How to Restore Missing Folders in Outlook Express

Written by ricky gee
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How to Restore Missing Folders in Outlook Express
Outlook Express is a free e-mail client distributed with older Windows operating systems. (e-mail image by Soja Andrzej from

Default Outlook Express folders such as "Inbox" and "Drafts" sometimes go missing from your "Local Folders" list. A corrupted Folders.dbx file is usually the culprit. To restore your missing folders, rename your Folders.dbx file.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Launch Outlook Express and click the "Tools" menu. Select "Options" and navigate to the "Maintenance" tab.

  2. 2

    Click "Store Folder" and notice the file path of your "Store" folder. If the full path is not displayed in the box, click it once and scroll to the right with the right-arrow key. Write down the path.

  3. 3

    Close the "Store Folder" and "Options" windows. Quit Outlook Express.

  4. 4

    Click the "Start" menu and click "Programs." Select "Windows Explorer" from the programs list.

  5. 5

    Locate the file path for the "Store" folder in Windows Explorer. Click the "Store" folder to display its contents and locate the "Folders.dbx" file.

  6. 6

    Right-click "Folders.dbx" and select "Rename." Rename the file to "Folder.old." Close the Windows Explorer window.

  7. 7

    Launch Outlook Express to generate a new "Folders.dbx" file and restore your missing folders.

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