Updated 19 May, 2013, 5:16 pm IST
How To: Delete ghost messages from MS Outlook
| by Francis D'sa
Most people who use Microsoft Outlook as an email client for Gmail or their personal POP mail would sometimes notice that it is trying to send out emails but there aren’t any in the outbox. These are usually ghost messages that have been sent earlier or are too large and stuck in your outbox. Deleting these stuck emails removes them, but there are some traces that are not visible and deleting these can be a pain as you cannot see them in the first place.
Messages are being sent, but actually there are none
If you are seeing messages being sent out without anything in your outbox, it could be a read receipt or a corrupted email. Removing this email or solving this error is a bit dicey, but not impossible. However, before you attempt the following procedure, you will need to take a backup of your Outlook emails in a safe place. Let’s take you through the entire procedure of safely backing up your emails and rectifying the problem.
Step1: Backing up your emails
In order to back up your emails, we recommend that you first delete all unwanted and junk emails and later compact the main email storage file. Unlike Outlook Express that stores the Inbox, Outbox, Sent and other folders in individual DBX files, MS Outlook stores all Emails, Contacts, Calendar and everything else you see in a single file in its own .PST format. This file is located deep within the user profile folder for safe keeping. You need to back up this single file to a safe location such as a different drive on the PC, a pen drive or an optical disc. The backup is needed because we will be working closely with this file and in an unfortunate event of it being corrupted, you have a copy of it that can save your day. Since this PST file tends to get very large, it is suggested that you delete unwanted emails and compress the file using the email client itself. To compress these files and back up the PST file, do the following:
Delete unwanted emails and compact the PST file
This procedure will shrink the main PST file that contains all the emails and other Outlook data. Now we need to back up the data (.PST file) to a safe location. In the same window where you pressed the Compact Now button, you will find a field ‘Filename:’ and the path to the .PST file we are looking for. Copy this path, paste it into Windows Explorer and you will find a few extra files. All you need to do is copy the files called ‘Outlook.pst’ and ‘Archive.pst’ to a safe location. Now that you have backed up the data, proceed further.
Back up the entire Outlook PST data file
Step2: Downloading the utility
In order to get the stuck emails or ghost mails out of the Outbox, you need to download a utility from the Microsoft servers. You can download the file from http://bit.ly/QfmYfN. The utility is known as Information Store Viewer Tool and is distributed for free from Microsoft. The download is in the form of a self extracting archive. Save it on your desktop.
Download and start the utility
Step3: Running the utility
From the folder where you just extracted the downloaded file, run the ‘MSbvu32.exe’ utility. You will be greeted with a very crudely designed window with jargon-filled options. It doesn’t matter; simply click ‘OK’ and proceed further. If you are not confident about the procedure, just ask a friend or a professional to handle it for you. You will see a blank Notepad-style window called ‘MDB Viewer Test Application’. This is where all the action will take place. Now proceed with the following:
Locate and choose the blocked emails
Delete them safely and log off
Now open MS Outlook and you will see that your email client is no longer trying to send ghost emails. If in any case you encountered an error somewhere and damaged your PST file, you can restore the backup you saved earlier.
If you use Outlook very often and are continuously receiving large emails and junk , you might need to run this utility every so often. This workshop was created due to repeated requests by several friends and readers who have the same problem. This method can be used in all versions of Microsoft Outlook.
Tags: Microsoft Outlook , Microsoft , Microsoft office , Microsoft office 2007 , Outlook 2007 , email client , gmail , pop client , emails , ghost , unable to delete outbox , mails stuck in outbox , outlook sending emails not present , outlook sending unknown emails , utility to remove email stuck in outlook
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