For information about the differences between Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Outlook Express e-mail clients, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

257824 OL2000: Differences Between Outlook and Outlook Express


When you start Outlook Express, some of your default folders (Inbox, Drafts, and so on) or personal subfolders that you created may be missing from the Local Folders list. The folders were previously visible.


This issue can occur if the Folders.dbx file is damaged or corrupted.


To resolve this issue, rename the Folders.dbx file for the impacted identity and then start Outlook Express. This allows Outlook Express to rebuild a new Folders.dbx file.

To rename and rebuild the Folders.dbx file:

  1. In Outlook Express, click Options on the Tools menu, and then click the Maintenance tab.

  2. Click Store Folder, and then make a note of the path to your Store folder on your disk drive. You cannot type in this box, but you can move through the box by using the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard.

  3. Close the Store Folder and Options dialog boxes, and then quit Outlook Express.

  4. Click Start, point to Programs, and then click Windows Explorer.

  5. Locate the Store folder (you noted the path to the Store folder in step 2).

  6. Right-click the Folders.dbx file in this folder, and then click Rename on the shortcut menu.

  7. Type Folders.old, and then press the ENTER key. Make sure that the file is renamed to Folders.old, and then quit Windows Explorer.

  8. Start Outlook Express. This automatically creates a new Folders.dbx file; your folders should be displayed correctly.

NOTE: Always back up your data before you make any modifications to any message store files, such as the Folders.dbx file. For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

270670 OLEXP: How to Back Up and Recover Outlook Express Data

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