Windows Explorer. Will that mess up WLM? If I manually drag the Inbox folder under Storage Folders, will WLM recognize it when I start it up and then create a new empty Inbox folder? Or, do I have to create the new folder in WLM first and then drag all the individual files from the Inbox to that new folder? I suspect that option will take MUCH longer than just moving the folder itself.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer?

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  3. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Just moving the large quantities of emails will not solve the problem, only encourage her to fill it up again. Eventually she will fill up her entire HD.

    I believe you can move everything to a storage folder from within WLM itself. I do this for emails I wish to save. I'm not sure about this massive number of folders.

    Why does she wish to save these massive quantities of emails? She will have extreme difficulty finding individual emails anyway. You might be better off cleaning out most of the emails, then setting up a proper storage folder system for her. I have to believe many if not most of these emails are garbage anyway. I know the majority of mail I get is trash and advertisements, etc. I would think the best approach is to show her the value of organization and throwing things out.
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  4. #3
    Silver Lounger
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    Assuming there is a lot of junk mail mixed in with all the mail you want saved, I would try to whittle it down before moving it to a storage folder. You can sort the mail by From or Subject and then you may be able to find segments of hundreds of emails that can be deleted all at once by selecting the top email to delete, scrolling to the last in the section and holding down the shift key as you select that one so all in between get selected and they are easily deleted. Try to get it down to something more manageable, like 5000 (or 500!) before you move them to a storage folder.

  5. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Yea, my thought exactly. With 60K emails, there have to be a ton of junk as well as a few actual emails that are important. Unfortunately finding the important mails is very difficult with this number of emails.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  6. #5
    New Lounger
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    Oh, I'm sure at least 75% of the stuff in her inbox is crap, but it would take way too long to clean that up. I may have her do that eventually once I move everything to a storage folder, but for now I'd just like to have her start with a completely empty inbox. So, what do you think - can I exit out of WLM and move the inbox folder in Windows Explorer? If that's going to be a problem, I could create an empty storage folder in WLM first, then exit out of WLM and manually move all the files from the inbox folder (but not the folder itself) to the storage folder.

    I guess what I'm wondering is if WLM keeps an index file or some sort of database of the emails that it expects to see in a folder. If you close WLM down and then move the .EML files out of the folder manually, will WLM panic when it comes back up?

    Thanks for any advice you can offer!

  7. #6
    Silver Lounger
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    You should check the account settings under the advanced tab to make sure the keep a copy on the server box is not checked so WLM doesn't set about downloading all 60k messages when they are removed from the inbox.

    I wouldn't move them out of WLM unless you have a good idea about how you're going to handle them after that. I would highlight the emails to move and use the Folders tab to copy them to a storage folder in WLM, then if successful, delete the email from the inbox. That way you wouldn't lose the ability to sort and effectively prune the unwanted emails from the storage folder when convenient.

  8. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    What you can do is look in C, users, "username", Windows Live mail. This is the folder that holds everything. If you rename this folder to say WindowsLiveMailBU, then create a new folder called Windows Live Mail, the WLM client should recreate everything for you. I quite often copy my WLM folder to my desktop, rename it to BU then copy it back to the original folder. This gives me a backup of my WLM folder should something bad happen.

    I am not absolutely positive this will work, but I have done this myself so it should.
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  9. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    For an ISP based account where all your email has already been removed from their servers it might work, but for an internet
    based email account, like Hotmail et al, you would have to do it manually. (as the bulk of the emails will still reside on their servers)

    You had a great idea in having her do it under your guidance.
    There will be no better teacher than having her slog away at cleaning up her own email.
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  10. #9
    Silver Lounger
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    It was indicated that this is a POP account so the delivery option should be in the account properties under the advanced tab. Definitely check that first and if it is set to retain a copy on the mail server and it's then set to not retain a copy, might want to run a few download cycles after that and make sure the server dumped the retained copies; it might be extremely tedious to try and delete the server inbox one page at a time.

  11. #10
    New Lounger
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    Thanks all, I'll have to give it a shot tomorrow (too late tonight). It is a POP account and I generally leave 7 days of email on the server, but I'll clear the server before doing this so I don't re-download the last week's worth of email. I'll re-post once I have a chance to try things out.

  12. #11
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Just moving the large quantities of emails will not solve the problem, only encourage her to fill it up again. Eventually she will fill up her entire HD.
    In theory, that might happen, but in real life it cannot.

    For the email program to open up any email file, to add to it, it has to load it into RAM memory. It's NOT a folder....it's an indexed data base file. When it gets too big to fit in free ram, it will fail to open.
    Since it's really NOT a folder at all, you can't just drag and drop it elsewhere like a real data folder.

    I once had a customer who could not send any email, because the Sent Items folder had over 10,000 emails in it, and it would not fit into ram. I just deleted the file and the next time OE opened up, it re-made the file (empty, of course).

    So if you can find your Inbox file, just delete it.
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  13. #12
    New Lounger
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    Update: You definitely can't move the folder or files behind the scenes in Explorer. I decided to try it out first with a much smaller folder (only 300 emails), and I made a backup copy of them first. I tried moving the Inbox folder under the Storage Folders folder and then created a new "Inbox" folder in Explorer. When I started WLM back up, it still listed all 300 emails in the Inbox (even though the Windows folder was empty), and it would just say "Message cannot be found" when I clicked on each email. So, clearly WLM maintains a database somewhere of all the files that it expects to see in a folder. I was hoping I could right-click on the folder and tell WLM to just re-index or refresh that folder, but that wasn't an option.

    I also noticed that if you copy (or move) an email from one folder to another in WLM, the file will get renamed. I expected this on a copy, but not on a move. For example, when I used WLM to move an email which was named 4C394133-00000001.eml, the name got changed to 6D950010-00000001.eml in the new folder.

    So, the bottom line is that I'm going to need to move all the files out of the Inbox using WLM instead of Explorer. I will also need to get my wife busy on just DELETING all the crap in the folder.

  14. #13
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I think the deleting is most likely the best option. There is not an easy solution. Plus she is going to have to change her habits. I would assume she gets the same kinds of emails as everyone else, that is a few real emails along with a whole bunch of junk.

    I generally get quite a bit of stuff automatically sent to my junk mail folder. Does she as well? What does she do with this junk? Most of this can be deleted as well.

    I do have to believe her email settings are set to remove the mail from the mail server at some point in time. Perhaps it is set to remove at the default times set by the ISP. I do not believe there is any ISP out there that will hold this many emails on their servers. There are many ISPs that will not accept new email when the user's server space is full.
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  15. #14
    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    I'm not saying you should do this but I would just delete everything except the last months of email and when she asks where it is tell her 'I have no idea where it went'
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  16. #15
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Someone didn't read my post #11.

    EMail folders are really NOT FOLDERS at all, but indexed DATA BASE files.
    You can not treat them like data or program folders that live on the Hard Drive.

    When you try to delete a number of entries, the 'system' has to remove one entry and then re-index the file, then remove the next entry and re-index the file again. That is an extremely slow and laborious job and can take many minutes to remove a large number of entries, depending on the speed and efficiency of the system.
    And for a PC that's already loaded down with $%&#@, that could even take hours.

    When an eMail file is found that has been sorely neglected and has ballooned out of proportion, it's far better to just find that file and delete it. The email program will remake the file when it's needed.
    I've had to do this, more times than I can count.

    In an Inbox folder, you can block and delete entries by date. That works too, but is more time consuming. On most eMail programs, you can set the program to empty the Deleted Items folder when the program closes. I do that for users who refuse to do anything for themselves.

    In any case, I'm glad it's YOU that has to deal with the Mrs, and not me. lol

    Cheers Mate, and Good Luck!
    The Doctor
    Last edited by DrWho; 2013-01-19 at 08:36.
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