Don’t accidentally send via CTRL+ENTER or ALT+S

Sometimes I hit CTRL+ENTER or ALT+S by mistake and off goes the message as it is Outlook's shortcut for the Send button.

Is there any way I can prevent this from happening?

Send buttonI think most people can relate with you; getting tangled up in pressing Enter to start a new line and hitting CTRL instead of SHIFT when trying to capitalize your new line or pressing ALT+S instead of CTRL+S to save your draft.

You can prevent this from happening by not addressing the mail yet although this might not be practical, especially when replying to an e-mail. Luckily Outlook allows you to configure what happens when using CTRL+ENTER but to disable the ALT+S keyboard shortcut, you’ll have to edit the Registry.


The first time you use CTRL+ENTER, you’ll be prompted by a dialog asking how Outlook should respond to the usage of CTRL+ENTER in the future. There are 3 states possible;

  1. Outlook should always send the message (select the box and press Yes).
  2. Outlook should never send the message (select the box and press No).
  3. Outlook should always ask you what to do (do not select the box and choose Yes or No).

You pressed CTRL+ENTER.
Not 2 but 3 choices are available here.

When you’ve chosen for state 1 and want to change it to state 2 or have chosen for state 2 and want to change it to state 1, then you can change the following option;

  • File-> Options-> section Mail-> option group: Send Messages-> option: CTRL + ENTER sends a message

When you’ve chosen for state 1 or 2 and want to change it to state 3, then you’ll have to delete the CtrlEnterSends registry value name or set its value to 2;

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Outlook\Preferences
Value name: CtrlEnterSends
Value type: REG_DWORD
Value data: 0 = Outlook will not send when pressing CTRL+ENTER 
                     1 = Outlook will send when pressing CTRL+ENTER 
                     2 = Outlook will prompt you when pressing CTRL+ENTER

When this key is missing, Outlook will behave as if its value was set to 2.

Disable ALT+S

To disable the ALT+S keyboard shortcut as well, you’ll have to add the following Registry key;

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Outlook\DisabledShortcutKeysCheckBoxes
Value name: AltS
Value type: REG_SZ
Value data: 83,16

Note: The value name (AltS) is actually irrelevant for this particular key but it is good practice to use meaningful names.


Send/Receive buttonIf you are not very into editing the Registry, then there are also 5 other options to prevent you messages from being sent directly after pressing send.

For details see; Don’t send emails directly.