Other OE MVP Links
Tom Koch's Tomsterdam
Michael Santovec's Help
Jim Pickering's KB Articles

NEW: Please see my new eml and nws reader, ceml, at http://www.oehelp.com/ceml/default.aspx
Welcome to OEHelp.com/WMUtil
Welcome visitor number 731974 Using Unknown


Version 1.51 Updated 05/04/07

DOWNLOAD HERE (175 Kbytes): WMUtil
Note: The zip file contains two files which must be saved to the same directory (one can use the Desktop). Then open WMUtil.exe to start the program.

NOTE: If you have stuck messages that will not delete, get this patch for Windows Mail or get Windows Vista Service Pack 1. Either will fix the stuck message problem.


WMUtil is a small utility to allow users to compact and repair the Windows Mail database in Windows Vista.

The Windows Mail database periodically needs compacting and defragmenting to function with maximal performance. Currently there is no manual method to compact the database in Windows Mail, unless one tinkers with the values set at Tools | Options | Advanced | Maintenance. WMUtil allows the user to manually compact the database to remove any wasted space from it.

Occasionally the database becomes corrupted as indicated for example by the inability of being able to delete messages from various folders. The Windows Mail database has a built-in repair feature that can sometimes fix such problems. Windows Mail provides no access to this feature, so clicking on the Repair button will manually run the repair feature on the database. Clicking on the Clear Outbox button will remove references in the database to phantom outbox messages.

In addition a number of .eml and .nws files of zero byte length tend to accumulate in the message store, which can lead to a reduction in performance. The two buttons under the File Utilities allow the user to assess the number of messages and to remove the zero byte / blank messages.


Running the program results in the display shown above. The default Windows Mail database file location is listed in the text box. The location can be changed using the Change button.

If Windows Mail is open, or if a current WinMail.exe process is running, the Database functions are disabled, and the WinMail.exe process must be terminated before these features can become available. (If WinMail is closed and these buttons still remain disabled, then perform a CTRL-SHIFT-ESC, and under Processes find WinMail.exe and click on it, and then click the End Process button.)

Clicking on the Compact Database button will result in a black command window and compaction and defragmentation of the database. Compaction is complete when this window closes. Should this action fail, then a backup of the database is generated with the same name followed by a date/time stamp on the filename. To restore the backup, one needs only to rename the file. If Windows Mail functions properly after the compaction, then the backup file can be deleted.

Clicking on the Repair Database button results in a black command window and a various prompts from the repair utility, which when accepted are followed by an attempt to repair the current database. The repair action terminates after the command window closes.

In some circumstances, messages will become stuck in the Outbox folder according to WinMail (even though no message may exist in the outbox directory of eml files). These stuck messages prevent WinMail from being able to send any messages. Clicking on the Clear Outbox button will remove all references in the database to Outbox messages. This should then enable the user to send messages again.

A bug in the released version of Windows Mail results in the population of the message store (particularly the outbox) with zero byte eml files. These files can accumulate and result in performance losses. So with the File utilities, clicking on the File Statistics will display the total number of .eml and .nws files in the message store directory, as well as the number of zero byte (blank) .eml and .nws files. Clicking on the remove blank files will improve performance if there are a lot of them. Note that after clicking both these buttons, it may take some time (a few minutes) to perform the analysis.

Version 1.00 Released 02/12/07
Version 1.10 Released 03/08/07 -- added buttons to show file statistics and to remove zero byte .eml and .nws files.
Version 1.50 Released 05/02/07 -- added the "Clear Outbox" button.
Version 1.51 Released 05/05/07 -- fixed small bug for some users.


NOTE: The source code for this program is not available.

The author makes no guarantees as to this software and the user, upon downloading and executing it, does so at his own risk.

WMUtil is free. It may not be sold or used for promotional purposes, but may be distributed freely in its present form.
The program is Copyright 2007 © Stephen L. Cochran, Ph.D. and all rights are reserved under international agreements.

Donations are accepted, and they may be sent without implied obligation to :

S.L. Cochran, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 132
Lookout Mountain, TN 37350

You may also donate via PayPal:

The author thanks the many who have donated to other programs and have made this one possible and, in so doing, make improvements of this program possible.

Main Page

Copyright 1999 - 2010 Stephen L. Cochran, Ph.D., MS-MVP
All rights reserved under international agreements.