Ask the Expert

Removing multiple headers

I have a user with Windows XP Professional and Office 2003 using Outlook as a POP3 client. He has Outlook set up to download only headers for e-mails larger than 124 K.

One day, he had problems downloading his e-mail and received multiple copies of all of the e-mails, including headers for e-mails larger than 124 K. We solved the problem and he was able to receive his e-mails normally.

Now, he has multiple headers for e-mails that were downloaded and he cannot delete them because they do not exist on the server anymore. How can I remove these headers?

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Use the Inbox Repair Tool. It runs a number of tests and corrects errors. Search your computer for Scanpst.exe or download it. Run the file against the .PST's and OST's offline folders and then synchronize it with the server.

Another approach is to use a hex editor, which is a tool for editing raw files. Remove a single byte from the middle of the .PST file. Be careful not to delete crucial data, and then run Scanpst.


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Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • SearchExchange.com Tip: A primer on messaging standards: SMTP, POP and IMAP
  • SearchExchange.com Reference Center: POP3


  • This was first published in August 2005

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