Q. How can a person filter their e-Mail in Outlook Express?

A. You can set up "message rules" or "message filters" in most e-mail clients. These can grab an incoming message and make it history before you ever lay eyes on it. You can have the message rules set up to check for certain subject lines, e-mail addresses or even words. Please note that most e-mail clients work in a similar way (in Netscape Mail, you set this up as mentioned above and the same goes for Web based). Here are the steps..

1. Click the Tools menu, Message Rules, Mail.

2. On the screen that pops up, click the New button (for newer versions of Outlook Express, you don't have to hit the New button, the screen you need pops up automatically).

3. At this point, there should be a screen that lets you set up your rules. Check the options you want to filter. As soon as you check them, you'll get a new item under the Rules Description section. Click the underlined area to set the actual stuff you're filtering for. For instance, if you're trying to filter out porn e-mail, click the checkbox in the first section, "Where the message body contains specific words."Now, click the link in the Rules Description box for "Contains specific words" (this looks just like a regular Web page link). On the window that opens, type in the words you want to filter  Here's a word of caution though. Pick your words very carefully. If you choose a word like "naked," you'll never get an e-mail that contains that word, even if it was used in a harmless way like "the naked baby streaked through the yard" or something similar. A few clicks of the OK button and you should be back to the message rules screen.

4. Now, you'll need to decide what you want done to the message once it gets filtered. This is done in the second section of the screen, "Select the actions you want to rule."  In this case, you're probably best to scroll down to the Delete From Server checkbox. That should prevent it from downloading. Or you can just send it to the Deleted Items folder, that works too.  That should help you keep the porn spam out of your inbox, but keep in mind that you can also use message filters to send stuff to specific folders you create. For example, if you have three e-mail accounts, you can set up a filter that sends each address to a different folder
Q.How do you share folders in Outlook Express?

A. Do you use folders in Outlook Express to keep your e-mail organized? Maybe you have a whole slew of information in one of those folders you'd like to share with a friend. Should you just forward each piece of e-mail to them? Maybe do a printout?  How about just sending them your entire folder? Here's how to get them the info.
1. First, you're going to need the location that Outlook Express is using to store your information (folders). You can get that by hitting the Tools menu, Options.
2. Click the Maintenance tab and then the "Store Folder" button.
3. A screen will pop up that gives you the secret location of where Outlook Express is keeping your e-mail. If your memory is short, or the path is long, you may want to write that info down. Better yet, copy the info and use our Computers 101 tip to get to the folder.
4. OK, now close out the Store folder and Options screens. You have what ya came for.
5. Next, open the My Computer icon on your desktop (XP users, hit Start, My Computer ).
6. Navigate to the location where Outlook Express is keeping your e-mail. Once you're there, you should see your Outlook Express folders listed.

Note that if you have your computer set up to view file extensions, the files will end with ".dbx" (like Inbox.dbx).

To send this file to a friend, just right-click it and select "Send to, Mail Recipient". Of course, you can copy it to a disk (if it fits) or a CD-R if you like. OK, that's how you find and send it. Now, how does the person who gets this file integrate it into their mailbox? Now we're going to go over what to do with that saved (or sent) folder once you get it to the computer you want it on.

1. Follow the above procedure we did on the recipient's computer to figure out where it's storing its Outlook Express mail.
2. Save the stored folder to that location. If it was e-mailed, double-click the attachment and do a "Save As". If you have it on a disk or CD, you'll need to copy and paste it into the store folder. Note that if you're using a CD you may need to take off the "read only" attribute (right-click the file, Properties. Then uncheck the "Read only" checkbox if it's checked).
3. OK your file should be sitting in the "Store" folder now. However, that's just not going to be enough. You'll need to go to that location and delete the "Folders" file (note that Outlook Express will need to be shut off for you to do this).

Your "Folders" file keeps track of what folders you have in Outlook Express. However, it's not smart enough to look for new folders each time you load the program. It only lists what it "knows" are there. When you delete it, Outlook Express is forced to create a new "Folders" file. This new one will include the ALL the folders in the directory (including the new one you just added). After you've deleted the file, start Outlook Express again. The new folder should be listed.
Q: What's an easy way to back up my e-mails in Outlook Express?

A: It would be nice if there was a one click backup option embedded in Outlook Express, but unfortunately, there is not. There are a few ways to back up your e-mails, some being harder than others. You may have tried to use the export feature or maybe you just tried dragging all your e-mails to another area so you could save them there. Well, if you've had no luck with either of those options, there might just be an easier way. This process requires you to burn a backup CD, so you need to make sure your computer already has a burner or that you have an external one to use. You'll also need the appropriate software. Go ahead and insert the blank CD into your computer. A window will pop up on your screen asking you want you want to do next. You're going to want to select "Open writeable CD folder using Windows Explorer" and press OK. (If your computer doesn't do anything when you put in the CD, you can just double click on your My Computer icon and open up your CD drive; usually drive F). Now, we're gonna get into the backup fun. Open Outlook Express and go to Tools, Options and click on the Maintenance tab. Next, click the Store Folder button. Go ahead and copy the folder location that pops up on your screen. Your folder name may be rather long, so make sure you get the whole thing copied (part of it may be hidden, so double check it). Yours will probably look something like the picture below. Now, click Cancel twice to get out of the screens and then close down Outlook Express. Go to Start, Run and paste your folder name into the run command box. Click OK. When the new window comes up, go to Edit, Select All (or use Ctrl + A). All of the items in that folder will then be highlighted. Next, look under the File and Folder Tasks area and click on Move the selected items. You're going to want to move them to your CD drive folder that we talked about above. (It's usually the F: drive). Click to highlight the CD drive and then press the Move button. You will then be prompted to burn your CD. You will use your burner software just like you would any other time you were burning a CD.Once your CD is done, all of your e-mails will be backed up. You can then go back into the original folder and delete all of the e-mails in there. This will save you some space on your computer. You can then accumulate more e-mails and when you think it's time, make another CD to back those up as well! It's a very good idea to keep your e-mails updated and backed up. You never know when you might want to view an e-mail for the second or fifteenth time and with your backup CD,
Q: When I start Windows, I get an error message saying that it can't find a file. I click OK and everything seems alright. How do I get rid of that annoying message?

A: Probably what has happened is you've uninstalled something that normally loaded when you started Windows. The program is gone, but there is still a reference to it floating around somewhere. Now, you can go hunting through your autoexec bat, registry, startup menu, and your "ini" files to locate the program reference and get rid of it. However, the "down and dirty" way to do it is to use msconfig (win98 or higher). Click your Start button, Run . Type in " msconfig " (no quotes) and hit OK. Click the Startup tab and try to locate the program that is causing the error message. Usually if you look at the end of the "Command" column you can find the file name that Windows claims it can't find. Once located, just uncheck it and hit OK. Oh, note that if you can't see the end of the command line, you can expand the size of the column (digital elastic ;-). Just hover your mouse over the boundary between the columns and drag it over. Make sure you pay attention to what you're unchecking so if you uncheck the wrong item, you can go back and re-check it if necessary. Once you're done, reboot and see if that error message is gone
Q. What is the Blue Screen of Death?

A. The blue screen is the common name for the error screen that sometimes occurs through Windows. It is also called the stop error. It is basically what comes up on your computer screen when your PC cannot recover or is in danger of not being able to recover from a system error. This error screen has been present in all versions of Windows dating all the way back to Windows 3.1. Whenever your system encounters an illegal operation and it can't do anything else to recover, the blue screen will pop up. The only safe way to get out of the blue screen is to restart your computer. Unfortunately, some data can be lost in this process, because you are not given a chance to save your work. Here is a sample blue screen. The screen is a little different in wording for each version of Windows and it references to different utilities in different programs, but it basically means the same thing all the way around. Some common causes of the error could be a new hardware problem, new software, virus or malware or even old or broken hardware. The causes can be endless, depending on the type of computer you have and the applications you have on it. The blue screen of death is an unfortunate encounter, but at least you can get out of it with a quick reboot.
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