Microsoft KB Archive/256072

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OLEXP: You Cannot Recover Deleted Messages or Folders in Outlook Express 5 for the Macintosh

Article ID: 256072

Article Last Modified on 10/2/2002


  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0 Macintosh Edition

This article was previously published under Q256072

For information about the differences between Microsoft Outlook Express and Microsoft Outlook e-mail clients, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

257824 OL2000: Differences Between Outlook and Outlook Express


If you delete folders or messages and Outlook Express is set to empty your Deleted Items folder when you quit Outlook Express, you cannot retrieve the messages or folders. This behavior is different in Outlook Express 4.5.


Outlook Express 5 maintains mail differently than it did in Outlook Express 4.5. Instead of storing Outlook Express messages in several folders within the OE User(s) folder, as it did in Outlook Express 4.5, Outlook Express 5 keeps your mail in a single Messages file.

When you delete mail and folders in Outlook Express 5, the deleted folders and messages are not really removed. Instead, their location in the Index file is removed (the Index file is like a table of contents) and the space that the e-mail message or folder occupied is now marked as "free."

If you create another folder or if you receive new e-mail messages, the newly received mail or newly created folder may overwrite those that you deleted.

Keywords: kbprb kbfaq KB256072