Troubleshooting 'Message could not be displayed' Error in Outlook Express

Published: 04th February 2010
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Outlook Express is a widely used e-mail client and is designed with suitable features to prevent errors. But as all bugs and inconsistencies cannot be ruled out, the issues like DBX file corruption always has a chance to occur. Outlook Express creates an individual *.dbx file for each of its folders like Inbox.dbx. If any of these files get corrupted, you need solutions that can help to Recover Outlook Express.

Outlook Express can prompt different errors when encounters folder corruption. One of the frequently occurring errors is as mentioned below:

"Message could not be displayed.

Outlook Express encountered an unexpected problem while displaying this message. Check your computer for low memory or low disk space and try again."

This error is encountered when the user tries to view an e-mail message or more specifically, when it uses 'Find Message' option and tries to open the result message(s).

The above error can also occur if connection to an IMAP e-mail account is dropped, so you might need to reconnect.

To prevent such errors from occurring, you should consider suggestions like:

1-Do not oversize the Outlook Express folder(s). An Outlook Express DBX file is limited to 2 GB size. So, keep the default e-mail folders as empty as possible

2-If you use Windows XP SP 1 or earlier, turn off the background compaction that might corrupt the OE store if is interrupted. This feature is accessible as Tools | Options | Maintenance

3-Turn off the antivirus scanning for the Outlook Express e-mail folders. Ironically, an antivirus scanning can corrupt the OE store

4-Backup the OE folders periodically

5-Compact the OE folders manually

If a valid backup is available, delete the corrupted folder(s) and restore. You can also workaround the issue temporarily by renaming the folders. Outlook Express recreates the default e-mail folders that it finds deleted or renamed. However, to extract data from corrupted OE folders (when backup is not available), the only solution is to use an Dbx Repair utility. The commercial OE file repair utilities can Recover Outlook Express using powerful and safe scanning algorithms.

Stellar Phoenix Outlook Express Recovery is a professional utility that scans and repairs corrupted Outlook Express DBX files. The Outlook Express Recovery tool supports Outlook Express 5.x and 6.x. The software is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2003, and 2000. The software has an interactive display and is easy to operate.

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