Hello Paula, Pull down the tools menu in Outlook Express and then arrow up once to options. Navigate to the maintenance tab which is the last one to the right. Tab through that tab until you get to the button for the store folder. That will bring up a dialog that shows you the obscure location where your mailboxes are stored. Tab to the field containing that path and copy it to the clipboard. The quickest way to get to that folder is to go to the run dialog and paste in the path that you copied and press enter. If your mailboxes are still there, there is probably a way to to get your messages back. Compacting can take a very long time. Are you sure that you waited until the process was finished? I have never had the compacting process lose my messages. Bill -----Original Message----- From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Paula Waby Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 9:47 PM To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [bct] compacting mailboxes Hi Everyone This is a desperation question. Does anyone know how to get back files unintentionally eaten during mailbox compacting? I'm using Outlook Express. It ate my files once before and I was under the mistaken belief that I had turned off the question to ever compact them again. Obviously I hadn't and now all my files are gone. I have many irreplaceable files stored in my OE folders and I am not at all happy. If anyone can please tell me if there are any programmes I can run to try and get them back that would be wonderful and I'll be your friend forever. Secondly, does anyone know where I go to turn off the horrid feature so it doesn't happen again? I didn't knowingly say yes to the suggestion it might compact my mailboxes, but obviously the question popped up and I unknowingly hit enter to accept. Nasty thing! Cheers Paula.