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Starting clean or resetting parts of Outlook

I wanted to start over so I reinstalled Outlook but everything is still configured.

How can I reset my Outlook settings?

Reinstalling indeed won’t reset your configuration settings nor will it delete any of your email as I’ve blogged previously. To start with an “empty” Outlook, like when you configured it for the first time, you’ll have to recreate your mail profile. Additionally, there are various files that you can rename or command line switches that you can use to reset specific parts of Outlook.

Recreating the mail profile

Your mail profile contains your mail account configuration settings and which pst-files are opened in Outlook. To reset your mail profile, open Control Panel via the Start Menu and double click the Mail applet. Press the Show Profile… button to add or delete mail profiles.

For more information about recreating your mail profile see the guide; Adding/Recreating a Mail Profile.

Note: For 64-bit versions of Windows Vista you’ll have to open the “View 32-bit Control Panel” section first before you can see the Mail applet. To determine the exact location of the mail applet for either version of Windows see; No Mail icon in Control Panel

Resetting configuration files and Registry keys

Aside from the mail profile, Outlook also saves several settings in configuration files and Registry keys. Many of these are not part of the mail profile and thus these settings will be maintained.

For an overview of where Outlook keeps these settings see the guide; Files and Settings guide for Outlook

Resetting via command line switches

If you are trying to reset Outlook to solve an issue, recreating your mail profile is usually overkill or will not even help at all. There are various command line switches for Outlook to reset several settings which are stored within your mailbox.

An overview of the available command line switches for Outlook can be found in the guide How to use command line switches or be executed easily via OutlookTools (free).

Note: For more about troubleshooting Outlook see the guide; Outlook doesn’t start