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Russell H., Computer Systems Expert
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Experience:  13+ years experience
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I am using Outlook Express and now cannot send or receive email.

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I am using Outlook Express and now cannot send or receive email. This happened when I got an email that wanted a receipt response. I keep getting a pop up box that says cannot send reply. I deleted the email that wanted that reply. Now I get the follow error message when trying to send and receive "An unknown error has occurred. Account: '', Server: '', Protocol: POP3, Port: 110, Secure(SSL): No, Error Number: 0x800C0133. Help

I think the problem is due to the corrupt Inbox. First take a backup of your emails to a folder in your computer. Close Outlook Express.

Open Windows Explorer. Click Tools-> Folder Options-> View tab. Uncheck the check box Hide extension for know file types. Click Apply and Ok.

Then open the following path using Windows Explorer

C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{8987AAAA-E9F5-42B5-93B8-07AE943C5FB7}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

Here Username is your user name
The long set of numbers can be a little different for you.

Once you open the above mentioned folder, you will see a file name Inbox.dbx

Right click on it and select Rename. Change the name to Oldinbox.dbx

Now open Outlook Express, and see if you can send mails now.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you and I will try as soon as I figure out how to back up email and do you mean just the inbox or all the files. Would appreciate help. Thanks
Renaming the inbox.dbx will only affect the mails in your Inbox. The other mails will be intact.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I did back up the mail files and tried your suggestion and no luck. Renamed the file oldinbox.dbx. Restarted the coumputer and still not luck. Help

In that case you can try a system restore to get back to a point when the problem was not there. To restore:

Click Start- >Programs-> Accessories-> System Tools-> System Restore. Click Next, select a date when your computer worked fine, click Next twice.
Wait for restore operation to complete. When it does, the computer will restart automatically.
When it starts again, see if the problem remains.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I tried 3 prior dates to restore and none would restore. Feb. 3rd,4th &5th. Any other suggestion. I thought I might reload Windows xp and see if only Outlook Express can be excuted, since I have the .dbx files on cd. Thoughts
There are actually two things to try:

Please try the rename procedure that I told you first once again. But this time rename two files:

Inbox.dbx -> oldinbox.dbx
Outbox.dbx -> oldoutbox.dbx

If possible move the renamed file to another folder.

Start Outlook Express and see what happens
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I tried your suggestion and also added oldsend.dbx and moved it to another folder. No luck
And you are still getting the same error. Then you can try the following:

Open Outlook Express. Click File-> Folder-> Compact All Folders.

If it fails too, then I will opt out and let the other experts provide you with a different solution

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am currently compacting, however a pop up box came up with this message
'The folder is curently in use by Outlook Express or by another application". Option was to OK or Cancel
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The compaction box completed, however I tried and no go - same error message
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I know I am a litte late in discouvering this but my wife has an account on this computer and I just checked her mail account and she is not having this problem. I went into her account and sent and received mail. It seems to be just my account that is affected.
Sorry for the delay. I had to go out for a while.

Is your wife using the same email service as you are?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes , she is using the same service. Sorry for the delay, but having to deal with wife in hospital, sleep, etc. My responses will probably be on/off for a while. Just got up and headed to the hospital.
I am very sorry to hear that. Will it be possible for you to continue now?

Open Outlook Express, click Tools-> Accounts. Select the account used by your wife, click Properties. Click on Advanced tab and make a note of the settings there.(Carefully note the port numbers for POP and SMTP)

Now open the settings for your account, and match the port numbers.

I think there can be some problem with your account settings.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Also, every time I try to delete an email, the pop up window come up with the same message " Outlook Express was unable to send the receipt". I can drag on at time to the deleted folder and then only by emptying the file by drop down window can I fully delete it from the inbox list.
Have you checked the POP and SMTP settings and make sure that they are properly configured?

To disable the problem with receipt, please try this:

Open Outlook Express. Click Tools-> Options-> Receipts tab. Select Never send a read receipt. Click Apply and Ok.

Restart Outlook Express
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I tried your suggestion( checked - never send a read receipt & rebooted) did not work. I have had the POP and SMTP settings checked by Verizon consultant and by Dell. After Verizon could do no more, Dell and Microsoft wanted big bucks. Didn't thiink this would be this big of a problem. Getting very frustruated. Help
There can be another possible reason for displaying notification about receipt.

Open Outlook Express. Click Tools-> Options-> Receipts tab-> Secure Receipts. Select Never send a secure receipt.

Sorry for asking it again, but I need to get a clear picture of the problem as follows:

1 Is your Otlook Express is configured with two accounts (1 for you and 1 for your wife)
2 Did you able to delete the email after which the problem started?
3 Will it be possible for you to test the issue using another email client (I will provide step by step instruction for that) ?

Please include as much details as possible.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
1.There are 2 mail accounts on my computer mine and my wife's.
2. I did finally delete the mail message that I think caused the problem. The reason I think, is that I kept getting the "could not send receipt" message on all messages I attempted to delete. I have deleted all messages I received on the day it happened, Feb. 5. I even tried to delete all messages in my inbox at one time but could not. I can only do this one at a time and then somtimes after trying to delete with the pop up box "Outlook unable to send receipt" Outlook locks up and Ihve to end session to unlock.
3. Willing to try. I do have to get back to the hospital very soon and may hve to pick up the procedure later. thx.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
ok - back, any walk thru's
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I just deleted all the mail in my inbox - no luck. I have cleared all mail in deleted folder.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I tried some things tonight and got some interesting results:
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I tried some things tonight and got some interesting results:
:1. I created an email and sent it, no problem - sent 4 more. Still no receives.
2. I deleted the inbox.dbx file after I renamed it and moved it to another folder. Restarted Outlook and it did not create a new one.
3. My grandson has as account on the computer but does not use email in this acount because it is not activated, howerver it does have an Outlook Express file. So I moved his inbox.dbx file to my directory and my Outlook Express does not recognize it.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am waiting on a reply. Contact me is you no longer will be assisting me..
First my apologies for not replying earlier. Next please let me know two more things:

1 Are you still getting the notification for return receipt.

2 Please let me know the last part of your email address so that we can try to configure Mozilla Thunderbird to test the issue further. (Please only mention the part after @ sign)
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am no longer getting the return receipts, since I deleted all the inbox mail.
Again I can send mail but cannot receive it.
Last part of email address
Okay, before proceeding further, could you please take a look at verizone email setup instructions and make sure that they are properly configured

I suggest you create a new account in Outlook Express using the steps mentioned therein:

There are total 19 steps. On the first page, you will find 9. For the rest, you will need to click on red coloured Next button.

Done that, try to send / receive mail.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
First, I verifed the setting and they were ok. Next, I set up a new account per your instructions and still not luck. Can send but not receive. I then deleted my original account and that did not work. Can send but not receive. Help

I tried to tell you all the procedures that I can think of to troubleshoot the issue. Since none of this worked, I will opt out to let the other experts provide you with a different solution.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Will they be contacting me the same?
Hi - I sympathize with your problems.

I wonder if this approach might be more helpful - if you like you can try it (I have read all the above posts... it seems they focused on Outlook Express somewhat exclusively...):

1. Go to, download Spybot Search & Destroy 1.6, install it, update it fully, run a complete scan, and tell it to Fix whatever it finds wrong.

2. Go to
and download by clicking the icon to ""Remove CoolWebSearch" (saving it to e.g. the Desktop, where it will be easy to find). Run CWShredder by double-clicking on its paper-shredder icon, agree to the license, click Scan Only, watch as the results scroll up... if all entries say "Not present", then nothing of the sort is present... but if one IS found, choose Fix on this scan or the next scan (if the next scan, start the scan with the Fix button instead of the Scan Only button.)

3. Go to
and download Stinger at the link next to the number 1. , below the question "How do I use Stinger?" Save to a location where it will be easy to find its orange and yellow square icon:
Stinger Icon
and double-click on it to start it. Configure it in its Properties to scan boot sectors (as well as all the other things), select scan area (probably just C:\ would do), and start scan. It may find nothing, but if it finds anything, that's cause for concern.

Step # XXXXX in particular is very often successful and highly recommended.
On the other hand, if someone else posts an answer to this problem that seems more brilliant, by all means go with their suggestion first, I would say.
(If these 3 scans don't help, I have another idea, not in the same league.)

Thanks for consulting If this settles your tech issue, please signify so to the system by clicking Accept for this answer. And if not, let me know what's wrong.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Russell, I have done 1. & 2. no luck. Am working on 3 now. Have to go somewhere the rest of the day. Will try to get back tonight. Thx for your help
OK, if # XXXXX above didn't find nor eliminate anything much, then likely none of the 3 are going to solve the case.

I'd like to suggest another approach for this case (again I'm not sure it will work, but it hasn't been covered yet), that of logging into your account via (an on-Web facility that allows you to access the emails in the account that your Outlook Express uploads from and downloads to). See if the problem email is still there in your account, and if so, deleting it from there should have none of the problems that Outlook or Outlook Express often run into with rogue or malformed email messages.

Also - and in case that doesn't help any for any of several possible reasons - it might help to disable script execution by Outlook Express (a source of trouble from malicious or malware-infected emails), by way of the advice nicely detailed on this page:
--- esp, and specifically, the part of the page beginning with

Configure Outlook Express

and ending with

"Your Internet Options dialog box will now resemble the following."
about 2/3 of the way down the page.

(What that page says at the top about antivirus protection being a good idea, is true. I'd like to ask if you have any antivirus package regularly running on your machine? and suggest, if not, [and esp. if you prefer a free antivirus protection and detection program] that you could install, quite easily, the AVG Free antivirus, available here: .)

Let me know how it goes, and whether any of this helps.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Russell, Thanks for the info and I will try to follow tonight or tomorrow. Couple points - The #1 & #2 suggestion did find and eliminate items(I can't be specific) and # XXXXX has been running for 7hrs and does not look like it will finish - seems to be hung up. I will try to re-run. I do have Symantec running and has been since I have had the machine. Another point, as you know I have renamed, and then deleted the dbx inbox file and then I copied one from another inbox.dbx account on my computer, one account that my grandson has an does not use, which has 137k shown with it - my inbox does not recognize this file. Also, in earler tries it was suggested that Outlook Exp. should create one if one does not exist, it won't. Thoughts?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Russell, Another point I need to cover with you. I have previously deleted all email in my Outlook Exp. account, so the mail I see in the web site you ask me to visit only shows mail that I have received since I started with you folks, in other words I deleted all mail before and after the date(Feb 5) it wouldn't work. I will try the next suggestion later tonight. THX
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Russell, I am having difficulty doing the latest request. Found no updates for Outlook Express specifially. Microsoft scanned and wants to intalll Service Pack 3. Not sure I want to do that. And I need some hlep getting to the internet options diagloge. Sorry I'm a little slow on this one. Maybe my prior coments will help on another direction. Thx for your patience.
OK. And thanks for following the suggestions.

As to Outlook Express not creating a new Inbox.dbx file: try moving your son's out of your own O.E. system (so that there is NO INBOX.DBX FILE PRESENT IN THE O.E. SYSTEM, then do a Shutdown and Restart of your system (the only way to really be sure O.E. has restarted.)

Outlook Express updates would look like Internet Explorer updates - so if your Internet Explorer version is less-than-the-latest, it could be upgraded and might upgrade your O.E. as well. So I have to ask, what version of Internet Explorer do you have on your PC? (Help - About Internet Explorer will show the version info.)

If you've already deleted the problem email, then that option is N/A... sorry to have bothered you with it, it works sometimes in cases like this.

The Internet Options dialog is accessed via the Control Panel function, which is available in turn by clicking on the Start button.

Installing SP3 (Service Pack 3) should be no problem - provided you have enough free disk space - I'm not quoting a standard figure, but if you have over 700 Mb of free space on C: Hard Disk it should be OK (you can find out in My Computer, which will show used and free space amounts when the mouse pointer is set over the C: icon.)
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Russell, I moved the Outlook Express inbox.dbx file and restarted - no luck and no one was created, I thought this was the way OE was to work. this seems to be at the root of the problem, the inbox,dbx file, just my amateur opinion.
Also, I was IE 6 and downloaded 7, I have 42.7 gb of free space on C.
I still don't see the Internet Options dialoge on the control panel, I opened Internet Options icon and don't know what diagloge you are takling about, help I seem to be drawong a blank on what your message is for this. Thx for your patience.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Russell, I was wondering how difficult it would be to just delete my email account and create a new one and move all of my email folders to my new account. Or, just remove the OE from my computer, save all of my emails stored on my account and store all of my wifes in her account on a CD/DVD reinstall OE on my computer. I just don't want to lose any of the emails we have stored. Thoughts
Hi - I wanted you to go into Internet Options to see if we could disable script behaviors that might have been causing the popup message to repeat. I take it that isn't a problem any more, so we can forget it.

Installing SP3 might help.

You can't re-install OE. It is part of I.E., as I think I said, and that also is not reinstallable, being a built-in part of MS Windows OS.

You could, however, abandon O.E.... which many would say is a good idea in any case ... and download and install a free, open-source, recommendable alternative with similar capabilities called Thunderbird. I could support you through the process of locating, downloading, installing, and configuring and moving your account / data to it, if you so choose.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Because I deleted all the inbox messages i get not popup. I did install SP3 and upgraded to IE7. I think installing Thunderbird would be a good idea. A couple of questions. Canyou install Thunderbird just in my account and leave my wife's with OE. If the answer is no then so be it we both will switch. Also, can you leave OE so we can refer to if needed? Is there a problem moving the folders we have to like folders in Thunderbird? I am not familer with Thunderbird - that's why the questions.
Hi! thanks for being receptive to my idea about T-bird.

I can assure you, in answer to your questions, that yes, you can install T-bird in your account and your wife's OE will still work, unhindered. And, OE can't be removed, since as I said it's part of I.E. which is part of MS Windows... so, no, OE will definitely remain, in whatever semi- or non-functional state we leave it.
Thunderbird is very analogous to O.E. I think you can indeed import the folders you have in O.E.... depending on O.E.'s remaining ability to function, anyway... into T-bird. Let me check....

... Yes, it is only too easy... when T-bird is first started after installation, it offers the Import Wizard, using which it is fairly facile to get stuff from Outlook Express.
Or later, you can go to Tools - Import... in Thunderbird, and choose to individually import mail or address books or settings from O.E.

(Cf. .)

To get Thunderbird ver. 2 (version 2 is a good version, and about the most modern without being too new) for Windows, go to and the download button is right there. The download is about 6 1/2 Megabytes in size.

If you install it and try the import, let me know how it goes, esp. if there's any problem or puzzle you need help with.

Thanks for consulting If this adequately answers your computer question, please signify so to the system by clicking Accept for this answer. And if not, let me know what's missing from the answer so I can complete it.
Russell H., Computer Systems Expert
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 10458
Experience: 13+ years experience
Russell H. and other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Russell, I got impatient and looked up Thunderbird on Google and installed it before I read your message. It is working great. I did have a problem, ironically sending mail, but went to the config setup and straightened it out- it was a setup issue. Thanks for your help and steering me to Thunderbird - I have been using Firefox for some time and did not know that they had email. Still a mystery about OE. I have always wanted to know what causes problems, but I guess in this case it doesn't really mattter.
Thanks for the bonus. I'm glad I was of any use.

As for the Outlook Express error: sometimes errors in software must just be summed up as: gummed up. Badly. Pragmatically, it's always good to go with what works.
The original problem, actually, may have been caused by a piece of malware (in or attached to the problem email) in the form of a script - Outlook Express is particularly subject to malignant scripts... the endlessly repeated popup suggests that.

Good luck. And thanks for working with me intelligently on this.

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