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How to Reset Outlook Express to the Default Settings

Updated July 20, 2017

Outlook Express is an e-mail client included with Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows. Users can add their e-mail accounts, contacts and other user preferences to Outlook Express. If you're getting rid of your computer and want to remove your private data or if you'd rather start from scratch with a fresh Outlook Express system, you can create a new identity, set it as your default and delete the old one. Resetting Outlook Express to its default state in this way removes all your e-mail, contacts and other personal preferences.

Open Outlook Express by clicking "Start," "All Programs" and "Outlook Express."

Click "Files," "Identities" and "Manage Identities" in the Outlook Express window.

Create a new identity by clicking "New," typing a name and pressing "Enter."

Switch to the new identity by clicking "Yes" when prompted.

Close the new account wizard by clicking "Cancel" and "Yes."

Click "Files," "Identities" and "Manage Identities" in the Outlook Express window.

Select the old identity by clicking it; click "Main Identity" by default.

Delete the old identity by clicking "Remove" and "Delete" when prompted. Outlook Express removes all your old customised settings and data.

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About the Author

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around tech geek who writes for PC World, MakeUseOf, and How-To Geek. He's been using Windows since Windows 3.1 was released in 1992.