Outlook Express is an email application that many consider to be a stripped version of the more famous Outlook program, and for most practical purposes, it happens to be just that. Microsoft last included this program with Internet Explorer 6. The company has stopped supporting it since then, which means users get no hotfixes or updates for bugs or problems, if these ever come up. There have also been no other releases of the Outlook Express app after IE 6.
Aside from removing Outlook Express help from its offerings, Microsoft has also removed the program from Vista, and successive Windows operating systems. The only way you can run it, say, in Windows 7, is by installing and using a complete virtual machine to emulate the older OS environment.
Interestingly, people using Windows XP still use this application for their mail handling, and any Outlook Express help they need, they get from online community forums, and the like. This might not be enough substitute to official expert diagnosis if the program crashes, but then you make with what can be had.
Others who cannot afford to straggle with regards to the OS they run on their machines, have no choice but to switch to another software. Most often, they turn to Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes, or even free alternatives like Thunderbird. But, if you decide that Outlook Express is the email client to use, then you need to watch the following things.
- Always make a backup before you compact a folder. There is a chance you will lose the email this way, so you have something to fall back on.
- Do not let the size of a single folder ever get to over 2 GB. This will spell disaster even before you can read the letters properly – data loss in many parts of the file, which you will not even notice until later. The shrewd thing to do is keep the file within the size limit.
- Make backups whenever you can spare the time. This can only do good, unless of course you are storing information which could get you in trouble with your spouse.
As a basic guideline, prune back the stack of email in your folders whenever it gets too big. This is easier to do if you keep it up regularly, but gets harder each time you fall behind and the heap of messages grows bigger. It is much the same as sorting physical mail.