How Can I Reinstall Outlook Express?

The Outlook Express application is the default e-mail client on PC computers running Windows XP. Outlook Express comes installed with the operating system, but if you choose to use a different e-mail application, you may delete Outlook Express. If you want to get the program back on your computer, you can reinstall Outlook Express as long as you are an administrator on the computer.

Update Windows

Since Outlook Express is an included feature of the Windows XP operating system, it is also part of all official Windows updates. As a result, when you update your system software to Service Pack 2 or Service Pack 3, Outlook Express will automatically be added back to your computer. To run Windows Update and install newer versions of the operating system, open the Start menu and expand the "All Programs" list. At the top of the list, you should see an option labelled "Windows Update." Click on it to search online for available updates. After installing the updates and restarting your computer, the Outlook Express program will reappear. If you are already running Windows XP Service Pack 3, you cannot use Windows Update to reinstall Outlook Express.

Using Control Panel

When you delete or uninstall Outlook Express from your computer, the operating system stores the program's file on your computer in case you choose to add the application back. To easily reinstall Outlook Express, open the Start menu and click on the "Control Panel" icon. Then double-click on "Add or Remove Programs" and select the "Add/Remove Windows Components" option on the left side of the window. A pop-up window will open a listing all of the main Windows programs available for your computer. Scroll down through the list until you find Outlook Express. Check the box next to it and click the "Next" button at the bottom of the window. After confirming your action, Windows will automatically reinstall Outlook Express and add it back to your computer's Start menu.

Using Registry Editor

If you are unsuccessful in trying to reinstall Outlook Express through Windows Update or the Control Panel menu, you can manually add the program back using the Registry Editor. Open the Start menu and click on the "Run" icon. Type "regedit" into the text box and hit "OK." The Registry Editor will open and allow you to view the database of your operating system's settings and options. Navigate to the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE \Microsoft \Active Setup\Installed Components{44BBA840-CC51-11CF-AAFA-00AA00B6015C}" directory using the tree on the left side of the window. Then double-click on the "IsInstalled" setting and enter "0" as the value. Click "OK" to save the registry settings, close the editor and then restart your computer. When the operating system reboots, Outlook Express will be reinstalled and added to the computer's Start menu.

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About the Author

Bennett Gavrish is an I.T. professional who has been writing about computers, electronics and the Web since 2004. His work has appeared in the "Nashua Telegraph" and the "Daily Free Press" and on numerous websites. Gavrish received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University.