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Use Outlook Express to Excise Hotmail Spam

From PC Annoyances, 2nd Edition by Steve Bass (O’Reilly Media).

The Annoyance:

I sometimes think that the only reason Hotmail exists is to attract spam. (Wait-isn’t that AOL’s job?) If I wait a few days before checking my inbox, I’ll sometimes rack up 150 pieces of junk mail. And getting rid of them takes way too many clicks, since you have to select them one at a time. There’s got to be a better way.

The Fix:

How about using Outlook Express to do some heavy-duty spam weeding?

Launch Outlook Express and select Tools ® Accounts, click the Add button, and choose Mail. A wizard will pop up; enter your name, then your Hotmail address. (Outlook Express will fill in the “E-mail Server Names” screen automatically). You’re then asked for your password. Enter it, click Finish, and then click Close to leave Accounts. Outlook will ask if you want to download folders from the mail server-click Yes, and supply your password again.

Now OE will download copies of all your Hotmail messages. Your Hotmail account now lives inside Outlook Express, along with any other email accounts you’ve set up there in the past.

From now on, you can do some or all of your Hotmailing inside OE if it strikes your fancy. At the very least, it’s a much better tool for deleting messages en masse. For instance, click the Hotmail Inbox in the Folders pane, click a message, hold down the Shift key, use the down arrow key to highlight a range of messages you want to purge, and press the Delete key. They’ll be erased in OE-and next time you check Hotmail with your browser, you’ll see they’re gone there, too.

cover This material has been adapted from PC Annoyances, 2nd Edition by Steve Bass, published by O’Reilly Media, Inc. Copyright O’Reilly Media, Inc., 2005. All rights reserved.

This easy to read, accessible book from PC World expert Steve Bass covers the waterfront of PC gripes and gremlins, with fixes for everything from Windows glitches to browsers that won’t browse. Each fix is served up in bite-sized portions for quick reading–and even quicker fixing. A revised version of its best-selling predecessor, the 2nd edition offers 50 additional pages and over 120 new fixed annoyances.

PC Annoyances, 2nd Edition is available for purchase from,, and the sellers listed below.

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