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Troubleshooting

Errors in Personal Folders Files

When I start Outlook, I get a message about errors detected in my Personal Folders file. Outlook tells me to use the Inbox Repair Tool, but that doesn't fix the problem.

You're receiving that error because your Personal Folders file has exceeded its size limit. Unfortunately, the Inbox Repair Tool cannot fix this type of problem. You can obtain a cropping tool from Microsoft that will reduce the size of your Personal Folders file. To obtain that tool, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article “Oversized PST and OST Crop Tool” at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;296088. Be aware that you'll lose some data. This tool removes data from the Personal Folders file to reduce its size to under 2GB. Some messages will be lost. Because of this danger, I recommend keeping an eye on your Personal Folders file size and immediately removing messages or archiving items when Outlook warns you that your Personal Folders file is too large.

Where Did My Items Go?

I tried to move some items to another folder, and now I can't find them. Are they lost forever?

The first place to look for lost moved items is the top-level folder in your default message store. That folder is either named Personal Folders or Mailbox - Username. That folder is used to display Outlook Today, but that folder can also store messages. The easiest way to see whether there are any messages in that folder is to right-click on the folder and select Properties. Go to the Home Page tab and uncheck the box marked Show Home Page by Default for This Folder. Click OK and you'll be able to see whether there are any items in that folder. If there are, drag and drop those items into their originally intended folder.

Local Files for Folder Home Pages

I designed my own folder home page and Outlook won't let me apply my settings when I try to set the folder home page to my local file.

This has been a problem in all versions of Outlook that support folder home pages. When you try to set a folder home page to a file on your hard drive or network file share, Outlook displays the error shown in Figure 3.39.

Figure 3.39. Outlook won't let you set a folder home page to a Windows file.


There is a workaround, and although it doesn't make a lot of sense, it works. Once you enter the location of your folder home page and check the box to display the folder home page, click OK. Outlook will display the error in Figure 3.39. Then click Cancel. Your changes are saved and the folder home page is displayed properly. Outlook and HTML have always somewhat peacefully coexisted, but neither fully supports the other. Outlook cannot use Internet Explorer's offline file capability to synchronize offline information for a local HTML file, hence the error.

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