Signatures… and Stationery and Fonts… buttons are not working

When I wanted to edit my Signature, I noticed that the Signatures button isn’t working at all when I click on it. The same is true for the Stationery and Fonts… button.

I tried repairing my installation of Office but that didn’t work.

How can I get my Signature Editor to work again?

Signatures, Stationery and Fonts buttonThis can happen in rare cases but with an application used by so many, even rare cases affect a lot of people.

It happens most often when a newer version of Office was removed (like for instance a trial) and an older version was installed and then later updated again to the newer version but also going from 32-bit Office to 64-bit Office or vice versa. Another instance where this might happen is when you have a security suite or virus scanner installed which was a bit overly active with protecting the Registry during your installation of Office.

Luckily, there are a few ways to reinstate the “Signatures…” and “Stationery and Fonts…” features again or use a simple workaround to still edit your Signatures.

In rare cases, the Signatures... and Stationery and Fonts... buttons in Outlook's Options may not be working for you.
In rare cases, the Signatures… and Stationery and Fonts… buttons in Outlook’s Options may not be working for you.

Update for Office 365 users

Office 365 buttonA new variant of this issue has recently emerged where Outlook freezes when you press the Signatures… button.

The reason for this is that new computers come often pre-installed with the “Microsoft Office Desktop Apps” application which is incompatible with Office 365 Version 1801 and earlier.

The solution is to update to 1802 or later but this might not be possible when you are in the Semi-Annual Update Channel as that is currently Version 1708. You can then ask your administrator to put you in the Semi-Annual Targeted Update Channel so that you’ll be updated to Version 1803.

A workaround would be to uninstall the “Microsoft Office Desktop Apps” application from your computer. This is also what Version 1802 and later do, as you won’t need it when you already have Office 365 installed.

For more info, also see: Outlook freezes clicking the Signature button

Registry CLSID GUID modifications

Regedit buttonIf you are not affected by this Office 365 bug, then, in most cases, the issue is caused by a Registry entry pointing to the wrong location of Outlook.exe. The keys involved may look a bit scary and complex at first but the solutions itself isn’t that hard to implement. The keys also look very similar so make sure you select the correct ones. Best is to double check whether you have the correct one by looking at the Status Bar at the bottom of the Registry editor.

Locate the following key for your version of Office and Windows in the Registry:

  • 32-bit version of Windows
  • 32-bit version of Office on a 64-bit version of Windows HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{0006F03A-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\LocalServer32
  • 64-bit version of Office HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{0006F03A-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\LocalServer32

When selecting the key, in the right pane you’ll see a Key Name called (Default) and LocalServer32. The Data field for both Key Names should point to your location for outlook.exe. See the screenshot below for an example.

  • The (Default) field is most likely currently in the shorthand (8dot3) notation but you can replace it with the full path as well.
  • The LocalServer32 field may currently look like it is full of gibberish or may be missing completely. In that case you can create it via:
    Edit-> New-> Multi-String Value

Path to Outlook.exe
To verify your path to Outlook.exe, it’s best to browse to the path in Explorer first. Common locations are:

  • Outlook 2007 on a 32-bit version of Windows
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\Outlook.exe
  • Outlook 2010 32-bit on a 64-bit version of Windows
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\Outlook.exe
  • Outlook 2016/Office 365 on a 64-bit version of Windows
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\Outlook.exe

After modifying the key, make sure you restart your computer for changes to take effect.

Quite hidden in the Registry, you might have a path not pointing to your Outlook.exe. (Click on image to enlarge)
Quite hidden in the Registry, you might have a path not pointing to your Outlook.exe. (Click on image to enlarge)

Fix It and reinstall

Microsoft Fix It buttonAnother way to go would be to uninstall all your Office applications and then run the Easy Fix Tool for removing Office for each version of Office which was previously installed on your computer. Start with the oldest version and work your way up to the newest version.

No Outlook data or settings will be lost in this process but it is always good to have your backups in order.

Once everything has been removed, restart your computer and double check that the aforementioned Registry keys no longer exist.

Then, reinstall the version of Office which you want to use.

During this process, make sure that your virus scanner and Registry protection are turned off. This is not needed when you are using Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender as your virus scanner but it wouldn’t hurt either.

After this process, first verify whether the Signature button now works again before re-enabling your Security Suite.

Workaround: Edit your Signature files directly

If all of the above methods fail, is not possible for you (for instance when you don’t have administrator rights on your computer) or is simply too much work for this feature, then you can also edit your Signature files directly.

The instructions for this are the same as described in Old signature being used.

Signature button is greyed out

Group Policy Editor buttonIf the Signature button is greyed out completely, it could have been disabled by Group Policy. This is only likely when your company has configured the mail server to automatically generate and add signatures to your emails.

In this case, it is best to contact your support department to verify if that is indeed the case. Also check with your colleagues whether or not they have the same issue. If so, it is probably a corporate wide requirement rather than an installation issue.

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