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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 less than 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 it can also store messages. The easiest way to see whether there are any messages in it 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 the folder. If there are, drag and drop those items into their originally intended folder.

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