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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 shorcut for the Send button.

Is there any way I can prevent this from happening?

I 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 2007 and Outlook 2010 also allow you to configure what happens when using CTRL+ENTER but for earlier versions of Outlook or for the ALT+S keyboard shortcut you’ll have to configure it in the registry.

Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010

The first time you use CTRL+ENTER in Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010, you’ll get 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).


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;

  • Outlook 2007
    Tools-> Options…-> button E-mail Options…-> button Advanced E-mail Options…-> option: Press CTRL+ENTER to send messages
  • Outlook 2010
    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.

Outlook 2003 and previous with Outlook set as the e-mail editor

For previous versions of Outlook that are using Outlook as the e-mail editor or in case you want to overrule the above option in Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010, you can set the following registry key;

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Outlook\DisabledShortcutKeysCheckBoxes
Value name: CtrlEnter
Value type: REG_SZ
Value data: 8,13

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

Outlook 2003 and previous with Word set as the e-mail editor

When you are using Outlook 2003 or previous and you have Word set as your e-mail editor then you’ll have to set the following registry keys as well;

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Word\DisabledShortcutKeysCheckBoxes
Value name: CtrlEnter
Value type: REG_SZ
Value data: 8,13

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

Note 1: Replace <version> with the version number of your version of Outlook.

Note 2: Actually the value names (CtrlEnter and AltS) are irrelevant for this particular key but it is good practice to still continue to use meaningful names.

Note 3: If you are not very into editing the registry, then there are also other ways not to have emails send directly after giving a Send command.


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