Outlook crashes as inbox has 34,000 remote headers when I try to process marked headers

davidgreenmoor used Ask the Experts™
I'd been away for a while, and when I returned, I discovered that my e-mail account had 45,000 items in it.

Thinking I was being clever, I downloaded headers only, so I could screen which ones I really wanted. I guess I should have got the ISP to delete them all on my behalf or something.

About 11,000 headers downloaded before the broadband connection was lost (for some reason, but that's another story). I tried looking at these, and it became too much, so I just marked them all for deletion and told it to process marked headers. It took a while, but it worked fine.

The the remaining 34,000 headers downloaded fine, so I thought I could just do the same. But every time I try to process marked headers again, it crashes - coming up with the typical helpful Microsoft "Outlook has encountered a problem"

Error signature: appname (outlook.exe), appver (11.0.8010.0) appstamp (43d16d53) modname (msmapi32.dll) modver (11.0.8002.0) modstamp (4373069d) fDebug (0) offset (0001480e)

I can provide the details of the error report if that would be useful.

The solution I'm looking for would either allow me to process these headers, or get the ISP to delete the source files but then clear the headers from my inbox. How can I achieve those, or any other ideas you might have.
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Hi davidgreenmoor,

What ISP is this?

Most of them have an online webmail function.

Hi davidgreenmoor,

Your Outlook PST file may be corrupt.

Click on Tools ~ Email Accounts ~ New Outlook Data file. Create a new pst and select that one for your download.

Or, repair your current pst by running scanpst.exe located here:

'C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033'

Double click scanpst.exe and browse to your pst file.

If you do not need any of the emails on your server, your ISP will be able to clear them. Contact your ISP support.


Top Expert 2008
Greetings, davidgreenmoor !

To add to what Frankco said, your PST file may be fulled or corrupt.
Recover Damaged Outlook PST File
Outlook Recovery
http://www.officerecovery.com/outlook/index.htm   Demo recovery

Repair a 2GB Outlook Personal Folder

PST file is located in C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder. It is a hidden file. Go to any folder and select Tools > Folders Options > View. Check "Show hidden files and folders". Click OK.

Best wishes!
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Thanks for the suggestions guys.

I have tried a couple of these already, but they have not allowed me to clear or process the headers from my inbox.

There are a couple of new ideas there, so I will try those out and get back to you.


FYI. Outlook can still download e-mails fine. It's just when I try to process these headers.


OK - I had already run scanpst and the main PST file only 1,680,465 KB (large but well under the 2GB threshold).

Let me reiterate - the issue here is that I have 34,247 downloaded 'headers' in my inbox, a few of which I have marked as 'download' or 'delete' - but when I then tell Outlook to 'process marked headers in this folder' it crashes as above. So it is not an issue with the file size or a corrupt PST, these are all healthy.

I cannot see how to remove the headers from my inbox, as if I try to delete them it just marks them to be deleted on the remote server.

Also, the issue is not with the remote server. I know I can empty the mailbox remotely, but I would then have headers in my inbox that point nowhere. That concerns me, especially as I have 34,247 of them.

For the avoidance of doubt, the solution I am looking for would enable me either to process the headers in my inbox or remove them from my inbox without processing.


(as a brief aside - obviously I ran a number of searches across Google before I posted my question on EE - so it was very spooky when less than 24 hours after posting here I ran some new searches on Google, trying some different angles on the problem, and 'blow me down' if  the top result is not this very question! well done EE for having a very well optimised site for the search engines)
lol, freaky when it does that, especially considering open questions aren't supposed to be in there :) (they must have changed something)

Can you process a few headers at a time?

The only other solution I can think of is to create a new PST file, download the messages into there, and then open BOTH in outlook and copy from the old one to the new one (thereby leaving the phantom headers in limbo)



I cannot process any headers at all, now there are > 34K in there :(

Your idea regarding a totally new PST is interesting, I had already split out some emails into a couple of others already, as the PST was originally 3.7 GB.

If I do that, presumably I can not only move across all my other folders, but also my contacts, calendar, etc. etc. - so that the only thing left are the disconnected headers.

However, how do I then make the new PST my main/default one (i.e. the one it receives mail into)?
In outlook, it gives you the option of "deliver messages to" - change this from "Personal Folder File" to the other "Personal Folder File" in the list

A version of outlook can get you better instructions, but it is in the "Email Accounts" section for Outlook 2003 (which I am hoping you are using with a PST file that large)



and how will it know where to store sent items? etc. etc.

I'm not sure this is the avenue to be going down.
Wherever it delivers mail to will become the new mail location - your default sent items, default contacts, calendar etc, etc.

If you are concerned about it, create a new outlook profile - set it up from scratch, download your mail then File > Open > Outlook Data File

You can then drag whatever you want over that way



ah ha - a new Outlook profile - that is something I have not considered yet - I will try that this evening when I return home - I'll let you know how that one goes


thanks red - that's great - I now have an unclogged inbox - not resolving the root problem - but it neatly sidesteps it by having a new profile so I can dump the old one - thanks for that

I have decided to award 300 to red - for the most help with the profile idea - with the remaining split evenly 100 each between war1 and frankco - as they had sound advice even if it didn't resolve the problem either

thanks guys - I can now fly off to NY tomorrow for a long weeked without worrying about my inbox any more
Glad to hear you got it sorted!



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