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What to Do When You Receive Duplicate Messages in Outlook Express

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I suppose it's better than not getting my mail at all, but receiving two or three copies of all emails is not much better. If you find yourself in this boat filled with new instances of the same emails over and over again whenever you check for what are supposed to be "new" messages in Outlook Express, here are some things to try.

What to Do When You Receive Duplicate Messages in Outlook Express

If you are accessing a POP account (this is most likely, and is the case if your email account is neither a Hotmail nor an IMAP account) and have set it to keep mail on the server, at least for some time, the reason for the malaise may be a hiccup in the file that keeps track of the messages already downloaded.

To fix the same messages coming from a POP account again and again:

Since Outlook Express has just lost even the rest memory of which mail it has already seen, expect all mail still on the server to be retrieve the next time you click Send/Recv. After that, mail retrieve should return to normal, however.

All duplicates already received can be eliminated fast with a duplicate removal tool.

How to Fix Duplicate Emails in a Default Hotmail or IMAP Account

If your default email account is either an IMAP account or a Hotmail account accessed directly, you may see two copies of every message in your Inbox.

This happens when you have Outlook Express set to retrieve new mail automatically upon startup and open the default Inbox automatically when you start, too. Both commands download new mail, and if they do it in parallel, you'll see two copies of each message.

To fix duplicate emails in a default Hotmail or IMAP account:

  • If the Hotmail or IMAP account is your only account:
    • Select Tools | Options... from the menu.
    • Make sure Send and receive messages at startup is not checked.
    • Click OK.
  • If you have more than one account:
    • Select Outlook Express from the Folders tree.
    • Make sure When Outlook Express starts, go directly to my Inbox is not checked.
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