Outlook Express强于Outlook之处

很久以前就有人说过,如果只是用来收发邮件,Outlook Express足以。

但Outlook Express和Outlook,从名称上总给我感觉Outlook Express是Outlook的缩水版,即使是邮件方面,只有Outlook能做到而Outlook Express做不到的,没有Outlook Express能做到而Outlook做不到的。

但经过一段时间的“Outlook”以后,我深刻体会到前人说的话是对的。先不提Outlook Express的稳定性,我就发现一个Outlook Express能做到而Outlook做不到的邮件功能:

以IMAP协议访问邮箱时,发送邮件后,Outlook Express能把邮件deliver到自己邮箱的已发送邮件( Or, Sent Mail, whatever they call it),而Outlook仅保留在本地的已发送邮件文件夹。这样,IMAP协议的优势在Outlook就没有得到充分体现。




我办公室有一台专门的电脑处理印刷稿件,每天收发好多超大邮件,邮件程序是Outlook Express,邮件带的附件大多是高分辨率的PDF或JPEG等文件。每隔若干天,同事就会找我帮忙:Outlook Express发信出现问题,邮件明明已经发出去了,对方也收到了,但邮件就是卡在发件箱里,Outlook Express错误提示是一项或多项操作未完成,但没有更多的原因说明。其实在同事发现Outlook Express工作不正常之前,发件箱里已经堆积了很多邮件,这些邮件都已经发送了N份copies给收件人。



  • 导出邮件后再导入回来
  • 删除发件箱.dbx(Outlook Express启动时会新建一个发件箱.dbx,如果检测到发件箱.dbx不存在的话)
  • 干脆在Windows下创建一个新用户,再导入邮件
  • 重装Outlook Express后导入邮件

以上方法都只能工作一段时间。我按“Outlook Express发信出错”、“Outlook Express发件箱不能清空”等关键词搜索前人一劳永逸的办法,搜到很多的IT网站和论坛相关讨论,但那些IT高手们也说他们也有同样的问题,也用同样的方法,也只能一时有效。我也只好将就,对同事的求助习以为常,用临时方法解决发件箱问题。

昨天同事又来找我。我按老规矩把老方法一一试来,在等导入邮件的操作完成时,我突然来了灵感:我为什么总认为是发件箱出问题了呢?为什么不能是已发送邮件出问题呢? 我的演绎是:

当已发送邮件越积越大时,Outlook Express的某个臭虫导致Outlook Express无法稳定地把一封已发出的邮件添加到已发送邮件文件夹。不稳定性导致症状出现的随机性。邮件实际已投递,但由于不能成功添加到已发送邮件,就只好滞留发件箱了,错误提示说一项或多项操作未完成,其实是指最后一步没完成——一切都自圆其说了。


回想起来,我也曾造访过微软的网站寻求帮助,微软知识库里至少有三篇文章是讲发件箱问题的,但现在看来,这些都是“头痛医脚”。我不指望我的办法能被微软收录,但我确实希望这篇文章能在google关于“邮件滞留发件箱”类别的搜索结果中能排个好名,为众多的Outlook Express迷途者指点迷津。


Solution to Emails Delivered but Stuck in Outbox

The solution is very simple: empty the folder Sent Items.

It is a long story of getting to the solution. If interested, please read on.

In my office a dedicated artwork processing workstation receives and sends tons of emails everyday. The email program installed is Outlook Express. Artwork attachments are normally high resolution PDFs, JPEGs, etc. Every a few days my colleague asks me to examine this workstation when the symptom comes – emails stay in Outbox after sending, and an error message will popup saying one or more tasks are not completed but not giving details and possible reasons. Actually emails have been delivered many times before my colleague notes the problem.

The Outbox symptom occurs quite randomly. Sometimes even a small email without attachments could incur the problem, but big emails with attachments are more likely to replicate the problem. My previous approaches were focused on rebuilding a new Outbox. I have tried at least the following methods, none of them always work.The effectiveness is random as well.

  • Compact all the folds in Outlook Express
  • Export and import emails
  • Delete Outbox.dbx (Outlook Express will automatically create a new one when it detect Outbox.dbx does not exist)
  • Create new Windows user and import emails
  • Reinstall Outlook Express and import emails

But all of the above methods could only work for a while. I researched many IT forums. Lots of gurus mention that they face the similar problem and use the above temporary methods. So I had been used to being called for help once in a while.

Today I was called again. While trying my old methods one by one to see if any of these temporarily solve Outbox Symptom, I suddenly had some afflatus. Why I thought Outbox was wrong? I always used “outlook express outbox stuck”, “outlook express outbox stuck” as search terms. It could be Sent Items. My deduction is –

When Sent Items.dbx is getting bigger and bigger, some bugs in Outlook Express make Outlook Express not able to handle reliably a new Sent Item appending to Sent Items.dbx. That is why the Outbox Symptom happens randomly. The email is already sent but because it can not go to Sent Items, it has to stay in Outbox.

Sent Items.dbx on artwork workstation is 3 gigabyte huge. I renamed Sent Items.dbx to Old Sent Items.dbx and deleted Sent Items.bak. Instantly Outbox Symptom was gone. Now I know it is not appropriate to be called as Outbox Symptom. It is Sent Items Symptom. I believe my new solution will be permanent.

Looking backwards, even 3 articles (E-mail does not leave the Outbox, How to troubleshoot mail stuck in the Outbox in Outlook 2000, Error message that Sent Items remain in Outbox) I found from Microsoft knowledge base regarding this Outbox Symptom or Sent Items Symptom whatever did not help much. I do not expect my solution would be collected by Microsoft knowledge base, but I do expect this post can be ranked on top in google “outbox stuck” related search result, helping as many people as possible solving a very simple problem.

Insert a Signature in Outlook

It is very difficult to think in others’ shoes.

I have been using Outlook Express for years, and it works perfect as an email program. Recently I switched to Outlook because I really want to integrate Calendar, To-do list these sort of information.

However, integration can not happen overnight. Outlook still works mainly as an email program. That is to say, I have not enjoyed the extra benefits from Outlook apart from Outlook Express. When Outlook is working as a replacement of Outlook Express, I have encountered difficulties just because I am thinking in Outlook Express.

For example, how to insert a signature in Outlook? Following Outlook Express’ philosophy, I went to Insert menu and looking for a menu item called signature. No gain. Then I hovered my mouse over every button in toolbars. No gain, either. It seemed no intuitive way to insert a signature, so I turned to Help for help. Now I understand possibly for Office Automation reasons, it is not possible to insert a signature manually. If I want my signature shown in my outgoing emails, I must preset before composing email.

3 steps to achieve that:

  1. Make up signatures.
  2. In the main window of Outlook, Tools > Options > Mail Format Dialogue, choose signature for new messages, choose signature for replies and forwards. Choose none if you do not want any signature to be inserted.
  3. Start composing email. Every email will be inserted a default signature if you choose to do so at step 2, otherwise, there is no possibility to insert a signature later after composing has started. However, you can change signatures by right click on the default signature.

Am I thinking in Outlook’s developers’ shoes? Absolutely not.


我是一个很懒的人,thunderbird出名已经很久了,我仍然stick to outlook or outlook express。本来也是,不就收发一下邮件嘛,用哪个软件有很大区别吗?今天由于其他方面的原因,我不得不下载thunderbird用了一下,当然它没有惊天动地打动我的地方,但它的utf8已经走到microsoft前面了,outlook/express在英文windows下总是处理不好中文主题或发件人(outlook处理不好中文发件人,而outlook express处理不好中文主题)。别看平时我也能忍受着阅读??????布满问号的邮件,但既然看到thunderbird做得这么好,那我决定更多地支持一下开源产品啦。