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IF01970  

Q. I'm having a problem with Outlook Express. It started when I downloaded my e-mail and there were a much higher number of e-mails than usual. It said I have 83 messages, but I only had 14. It rolled through the 83 e-mails really quick and gave me a bunch of error messages. I deleted all of them and the next time the same thing happened. It also downloaded the original messages. Also, while I'm downloading the messages, I use AVG virus scan that automatically scans each e-mail. It starts at zero and goes up to 100%. When it was scanning the messages, it went up to the thousands or even ten thousands before it would finish. Sounds like a virus, so I used AVG to scan for a virus. No luck. I cleaned the cookies and temp files. Help. Thanks.

A. It all depends on why you are getting so many emails.  There are dozens of potential causes so I can't tell you for sure which one will work for you but here are some of the more common possibilities:

1. You are receiving unsolicited spam, sometimes suddenly.  This can happen if a spammer recently acquired your email address, or if someone is emailing you repeatedly to annoy you.  The "from" value may be incorrect or misleading and it may have been edited or "spoofed" to disguise the true sender so you never know for sure who sent the messages.  The best way to stop this is to use anti-spam software (I recommend vanquish.com) or to examine the email message headers to see if you can determine the true source.  If it appears to be a friend sending the email then call them to make sure their computer is not affected with a virus that is sending you all the messages repeatedly.

2. One or more emails in your Inbox have become corrupted on the server, possibly with a virus, and your email software repeatedly tries to download the same message until it hits the virus or error then it starts again.  Try to log in to your email server via an Internet Explorer web mail interface (if your ISP provides one) and delete the messages that are causing the problem directly from the server.

3. Your anti-spam or anti-virus software is causing the error on your PC.  Try to update your anti-virus or anti-spam software to the latest versions, or try turning them off altogether just to test it.  I have seen similar problems with AVG.

4. Your email program is configured improperly.  Look online or in the help section to see if you can find a similar error with steps to fix it.

 

 

            
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