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Free application collects and scans Outlook mailbox data

Microsoft Outlook lacks the ability to track users' email habits. This free application collects usage statistics and displays data in a table for any version of Outlook.

One limitation of Microsoft Outlook is its inability to natively gather statistics about users' email habits. While you have the option to find out how much storage a particular folder occupies, you need to turn to a third-party application for anything more complex than that.

Nirsoft's OutlookStatView (OSV) gives you an easy way to extract and compile usage statistics from an Outlook user's mailbox. You don't have to install a database product or a reporting system. OSV doesn't need to be formally installed on the system it runs on; it works on any version of Microsoft Outlook.

OSV scans attached mailboxes in a user's account and generates various stats about contained messages. The results are tabulated according to unique sender/recipient details and are presented in a sortable view.

You can scan the message database within a particular date range. If it's your first time running OSV, you may want to only scan the previous month's messages, which is the software's default choice. This will speed things up and allow you to see how the program performs on your machine.

Longer scans can take a while. For example, on a quad-core with 4 GB and 64-bit Windows, a scan took several minutes to process about 4,000 unique recipients from 50,000 messages.

After the scan completes, results are displayed in a table. To sort through the table, click on individual columns. The table includes Information on total incoming and outgoing messages per byte, the dates of first and last messages as well as software and address information. Results can then be copied to your clipboard and saved in as XML, HTML, plain text, comma-delimited text, as well as other formats.

OutlookStatView does have a few shortcomings, the biggest of which is that Outlook must be installed on the same machine. OSV can't pull statistics on a copy of Outlook running on another computer. It also can't read a naked .ost or .pst file and must use Outlook's own APIs to access the message store.

OSV also doesn't integrate back into Outlook very well. For example, you can't click on a user's statistics to bring up a list of all individual messages related to that user.

A screenshot after running OSV on a user's mailbox.
Figure 1. OutlookStatView generated a range of statistics for a user's mailbox over the past 30 days.

Serdar Yegulalp has been writing about computers and IT for more than 15 years for a variety of publications, including,, InformationWeek and Windows magazine.

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