Fixing Outlook / Outlook Express Duplicate Emails…
Sure, everybody’s got them, for one reason or another. Maybe that pesky “do not import duplicates” check box seems to taunt you with failed promises. Who knows. But most people have run into this, right?
Sure, there are apps out there, nothing free that I’ve found, but for $20-$50 you can buy a program to rid you of the duplicates, often they are even complicated with lots of duplicate finding criteria you’ll need to muddle through. Screw that.
You can also use the program in trial mode to do 5 copies at a time, or just go through and delete them yourself. Screw that too. What if you’ve got 7000 messages to sift through?
I recently stumbled upon a better way, quite by accident. IMAP to Gmail! Lemmie explain:
I have a client who reached the 2GB limitation on SEVERAL of her OE .DBX files, and was loosing mail as a consequence; actually I compacted the folders before I noticed, so she lost pretty much everything from 2007 and up. I did recover it all, but that’s another story entirely (thanks, Windows Update!)
So after recovering the email, I noticed the client’s recent emails (e.g. the ones from this year alone) were not dupes, but mail dating back to 2004(!) mostly had 2-4 copies. This just won’t do, especially when she is running into that 2GB limitation, and I don’t want to sit with her and go through 5 years of email teaching her how to move mail and attachments out of OE much less worry about the dupes. Worse, these were mostly important business documents. Yeah, I know, she needs to learn… but…
The accidental discovery: My first priority was to setup some redundancy, so I decided to setup a Gmail account to retrieve her mail, and POP all new mail to her through Gmail, but I still wanted to backup the old mail. She wasn’t a Google Apps customer, so I couldn’t use the mail upload tool Google provides, so I setup IMAP to Gmail in OE in order to just copy email to the IMAP folders, therefore uploading it to Gmail’s server.
I noticed that while OE actually moved 4 copies of one message to the IMAP folder connected to Gmail, only ONE copy appeared in the IMAP folder or on Gmail, instead of the 4.
If you were to do the same thing, you can leave IMAP setup (with no duplicates) or remove IMAP entirely, delete the POP .DBX files, and POP download all the mail again but this time with no duplicates!
So, I got nearly 6GB of email from this client’s condensed into, shockingly, less than 1GB thanks to the easy duplicate remover that is Gmail IMAP.
Note: I don’t know if the same thing will work with the Gmail upload tool available for Apps customers, but most likely it will.