A. The unread-email message counter that appears on the XP Welcome screen can sometimes indicate that more unread messages exist than the actual number of messages. Although several scenarios can lead to this error, a common example is when another user accesses your machine to check his or her email while you're logged on.

The best way to clear the unread-email counter is to download the TweakUI Windows XP PowerToy and perform the following steps:

  1. Start TweakUI.
  2. Select the Repair branch in the left-hand pane of the dialog box.
  3. Select "Repair unread mail count" in the right-hand pane, then click "Repair Now".
  4. Close TweakUI.

Alternatively, you can use the registry to reset the unread-email counter by performing the following steps:

  1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\UnreadMail\<email address> subkey.
  3. Double-click Message Count, set the value to 0, then click OK.
  4. Close the registry editor.