Outlook Express 5.0 through 6.0

Internet Explorer 6.0 and Outlook Express 6.0 are available at:  http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/default.htm

Location:   http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/ie/oe6.htm
(home page) Home page: http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/excel.htm
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Setting your options to work with newsgroups (#newsg)

This document pertains only to use of Outlook Express 5.0 through 6.0.  If you are not already setup to read newsgroups with OE5 or OE6 then start with Setting Up to read Newsgroups, particularly the topic How to connect directly to the Microsoft Newsservers with Outlook Express.

What help you can expect to find on this page (#intro)

Help finding missing parts of a thread (perhaps your own)

You may have forgotten what was previously posted in a thread and might like to review that before posting a reply, or simply want to pick up all of a conversation.
  1. Using Outlook Express you can switch to the "Show All Messages" view while you have the one you are interested in still selected to see all of the conversation.
  2. If not using OE or you actually are missing part, you can use Google Usenet Archives if the conversation is a few hours old, by looking for articles posted by yourself within a date range, then look at the thread.  Some help using Google Usenet advanced search can be found on my Excel Newsgroups page.
  3. Here's another OE tip
    Make up a view that is for your own postings.  You can select the applicable post and then continue with suggestion in #1.

Outlook Express Toolbar   (#toolbar)

My customized toolbar

view window || File Edit Tools Message [Help] || New.Post Reply.Group Reply Forward | [ Print Stop Send/Rcve addresses ...]

I don't need to see the Help button or anything else in square brackets In fact except for Help I never click on anything shown above in square brackets and I could just as easily use F1 for Help.  The views window was shortened in the above picture.

Outlook Express icons including (#icons)

Look in your OE Help for topic "Outlook Express message list icons" for the meaning of all of the icons -- i.e. Watched Conversation , Flagged Message , Ignored Conversation //

Work with Expanded message threads, when working with Newsgroups

Tools --> Options --> Read
    [x] Automatically Expand Grouped Messages
    [x] Automatically download message when viewing in the Preview Pane (but don't use Preview mode)
    [x] Show ToolTips in the message list for clipped items
        -- to show tool tips in the message list when an item is cut off by another column.
    [ ] Read all messages in plain text -- new in 67.00.2800.1123 (see OETool for a toggle)
          Highlight watched messages: Red     -- controlled by dropdown not by checkmark
    [x] Get 300 Messages at a time -- uncheck this after a few days of use

Actually 300 messages is rather small you can uncheck the box to read in all messages, but limit messages at the time they are being read in to say 30 days with a message rule (examples of newsgroup message rules (see oenews.txt).  Limiting to 30 days is useful if you either start new or if you've restored your Outlook Express (.dbx) file from a backup and don't want to pull in the really old postings you didn't have on the backup.  The rule only affects what you don't already have.  If you have a posting from 90 days ago the rule will not affect postings already received.

Read all messages in plain text is a very useful feature, it will read only plain text and for HTML postings only the plain text component.  Mozilla & Netscape can produce HTML without a plain text component and you won't see anything, for those at least check with Ctrl+F3 before switching to HTML.  This option is a bit difficult to work with through tools.  See OETool (below) by Steve Cochran to toggle this option.

Message Rules, General Information (#msgrules)

Kill File / Blocked Senders / killfile Some things you will not see in the HELP for Outlook Express. Some major shortcomings in the Rules in Outlook Express.

Specific details of  Message Rules for   Email (oemail.txt),  Newsgroups (oenews.txt).

Also see Mail Washer below, which can overcome several of the shortcomings of OE, but their is no synergism between the two.

Message Rules for Email (#msgrules_email)

Message Rules (Email) can be used to augment your blocked senders list, and to reduce SPAM, and to block some viruses that have specific wording included.  (see virus in Related area)

Control:  Tools --> Message Rules --> Mail

Apply this rule after the message arrives Where the message body contains 'I send you this file in order to have your advice' Move it to the Deleted Items folder
See complete list of  Email Rules that I use.  [2001-12-23] Unfortunately everything has to be individually entered.

For more information on designing and implementing Message Rules see Message Rules, and Why Rules Don't Work, both by Tom Koch, Microsoft MVP for IE/OE.

Messages Rules for Newsgroups (#msgrules_groups)

Message Rules (Newsgroups) can be used to eliminate some troublesome posters, but that is not what I use them for in Newsgroups.

I use message rules to keep track of my own postings and the replies to them (in Red, watched ).  Another thing I just started was to identify particular people in the newsgroups with a color (colour), but not marking them as watched .  Following are 4 of my news rules.  Even though later replies to my post will be watched it would be a good idea to mark the question being replied to as watched when replying.  There may be other replies for the question but not threaded below mine.

Color choices in Outlook Express leave much to be desired as they can be very hard to discern looking straight at a laptop where colors 0-6, and 8 are indistinguishable from black.  [color/colour}

0 Black, 1 Navy, 2 Green, 3 Teal, 4 Maroon, 5 Purple 6 Olive, 7 Silver,
8 Gray, 9 Blue, 10 Lime, 11 Aqua+, 12 Red, 13 Fuschia, 14 Yellow, 15 White

Control:  Tools --> Message Rules --> News

Apply this rule after the message arrives
Where the message is on bit.listserv.ibm-main newsgroup
    and Where the Subject line contains 'CICS' or 'VSAM'
Delete it

Apply this rule after the message arrives (example of subjects of particular interest)
Where the Subject line contains 'menu' or 'menues'
Highlight it with Green
Mark the message as watched (using a dark green font)

« « «
Apply this rule after the message arrives (« using your own Email address)
Where the From line contains 'DMcRitchie%20%6Dsn.com' or 'dmcritchie.. at ..hotmail.com
Mark the message as watched

Apply this rule after the message arrives (specific people you want to see)
Where the From line contains 'xxxx@microsoft.com' or 'xxxx@mediaone.net'
Highlight it with Green

set the maximum lines for account, can be further reduced for individual newsgroups within the account.
Apply this rule after the message arrives
Where the message is from the msnews.microsoft.com account
and Where the number of lines in the message is more than 400 lines
Delete it and Mark it as read and Stop processing more rules

Apply this rule after the message arrives
Where the message is on microsoft.public.excel.misc newsgroup
and Where the number of lines in the message is more than 350 lines
Delete it and Mark it as read
Do the same for newusers and for worksheet.functions -- programming would be covered at 400 lines in the account max lines limit -- this is about the only means to eliminate postings with attachments .

The underlined portions can be clicked on to modify that portion.  Everything else is modified using checkboxes.

Using the above message rules for newsgroup postings, I can quickly identify my own postings (see view below).

See complete list of Newsgroup Rules that I use.  [2002-09-01] Unfortunately everything has to be individually entered.

For more information on designing and implementing Message Rules see Message Rules, and Why Rules Don't Work, both by Tom Koch, Microsoft MVP for IE/OE.

View Menu (#viewmenu)

Control:  View menu

The most important thing to do first here is to « turn off "Show Preview Pane" under Layout.  This will allow you to first examine email or postings using File menu (or Right-Click menu), Properties, Detail, View Source -- in OE to make sure you want to read it.  If your email browser opens the file you are open to immediately running malicious code.  Don't open suspicious documents (especially those with attachments ) without doing this preliminary examination to see if it contains HTML code or executable code.

One option under Current View is the "Group by Conversation" which you will need to use to keep thread in perspective, especially by switching view from "Show all messages" and "Hide Read or Ignored Messages".  Use this option for newsgroups but not for email.

If you want to find messages posted by a particular poster you will have to turn off the "Group by Conversation" to look in the alphabetized list by poster -- click on the [From] button so base of triangle on the From button is down indicating ascending sort on that column.

My normal view for Email is to show All messages, sorted on date received.

My normal view in newsgroups is to show Unread messages in their thread.
View --  Current View --  Hide Read or Ignored Messages
View --  Current View --  Group Messages by Conversation

There are several options controlling your view that are handy.  I have one view to view my own postings, from there I can select the one I am interested in and switch to the Show All Messages view to see all of the postings in the thread.

After having looked at a lot of messages in a newsgroup under "Hide Read or Ignored Messages" and you want to see what has come in later by hiding the messages just read can be done by switching to another view "Hide Read Messages" or to a copy of a view "Copy of Hide Read or Ignored Messages".

Create a view that shows your own postings.  This is useful for finding the threads that you posted in.  Alternate between this view and Show All Messages.

Something that is not immediately apparent if you do a search under EDIT is that you view may be changed.  You may see no hits for your search -- be sure to check your view after doing a search -- after all you have probably already read the messages that you are searching for.

For a more complete list of rules I use for newsgroups.  [2002-09-01] Unfortunately everything has to be individually entered..

On the Views, Layout, Views Bar, which I would recommend using, everything is listed alphabetically, with the bottom ones in view so are the most important ones to see, and is quicker than using the View menu, and more important -- you can see which view is currently in effect. 

View --> Current View -->
    All Mine -- create a view to show my own postings «
      -- Where the From line contains 'DMcRitchie%20%6Dsn.com'
              or 'dmcritchie.. at ..hotmail.com' or 'David McRitchie'   Show the message)
    Attachment [attachment], Flagged , OR Watched
    Each message has an attachment
    Each message has been Flagged
    Each message is being WATCHED
    Hide Read Messages
  * Hide Read or Ignored Messages
    Not downloaded
    Show All Messages
    Mark UNREAD and without Attachments
    downloaded, NOT YET
    Current 2 days
    Actively watching unanswered (flagged ) and Watched
    Customize Current View
    Define Views...
    Show Replies to My Messages
  * Group Messages by Conversation

View -- Columns

View --> Columns --> (I show all of the column choices)

View -- Layout

You should see both a view drop down and toolbar buttons, if you don't see both then Right-Click on the toolbars area and check both Views, and Tool bars.

Outlook Express toolbar seen with Newsgroups,
MS PhotoEdit was used to create a low resolution picture

View --> Layout --> Basic     (remove: contacts, Outlook bar; add: Folder bar, Status Bar, Views Bar)
    [ ] Contacts, [x] Folder Bar, [x] Folder list, [ ] Outlook bar,
    [x] Status Bar, [x] Toolbar, [x] Views Bar.
The folder list can be created by clicking on the right of the Folder Bar, pinned with the Pin or removed with the [x].  Use the Views Bar to switch views

View --> Layout --> Customize Toolbar (anyway you want)
    New Post, Reply Group, Reply, Forward, Separator, Stop, Separator,
    New mail, Send/Recv, Separator, Addresses, Find

View --> Layout --> Preview Pane    (Danger -- « Do NOT Use Preview Pane « )
    [ ] Show preview pane (turn off)

View --> Layout --> [Customize]
    Views // File, Edit, View, Tools, Message[, Help] // New Post, Reply to Group,
    Reply to Sender, Forward // Stop // (I guess the rest are leftovers or were wanted at one time)
    Write Message drop down, Send/ Receive drop down, Address Book, Find drop down

Unread Messages are not Visible

It is frustrating to see that there are 3 unread messages in a group but the "Hide Read and Ignored" view shows "No Unread Messages".  This is probably due to messages that were marked as Ignored were not also marked as Read.  Use the "Hide Read Messages" view as opposed to "Hide Read and Ignored Messages", to find these errant posts and mark them as read (Right-Click on item for "Mark as Read" option, you do not have to actually read them).  This will also allow you to review with special treatment the ones marked IGNORED, which may have be so marked simply because of bad dating on original post.

View Additional Postings from Same Poster (#viewing)

If you want to go hunting for previous postings by an original poster, with the current posting from the original poster selected sort on name.  (view: Show All Messages)

If you want to find all of the postings for a poster, with posting by that person selected, ungroup conversation and sort on name.  (view: Show All Messages)

Another way is the use Ctrl+Shift+F and do your search.  I think OE6 works better here because I used to have to change the view in search to show all.

To find postings by same person in several newsgroups you can choose the newsserver or even all of Outlook Express, and do your find.

For a more valid listing of author, or subject related postings you can use Google Usenet Search.  More information on searching the archives on my Excel Newsgroups page.

Viewing Headers   (#headers)

Outlook Express does not directly show you the headers within Email and Newsgroup postings.  In order to see them you must look for them in file, properties.
    File --> Properties --> Details --> [Message Source]
If you have already opened a posting/email and are viewing it, you can use the undocumented shortcut -- Ctrl+F3 -- to view the headers.

You can use the message-id to locate an entire thread in the permanent Google Groups archives.

You should not open suspicious email or posting without at least looking at the headers before opening it, and never use the Preview window.  More on privacy in a later privacy topic.

For your safety never open files with attachment from unknown people and only open any file with an attachment by looking at the entire posting via File, Properties -- never open such files directly and never use preview.

How to View Email Headers «, using various email and newsgroupo browsers. (not limited to Outlook Express).

Please POST only plain text to Newsgroups (#plaintext)

Next to attachments , and multiple postings few things are as annoying as HTML or MIME postings.  Save those things for private emails they are not appreciated in newsgroups.  We want short messages that describe and solve problems not big postings that bog down all resources including those stored on our own computers.  This topic has already been included in

See Turning MIME off in Outlook Expressfor directions to turn off MIME for your own Email and within newsgroups.  The Excel newsgroups are text only, no attachments, no MIME/HTML postings (no bolded characters, no stationary, none of that space hogging stuff).

Configuring Mail Clients to Send Plain ASCII Text «, describes unreadability by many and tremendous overhead, disruption of newsgroup servers including danger of viruses, and how to turn off HTML in all of normal browsers.  [well written referenced by LockerGnome 2002-04-25]

See Posting in Plain Text on my Posting to Newsgroups page for details.

Spell Checking Spell Check (#spellchk)

Please, please, please use Spell Checking Spell Check before posting requests to newsgroups.  Proper spelling will help others find previous postings in Deja News.

More Outlook Express Options (#options)

Working away from Home (#away)

When you are away from home there will be extra charges for phone calls, so you want to minimize phone usage and you want to make sure you are dialing to a local telephone number.

Check the phone numbers supplied by your ISP for your temporary location are in fact local phone numbers as seen in a local telephone book.  Make sure you are making a local call can not long distance to a phone you dial when you are home.  You will have to check these things out yourself, because I've not used my computer outside my local dialing area.

Note:  From a hotel there may be a fixed fee added for making a free local call, so you may want to keep the line tied up like when at home with a separate line, rather than disconnecting.  You would have to find out how you are charged and if you are calling a local number or not.

Switching Between working at Home and where you want to disconnect

Here is a posting that will help you set up how you want to be disconnected or not disconnected.  Also check problems.

Check with hotel, many have free high-speed access, those that you want to dial out from may charge by the call so you may not want to disconnect.  Make sure your have a local number.

Dial-Up access from Home (#home)

A frequent problem is having the connection drop in the middle of something, or as soon as your email is read in.  It probably isn't your phone company if you have a clear line (without static).  I want to help you make sure your settings are not disconnecting you.

Outlook Express, Tools=>Options

Options Tab: - Rules is where you set pulse/tone, area code required default
General Tab: - You can keep checking each 6 minutes, but choose
    If my computer is not connected at this time:  Do not connect as opposed to "connect only
    when not working offline" or "connect even when working offline"
Send Tab: Uncheck ... "Send messages immediately"
Connection Tab: Uncheck ... "Hang up after sending and receiving"

Ctrl+M (send messages) Uncheck ... "Hang up after sending and receiving"

Network and Dial-Up Connections,
Properties, Options (tab) for the phone number you dial out on
  If you don't see it try...On your desktop, right click the Internet Explorer icon / left click Properties
  / Connections tab / Settings button / Advanced button.

File menu
  Check Work Offline (File Menu), and disconnect the phone line when you do not want to be online.
Options Tab
  Uncheck ... Work Offline, and connect the phone line when you do want to be
  Check ... Display progress while dialing
      Redial attempts:  3
      Time between redial attempts:  1 minute
      Idle time before hanging up never
      Check ... Redial if line is dropped

Internet Explorer, Tools, Internet Options
          Connection Tab:  Check ... Never dial a connection
             [settings button] Uncheck .. Disconnect when connection is no longer needed

Control Panel, Internet Options, Connections (tab),
          Click the "Never dial a connection" radio button,
          then for each connection, click on Settings, then on Advanced, uncheck both disconnects, return to Connections (tab).
          then click on OK to exit

This option might only be pre Windows 2000, under Control Panel, Internet, advanced
  Uncheck..."Disconnect if idle for more than xx minutes" <-- Win98 advanced Internet Options

Mailing List, Group, in alphabetical order (#mailing)

Before sending Email to a Group from the Address List sort it in reverse alphabetical order -- Lastname in reverse order.  For some reason OE inserts each name at the beginning of the list.  This reverse sort will result in the names being placed in alphabetical order into the email headers.

Preserving Newsgroup Messages (#archiving)

Postings on the Newsgroup servers get deleted after a period of time.  Some servers routinely only save or cache messages for 3 days.  I think the Microsoft newsservers retain 3 months worth of postings.

In your Local Folders messages are not deleted, except by you so create a new folder.  i.e. "Archive - excel.misc"

Select your microsoft.public.excel.misc and choose a view that includes those you want to keep -- such as "Watched Messages" Select the specific messages you want with Ctrl or Ctrl+Shift then Right-click on one of those messages and choose "copy to folder" then select your "Archive - excel.misc"

If will be up to you to make sure you don't duplicate or leave anything out that you want to keep.

This same process is used to store messages from free email service such as Hotmail where they routinely notify you to move or delete messages.

Date and Time Synchronization (#timesync)

Everyone connected to other computers or to the internet should maintain a correct Date and Time on their computers, both personal and on servers.

Windows Start, Settings, Control Panel, Date & Time (icon)

Date: Set the correct month and year at top of section
Time: Set the correct time
Time zone: Choose the correct Time zone,
  also if applicable checkmark the
  Automatically adjust clock for daylight savings changes
For those with US Time zones you can set the correct time on your computer using free downloadable software -- Set Your Computer Clock Via the Internet, NIST Internet Time Service (ITS) http://www.boulder.nist.gov/timefreq/service/its.htm -- outside the US time zones other time synchronizations are available see my Date and Time page.

Error Messages (#errmsgs)

Reset Newsgroup (#resetnews)

Messages not downloaded

Don't reset any newsgroup without first taking a backup see Reset Notes near bottom. One of the mysteries in life was starting into a new newsgroup and not downloading everything -- 986 messages, 986 unread, 791 not downloaded

Here was a posting that seems to answer that, which was in reply to questions about newsgroups not downloading which BTW could be the ISP.

Right-click on the newsgroup name in the folder list and go to Properties | Local File and hit the reset button and then compact.  Whenever you compact files you must take Outlook Express offline or risk damaging your database (.dbx) file storage.  Make sure you have set under Tools | Options | Read the option to download xxx headers at a time unchecked.  Then go back to the NG and hit F5 (or View | Refresh).  "Steve Cochran" <mailto:scochran@chattanooga.net> in microsoft.public.windows.inetexplorer.ie5.outlookexpress

So I unselected the limit and resynchronized a newsgroup and got 987 messages, 983 unread, 791 not downloaded.  Even though I chose ALL, I discovered that the options were not set for newsgroup on the server view of what to download.  Once I changed that things began to improve.

If all else failed I was going to do same thing but do a Reset first.  Instead ended up losing all of the postings, but having all of the headers, plus getting lots of errors.  Each time I did a synchronize about 100 more postings got read into the empty headers.  Remove any numeric limit on the Options, Read tab, to eliminate this problem. 


If you are having problems not seeing any new postings in the Microsoft newsgroups, you are not alone.  If you look in Google Usenet Advanced Search news archives you might see that the newsgroups are up and running.  Check the headers in those messages to see that they are directly connecting to the MS servers.
The only real solution appears to be to RESET each group that has not been reporting for several days.  Some users have reported that Compacting the newsgroup worked for them, which would be preferable as you would not lose what you already have, if it works.  If you use compacting you will lose old items, in any case do it with Outlook Express offline.
If you RESET, which in done in properties, then you will lose the postings and the flags you inserted.  Suggest you limit the number of postings read in to about 300 and use Google Usenet Advanced Search for archives.  Some problems since about 2000-12-08, could not get responses from most groups about 2000-12-10, problems with those groups resolved 2000-12-11 by reset.  Figure I'm back to normal at end of day 2000-12-12.

Privacy and Spammers (#privacy)

In order to report Spammers you must forward the complete message along with the headers to their ISP or relevant authorities.  Most spammers forge identities so it would be best to use the words such as "apparently one of your users" rather than just "one of your users" sent me this UCE/SPAM mailing because in most cases the ISP is forged.  Forged identities are sufficient to terminate a user based on their ISP's Terms of Service (or Terms of Use).  [Examples: AOL keyword TOS (apparently not available publicly), MSN, Yahoo,

SpamCop.net - Spam reporting for the masses Sick of spam? Report Spammers to their ISPs via SPAMCOP's spam reporting service quickly and accurately.  SpamCop follows the routings identifies forgeries and reports the Spammers to their actual ISPs.  (Free, donations accepted).  I had given up on SpamCop as it appeared too restrictive for newsletters, but they must have fixed those problems because I installed MailWasher and it includes SpamCop and another blacklisting service.

The CAN-SPAM act (US): 10 Things You Should Know About CAN-SPAM - Aunty Spam's Net Patrol.  FTC Defines “Commercial Email” Under CAN-SPAM.

Mail Washer, 2.0.40, seems to do a pretty good job at eliminating spam in conjunction with the Outlook Express Inbox.  You can take your OE Message rules for blacklisting and good guys and prepare them for pasting into blacklist.txt which you will find in Mail Washer's directory see Mail Washer HELP to find the directory.  Prepare data by copying from OE modify rule into a text editor.  Replace "' or '" by "<br>" save as HTML, open the HTML, copy and paste into notepad then from notepad copy and paste into appropriate areas of blacklist.txt in Mail Washer's directory.  Hotmail support in Mail Washer is available only in the $30 Pro version.  Of possible additional interest, List of All Known DNS-based Spam Databases (blacklists)

One suggestion that works for some people is to not download email into OE unless specifically marking your friends for download in OE, and identify your friends in Mail Washer.  Won't work for me because I also check in OE for words in subject and in message body.  Reading the message body automatically means downloading if not already rejected and you've stopped processing with that rejection.  Mail Washer can tie into Spam Cop's blacklist, but as I said before it is too restrictive and blacklisting in Mail Washer means you won't see them at all.  The numbers you see in blacklist.txt are date reference to last found, if not found yet you see a zero.  After making up your own rules be sure to add a file below your own filtering that you can find as an example via one of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), http://mailwasher.net/faq.png.  Make copies of what you have because adding new material without linebreaks and newline can be very tricky.  Including a linebreak or newline terminates the list at that point.

Mail Washer and Outlook Express won't know about each other so I have Mail Washer set to read mail once every 2 minutes, and Outlook Express to read every 140 minutes.  The sound for mail will be coming from Mail Washer and you can check the text portion (not MIME/HTML) safely in Mail Washer.  When I want to wake up Outlook Express I manually enter Ctrl+Shift+M to read email and newsgroups.  If you only have Email you can use Ctrl+M instead.

G-Lock SpamCombat spam filtering software remove junk emails from the e-mail server, is another filtering package that passes incoming emails through its filters. DNSBL filter and the Bayesian filter are used to identify spam. DNSBL filter consists in comparing the senders' IP addresses against lists of known spam databases using. [not tried]

Hide your email address from robots by generating and using a picture, but you can take a more cautious approach by using Excel to generate a picture on your own computer.

MSN and Hotmail, filtering   (#hotmail)

I have both MSN and Hotmail, a lot of people do have hotmail addresses and should find the following directly useful.  Others may gain some insight into looking for "junk mail filtering" at their own ISP provider.

MSN and HotMail can filter out the worst without ever having it delivered to you.  (ISP provider, specifics only apply if you use MSN), 2003-09-19 during 22 hours received 777 spam email mostly viruses, and about 5 legitimate emails.  Currently for the past several months I have received very little Spam delivered to my Inbox, but those with viruses seem to come through 2004-08-20, that should change end of Sept 2004 when MSN and Hotmail will filter out viruses as well as spam (sooner for premium services), I haven't used MailWasher for many months but if I ever need it again it is good to go.

MSN filtering: 
  sign-in at  http://www.msn.com  with your msn email address and password
Hotmail filtering:
  sign-in at  http://www.hotmail.com  with your hotmail email address and password

Actually you can start from either of the URL's as it is the email address that you sign in with that is important.  In the following you use the *Hotmail* tab, even if it seems it should be MSN.
   |MSN Home | My MSN | *Hotmail* |Search | Shopping | Money | People & Chat|

Junk Mail Filter:,
  [x] Enhanced (most junk is caught), The Enhanced MSN/Hotmail filter may eliminate IncrediMail and some club blind-copy mailings so you may have to exempt a few email addresses under options "Newsletters List" and "Safe List".  Large world-wide legitimate mailing lists do not seem to pose a problem. 
  [x] Deliver to Junk Email folder at MSN (stays there) for examination later or automatic deletion after a period of time.  Your Reject mailbox may fill up your allocated storage capacity for MSN or for HotMail resulting in email failure/rejections for mail sent to you.  It would be advisable to check the Rejected mailbox regularly like every three hours on the web, you will not be able to view rejections in Outlook Express.  You can check your current senders to see who sent to you and take special precautions to preserve your legitimate email from "Mailing Lists".
  [x] Delete junk mail immediately, Junk mail messages are deleted without ever being delivered to your Junk Mail folder. 

Note on Enhanced mail filtering, this setting will eliminate most blind email such as from small clubs.  To continue to get your newsletters you will have to add the Send To: email address under "Mailing List" within Options.  You will probably have to also add the sender's email address to your "Safe List" within Options.  ISPs generally pass email from subscribed lists of large corporations, and widely circulated mailings lists, it is the small club mailing lists or typed in BCC that may be rejected as not emailed to a specific person.

Personal experience with "Deliver junk mail": After this filter was on the next 60 minutes 31 emails were trapped at MSN, 1 came through and was recognized as spam by MailWasher.  With the MSN filter in place everything looks calm now, and OE is set to read every 6 minutes, and Mail Washer every 2 minutes, so MailWasher now is just beeping an early warning that I've got mail and if it is still there I can see check it there.  If things get hectic again you may have to greatly increase the time interval between waking up Outlook Express.

Viruses and Dangerous attachments (#viruses)

SpamCop indicates you should not send emails with viruses that you received to the administrators.  Anyway I'd eliminated most of the typical spam with filters and now practically the only thing coming through filters was masses of email with viruses. 

Well just discovered that Outlook Express does have a option to protect you.

there is a Security option under OE Tools, which comes up with a big yellow banded warning when in effect and finds bad attachments .

Tools, Options, Security (Tab)
[x] Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus.

Tried on an obvious Virus laden email with simulated return by a postmaster.  There is no external paperclip on selection list. When selected and read it shows a big yellow band.

(paperclip icon) OE removed access to the following unsafe attachments in your mail: KCC..pif, jkresults[1].htm

Okay, now what about my cousin who invariably sends me email with no subject lines, includes HTML, virus hoaxes. I'll try the harmless one she just sent with newspaper clippings.

This one has IncrediMail or at least it has an advertisement for same and it has an external paperclip on the selection list. And despite the following warning it did show the .jpg files.

(flag)(paperclip) This message is Flagged ,
OE removed access to the following unsafe attachments in your mail: newspaper5.jpg, newspaper3.jpg, newspaper4.jpg, newspaper2.jpg, newspaper.jpg

I will assume that the security thing worked correctly because AVG did not kick in with a warning.  As of May 2, 2002 have

The Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus may be a bit too much.  You can receive and view .jpg images but not send them.  Most other attachments including .eml (email) are not allowed.  But you can turn the option on/off and it doesn't really remove them from your received email so you can view them with the option off, if you really trust them, and there is still your AntiVirus program to protect you.

I can't figure this out myself, but you are supposed to be able to exercise some control over which attachments in Outlook Express to allow/disallow.
OLEXP: Using Virus Protection Features in Outlook Express 6 (Q291387)

In the related area below also see Virus and Virus combat sites you should be aware of.

Additional privacy issues are covered on my Stocks page.

Firewalls (#firewalls)

Home PC Firewall Guide Index

Compact your files when Outlook Express is being Slow   (#compact)

When OE is running slow, you might want to compact your outlook express files.  Compacting is needed after you have read a lot of your messages or marked them as read.  Compacting will delete messages that are no longer on the server, they have already been marked for deletion so you won't see them anyway.  You must be offline when compacting folders or risk loss of a .dbx file.

There is a maximum of 2GB for a .dbx file, and a critical recommendation by OE MVP's to not go over 100KB for a .dbx file -- so move older entries to an archive (.dbx) file in your local folders.  Then off-line compact the affected folders.  Those in Local Folders must be individually selected then compacted through File, Folders, Compact; or compacted with All Folders which also compacts the folders.dbx index of all of the .dbx foldders. (remember compacting must be done offline).

Files can be individually compacted through properties for each newsgroup, but it will not compact the folders.dbx file.  As before you must compact while offline.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Outlook Express (#oekeys)

For most Office applications to show keyboard shortcuts:
  Help --> Index --> Keyboard         (Outlook Express keyboard shortcuts)

Some of the Outlook Express Shortcuts Many indicate Ctrl+ but are actually Alt+

  TAB                Switch between Newsgroups (pinned) side and Postings, 
  Ctrl+Y goto Folder
  Esc                Close a Message,  also  Alt+F4
  Ctrl+M             Send & Receive All (applies to email only)
  Ctrl+Shift+M       Download news for offline reading (Message Rule with download also helpful)  
  Ctrl+<             Previous Message in List  Alt+<--
  Ctrl+>             Next Message in List,  Alt+-->
  Ctrl+U             Next Unread Message
  Ctrl+Shift+U       Next Unread Conversation  
  Ctrl+F2            composes an HTML source from text portion, or View HTML source(undocumented)
  Ctrl+F3            Show Message Source (headers), only works from within post
                       (undocumented in Help topic "keyboard shortcuts") 
  F5                 Refresh news messages and headers
  Spacebar           Within email/post, advances to next page like PageDN
  Shift+Spacebar     Within email/post, advances to previous page like PageUP
  Alt+Spacebar       From main, brings up Properties window for selected posting  

  LEFT ARROW or PLUS SIGN (+)  —  Not available with Automatically Expand Grouped Messages

      Expand a news conversation (show all responses)

     Collapse a news conversation (hide messages)

  Shift+Del         Delete item Immediately (same shortcut as Windows to bypass recycle bin)

Excel Shortcuts http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/shortx2k.htm -- Shortcuts in Excel 2000.

Deleting EMail Messages (#oedelmsgs)

If you don't want messages to be saved in the Deleted Items folder when you quit Outlook Express, on the Tools menu, click Options.  On the Maintenance tab, select the Empty messages from the 'Deleted Items' folder on exit check box.  I don't have this option turned on because my rules put most email that looks like spam directly to the Delete Items folder, and this would interfere with reviewing before deleting.

Also under Tools, Options, Maintenance (tab) is an option to delete after so many days.  You might want this option if you want to delete messages earlier than the servers you synch with.  Microsoft appears to be keeping about 2 1/2 months for the Excel newsgroups (now reduced to 30 days)-- can't tell what is intended as every once in a while everything gets dropped.  I'm also tight on disk space and may have dropped those earlier messages myself.  I don't have this option on but if you are having problems with too few or too many messages you might want to see what choice you've made.  Plain text postings don't really use up much disk space.

Emailing Large Files (#largemsgs)

To send email or a posting to a binaries newsgroup which is larger than your ISP (or the receiver) allows you to send in one email, you can have Outlook Express break the message up into smaller emails so that it can be send, and then the person at the receiving end can combine the messages back into one message for viewing.  Most newsgroups do not allow attachments (nor HTML) unless they are binaries newsgroups or specifically allow attachments and/or HTML.

To Send Large Message

Tools, pick account, Properties, Advanced, Sending,
break apart messages larger than 2000 KB

To Read such a Message

To Read such a message the parts have to be gathered back into one message:
Select the parts of the message (1/5, 2/5, 3/5, 4/5, 5/5), then right click and "Combine and Decode...".

Microsoft Messenger   (#messenger)

Wired News: Spam Masquerades as Admin Alerts [states problem]

Microsoft Messenger is installed by default and you may see University Diploma advertisements appearing see LockerGnome article, "Pop-up Spammers", on how to turn off this feature that most people don't know they have installed and do not want it.  Security issue.

Nice Amenities in Outlook Express (#amenities)

You can combine multiple contacts and groups that have same person and O.E. will reduce them to one of a person in each of To:, Cc:, and Bcc.  Upon receiving such an email O.E. will only show one email even though your name appears in each of To:, cc:, and bcc:.

Printer Considerations, Margins, Portrait/Landscape (#printer)

There are no separate settings in Outlook Express for Left Margin, Top Margin, Right Margin, Bottom Margin, Portrait, or Landscape as Outlook Express uses your Internet Explorer settings=.  Your settings as set in IE apply to all printout from IE and OE until changed.  Applications such as MS Word control per document, and Excel per worksheet.

Annoyances     (#annoyances)

System not working because some software update changed options

Other Newsreaders, Newsgroups, General Information, etc (#othernews)

Problems Encountered  (#problems)

Internet Explorer 6.0 and Outlook Express 6.0 are available at:  http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/default.htm

My notes on IE6: IE6 -- Internet Explorer 6.0 includes links to stop pop-up advertising.

How to Access your Gmail Account with Outlook Express, (winxpnews.com 2005-05-31)

Virus and Virus combat sites you should be aware of: (#antivirus) -- also see viruses above. -- It may be advisable to make up a message rule to ward off infection such as described on this page and in MS KB Q49500.  (Free AntiVirus programs are available)   One of the purposes of the following list is so that you have a list of valid anti-virus sites rather than being referred by a spam pointing to a fake site that may reference a real site to make it look legitimate but pointing you to a site with the virus or including the virus in the spam perhaps as a cure or blocker for a specific virus.  It is important to keep your anti-virus program up to date.  If you use IE or OE it is important to update to version 6 which closes many of the vulnerabilities in Version 5.0 and 5.5. 

Some specific warning pages some more pages that reference anti-spam sites.

Testing your anti-virus installation

Some Solutions are Worse than the Spam itself

Combating Spyware, Snoopware, browser hijackings (#spyware) along with an anti-virus program you should be checking your system for Spyware.  If you think your Outlook Express or your browser suddenly slowed down or that you have the slowest 600 MHZ computer around you probably have picked up some spyware that is spying on your system and reporting back somewhere.

  Not free but have free trial period

Spyware Warrior: Anti-Spyware Feature Comparison «, http://spywarewarrior.com/asw-features.htm provides lots of informaton about legitimate and illegitimate anti-spyware programs.  Some of those that purport to remove spyware give false positives and/or actually install spyware, so be careful, that you have the correct program. 

If you get a popup warning you of spyware, it is false, don't believe them.  It is almost certainly an attempt to get you to install a virus, or spyware, or some other pest on your machine.  You should block all popups in your browser (Firefox is best browser for this), and certainly always check the following:  Spyware Warrior: Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products &\1 Web Sites those that purport to be anti-spyware but actually install viruses, key loggers and other pests on your system.

Legal actionsCNN.com - Spammers ordered to pay $1 billion - Dec 18, 2004, Judgment thought to be largest ever

Attachments with harmful file extensions see Virus Tutorial - File Extensions http://www.cknow.com/vtutor/vtextensions.htm -- Most common "bad" file extensions are .bat, .but, .chm, .cmd, .com, .exe, .hta, .mp3, .pif .reg, .scr, .shs, .vbs, .xls, .xl?
potential trouble as listed in tutorial:  .386, .ade, .adp, adt, .app, .asp, .bas, .bat, .bin, .btm, .cbt, .chm, .cla, .class, .cmd, .com, .cpl, .crt, .csc, .css, .dll, .doc, .dot, .drv, .eml or, .email, .exe, .fon, .hlp, .hta, .htm, .html, .inf, .ini, .ins, .isp, .js, .jse, .lib, .lnk, .mdb, .mde, .mht, .mhtm, .mhtml, .mp3, .mso, .msc, .msi, .msp, .mst, .obj, .ocx, .ov?, .pcd, .pgm, .pif, .ppt, .prc, .reg, .rtf, .scr, .sct, .shb, .shs, .smm, .sys, .url, .vb, .vbe, .vbs, .vxd, .wsc, .wsf, .wsh, .xl?

Q291369 - Information About the Unsafe File List in Internet Explorer 6

For those with MSN as their ISP: special instructions for OE5 in identifying SPAM through MSN filtering.  As of 2001-11-25 it is filtering about 30% of spam coming through and is not filtering at all on Email containing attachments obviously containing viruses.

Newsgroups related to Outlook Express:  OE5 and OE6 are/were considered part of Internet Explorer (IE5 and IE6) so posting would be in such groups as (note OE6 and IE6 are latest and the following may change at a later time)

Articles on Microsoft sites: Outlook Express Update -- X-Newsreader: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2800.1123
Outlook Express keeps terminating before being able to post
Most likely to happen after pasting in HTML (formatted text) and converting back to plain, or after entry of a line of text, requiring one to keep saving to the Drafts files (Ctrl+S) so message can be resumed after bringing OE back up. 

Refer to the following articles for a solution and problem summary.

Articles on other sites, mainly by Microsoft MVPs: Downloads, Must Have

Inside Outlook Express Tom C. Koch, Microsoft MVP for IE/OE

Complete Backup -- Clone Your Identity (for Advanced Users), Tom Koch.

Inside Outlook Express, FAQS -- OE FAQ, Tom Koch
OE Performance, Tom Koch
Why Rules Don't Work, Tom Koch, Microsoft MVP for IE/OE.

Backup OE Registry program, automating the registry backup.«
What was probably obvious to some but not to me -- you really do have to delete the entries from the registry before you replace them with the new entries, once that part was done the results are terrific -- easier for next time and segregation of user data.

Adding to Tom's, before you backup you might want to check your Outlook Express for dead unused *.dbx files.  Starting at inbox move cursor down so that you have looked into (opened) each file in all of your OE folders.  Then use your system Find Files to find *.dbx files.  Delete the OE *.dbx files that weren't opened today, didn't delete folders.dbx nor Obq.dbx since they have different names and not sure if needed that they would simply be recreated.  Then to recovery space within the folders -- remember to have OE offline when compacting -- files, folder, compact all.  The folders.dbx is ONLY compacted with this option.  Compacting everything should also greatly improve performance of OE.

Some addtional links for backing up and transferring dbx files to another system. (also see Backup page in my Excel in)

Resetting a Newsgroup, first take a backup of that newsgroup (.dbx file), so that you will not have to download all of the messages again after resubscribing.  See oerestore.txt on this site.

Setting Up to read Newsgroups, How to connect directly to the Microsoft Newsservers with Outlook Express.

http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/ofc2000.htm -- information there includes creating/moving Address Book, and moving storage location of postings and email to another disk.  Included information on getting my AOL address book information into OE with a little help from Excel.

http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/xlnews.htm -- Information on the Excel newsgroups, and the permanent archives and searching with the Google Advanced Usenet Search engine.

Excel Shortcuts http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/shortx2k.htm -- Shortcuts in Excel 2000.

This page was introduced on March 31, 2000. 

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