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Uninstall Outlook Express

Posted September 2003 by Steve Sinchak

To manually remove Outlook Express 5.x or 6.0, you must rename several files. To help in this process, all system files and file extensions must be visible:

  1. Double-click the My Computer icon. - On the Tools menu, click Folder Options, and then click the View tab. - In the Hide Files and Folders section, click Show hidden files and folders, and then click to clear the Hide file extensions for known file types check box. - Click to clear the Hide Protected Operating System Files (Recommended) check box, and then click Yes in the warning message dialog box. - Click OK to close the Folder Options dialog box.

How to Remove Outlook Express

Before you remove Outlook Express, it is important to familiarize yourself with the back up and restore procedures for Outlook data. Microsoft recommends that you back up your e-mail, address book, and other data. For detailed instructions and backup procedures, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:

181084 How to Back Up Your Inbox Assistant Rules in Outlook Express

188093 How to Back Up the Account List in Outlook Express

230208 How to Back Up E-mail Messages in Outlook Express 5

270670 OLEXP: How to Back Up and Recover Outlook Express Data

230076 OL2000: Why Outlook 2000 Requires Outlook Express

To remove Outlook Express, you must rename several folders.

NOTE: Before you remove Outlook Express, make sure you are logged on to the computer with Administrative rights.

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Windows Explorer. - Locate and rename the following folders:

    • The Stationery folder: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Stationery

    • The Identities folder: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Identities


    C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities

    • The Address Book folder: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book


    C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Address Book- After you locate these folders, click them one at a time, and then press F2. Rename them to old_stationery, old_identities, and old_address respectively, and then press ENTER.

You must now delete the registry key for Outlook Express:

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

  1. Click Start, and then click Run, and then type regedit in the Open box. - Locate the following registry keys, right-click the registry key, and then click Delete: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components{44BBA840-CC51-11CF-AAFA-00AA00B6015C}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components{7790769C-0471-11D2-AF11-00C04FA35D02}
  • Quit Registry Editor.

To complete the removal procedure, rename several Outlook Express files:

  1. Click Start, point to Search, and then click For Files and Folders. - Find and rename the following files (these files are the same in Outlook Express 6.0): - Inetcomm.dll

Each of these files are located in two folders, the default file folder, and the C:\Winnt\System32\Dllcache folder. For example, the Inetcomm.dll file is located in the C:\Winnt\System32 folder, by default, and in the C:\Winnt\System32\Dllcache folder. You must rename the same file in both folders to successfully remove Outlook Express. To rename these files:

  1. Remove any CD-ROMs that may be in your CD-ROM drive. - Click the Inetcomm.dll file in the Dllcache folder, press F2, rename the file to filename.old (for example, inetcomm.old), and then press ENTER. - Click the same file in the other folder, press F2, rename the file to filename.old, and then press ENTER. - When you receive the prompt about Windows file protection, do not insert the Windows 2000 CD-ROM. Instead, click Cancel. - At the prompt about keeping unrecognized file versions, click Yes. - Repeat this process with each file in the list.

How to Reinstall Outlook Express 5.x

  1. Click Start, point to Search, and then click For Files and Folders. - In the Search for Files and Folders Named box, type msoe50.inf, and then click Search.

The default location for this file is in the C:\Winnt\Inf folder. - Right click the Msoe50.inf file, and then click Install. - Insert your Windows 2000 CD-ROM when prompted, locate the I386 folder on the CD-ROM, click Open, and then click OK.

The Outlook Express files are installed. - In the Search for Files and Folders Named box, type wab50.inf, and then click Search.

The default location for this file is in the C:\Winnt\Inf folder. - Right-click the Wab50.inf file, and then click Install. - Locate the I386 folder on your Windows 2000 CD-ROM, click Open, and then click OK.

This installs the Outlook Express address book.

Outlook Express is now reinstalled. Start Outlook Express to test its functionality. To restore your e-mail messages, address book, and other Outlook Express data, please refer to the backup articles that are listed earlier in this section.

How to Reinstall Outlook Express 6.0

To reinstall Outlook Express 6.0, you need to log on to the following Microsoft Web site and download Outlook Express 6.0. Follow the instructions on the Web site:

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