Message exporting fix is easy


April 15, 2004|By James Coates | James Coates,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

You seem to be able to come up with solutions that the tech-support people write off with a "remove program and reinstall" approach. I am running Outlook Express 6 on Windows XP and have been trying to export messages for archiving purposes, but every time I run the Export messages I receive an error dialog box with "The export could not be performed. An error occurred while initializing MAPI."

Any suggestions on how to fix the problem or a reasonable workaround?

Yes, I have a workaround. It's the tool I use quite often to move messages sent to this column onto my thumb drive so I can carry stuff from the downtown office to my home office.

I just use keyboard shortcuts to select all the messages in the Outlook Express e-mail list and then drag them to a new folder on the desktop.

Here's the drill:

Open Outlook Express (or business-strength Outlook) and make the display small enough that you can see the desktop behind it. Select the top message icon and then scroll down to the bottom one and hold down the Shift key while clicking on it. This marks all messages in between as selected.

Now just click on any one of the messages and drag it and the whole collection into a folder on the desktop. (To make folders, right-click on the desktop and select New and Folder in the resulting display.)

This folder becomes your e-mail archive. If you want, you can even use the Windows folder creation tool to make a compressed folder, which will compress the data just as the Outlook software does when working properly.

For background, MAPI stands for Messaging Application Programming Interface and is used by several different programs such as Outlook, Outlook Express and certain third-party programs.

The fixmapi.exe file mentioned in the error message is designed to deal with problems caused when the proper MAPI file is written over by another program, and the results can be extremely nasty.

If you want to learn the complex steps for attempting a repair go to and type fixmapi.exe as a search term in the Knowledge Base.

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