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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Windows Mail cleanup tip

I got to doing some backups of very old data files from my hard-drive to a storage area on my website, whose server moves around but seems to be in New York nowadays.

The plan was to backup all my Windows Mail files, then delete the very old stuff on my hard-drive, those not really of use unless I needed to revisit some communication from several years ago, such as when I uploaded my detective novel to the publisher in 2005.

During my first attempt to upload the data offsite, the FTP software crashed and I found that there were hundreds of null files stored among my real emails, mostly at the top. Each null file had an encrypted name (and thus a directory entry) but size of zero. So I figured no harm in deleting the null files, and removed the ones FTP'd off site, then removed the original null files on my hard drive.

That process got rid of 7500 directory entries from my hard drive, and if each one took 100 bytes to store the name of nothing, then I removed 750K bytes that has been loaded to my RAM every time that I opened Windows Mail.

Two days since I did that, Windows Mail seems to run faster (hard to tell), so today I deleted the 7500 null files from my Recycle Bin too.

So here is how to find the files on your harddrive, knowing of course that my Windows Vista system can easily be different than your Windows system files.

Drill down from your *user name* to AppData then Local then Microsoft then Windows Mail – Local Folders will display the same folder structure as what you see inside your personal Windows Mail. The null files are simple to spot: encrypted name and size of zero. Be very careful not to include any file with non=zero size, but otherwise all you have to do is highlight & Shift-Down, then Delete the file groups in chunks.

(And don't forget to clear the Recycle Bin, which you should be doing on a regular basis anyway.)

Copyright 2012 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

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