Outlook Express & Windows Mail Tips
Outlook Express Freezes & Crashes

Ann's Outlook Express Freezes
Hi there! I'm hoping that in ALL of your wisdom you can help me solve a dilemma! I previously was able to send emails through O.E...no problem. However my program freezes up if I click on ANY function in that window. After 3 hours on the phone with a representative( all knowing and all seeing???) from my manufacturer, I'm told" oh, after all of this I think it's a problem with a patch for your Trend Micro security program...so you'll have to UNDO your spam filter in order to create and send an email --then re-enable it after you're done!!!" Now granted I AM a novice but disabling my spam tool in order to send or create an email...just doesn't seem KOSHER!! I would greatly appreciate your take on this dilemma, as we all have come to trust your expertise and appreciate your no nonsense approach! Looking forward to your perspective on this glitch! Thanks very much! Ann

Our Answer
Anytime you pass Outlook Express functions through another program - such as an anti-virus scanner, it can cause problems. One of the most controversial articles we've ever written, but one we stand by and which we follow to this day is called "Why You Don't Need Your Anti-Virus Program To Scan Your Email". If you like (and it would be good idea) you can read that article here.

Yes, we know that many experts disagree - but why do they disagree? The premise that email files are files like any other files cannot be disputed. There's nothing special about files with an .eml extension. If your anti-virus scanner protects other files like .exe, .doc, .pif, .scr, and on and on, why wouldn't it protect you from infected .eml files? It does and no one can logically argue that.

We live in an age where marketing is the name of the game. Anything one company can do to get an advantage on another, it's going to do. Well, sometime in the past some major anti-virus developer came up with a nifty marketing ploy called "mail scanning". The others, of course, having to compete, offered this amazing feature too. It's not necessary. And, as you're learning, it can and does cause problems.

While your problem is not common, it shows you what can happen when people are intentionally misinformed by developers who create a need then fill it. And the general conception that you need to have an anti-virus scan your email is just such a prefabricated need - created by anti-virus company's marketing departments. Scanning email became necessary only because of some very smart marketers who created a "need" for it through misinformation. It's just a "feature" that became necessary only because the need for it was artificially created.

The email-scanning myth is alive and well to this day; and most people still believe that they need to have anti-virus software scan their email. Read our article, referenced above, to learn why scanning your email is not necessary at all - regardless of what anti-virus companies and "experts" say.

While we cannot be 100% sure of what is causing your problem, since we cannot lay our hands on your computer, from the information you've given, we're 99% sure if you turn off Trend Micro's sp*am filtering and anti-virus scanning of your email, your Outlook Express will work perfectly again. To learn how to turn off Trend Micro's email scanning and sp*am filters, see the program's help documentation. After you switch it off, reboot your computer to make sure the changes "take hold". Let us know if your Outlook Express functions normally after turning off sp*am filtering and AV mail scanning. We'll betcha it does!

(Incidentally, another example of marketing obfuscating the facts and creating a "need", is in the anti-spyware software field. One company, whoever it was, thought it would be a brilliant move to start blocking and deleting cookies as "spyware" which they brilliantly dubbed "tracking cookies". The other anti-spyware companies, not wanting to be outdone by this company, started doing it too, and now we have practically every anti-spyware program deleting cookies and calling them "spyware", "spyware cookies" or "tracking cookies" and it's all just a marketing ploy - because there's barely any truth to it. Cookies cannot be any kind of "ware" spyware or otherwise, and we're not going to go into detail here but if you're interested you can read our controversial - but honest and factual - article by visiting this page.)

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