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Outlook Express Tips and Tricks

Keyboard shortcuts Read Receipt
Add new sub folders Automatically sort your mail
Sending mail in HTML Import your address books
Create multiple email accounts Change the title bar text
Change the Default Font Backup your Account Information
Create a Signature Dialup a contact
Block senders list Sending Attachments
Prompt for password Save a formatted email
File Attachment Considerations Delete attachment not the email
Drag and Drop Attachment Backup address book and put on new computer
Open Address Book from Run  Quickly add an address
Archiving OE Messages Choose Message Columns
HTML Message Won't Print Change your view
Uninstall and Reinstall OE Compressing OE Folders
Remove Windows Messenger From OE Delete mail without opening
Change sound for new messages Save a message w/o attachment
Attaching Multiple Files

Send Picture Not As Attachment

Add a Dividing Line

Attach Background Sound
Free Spell Checkers Disable the OE splash screen

Hide Outlook Bar in Outlook Express

How to Delete Outlook Express Emails
How to Backup Outlook Express Data Add a Signature to Outlook Express
Send a picture in the body of your message E-Mail Link Not Working
Managing Your Outlook Express E-mail Configure OE for Yahoo mail
Saved E-mail Template Slow Down (or Stop) Spam Email


Use the information below at your own risk.  See "Terms of Use"

 Keyboard Shortcuts

Here's a list of handy keyboard shortcuts that will work in the main and View Message windows:

[Ctrl]> Go to the next message
[Ctrl]< Go to the previous message
[Ctrl]A Select all messages (also works in the Send window)
[Ctrl]D Delete the selected message
[Ctrl]F Forward the selected message
[Ctrl]G Reply to all in a newsgroup
[Ctrl]I Go to Inbox
[Ctrl]M Send and receive mail
[Ctrl]N Open or post a new message
[Ctrl]P Print the selected message
[Ctrl]R Reply to the message author
[Ctrl][Shift]R Reply to all
[Ctrl]U Go to the next unread mail message
[Ctrl][Shift]U Go to the next unread news thread


 Read Receipt

If you would like to know if the mail you're sending is actually being read by the recipient, just activate your read receipt feature.  Here's how:  Click on Tools, choose Options, then click on the Receipts tab.  Put a check in the box that reads; "Request a read receipt for all sent messages".

NOTE: Outlook Express only supports the read receipt feature in version 5.01 and later.  You can upgrade Internet Explorer to upgrade Outlook Express.


Add New Sub Folders

 To quickly add a new subfolder to your standard set of mail folders.
  1. Right-click the folder you want to use as the parent.
  2. Then select New Folder.
  3. Enter the new folder's name.
  4. Click OK.


Automatically Sort Your Mail

The old Internet Mail in IE 3.0 had an Inbox Assistant to help you sort mail messages as they arrived, but Outlook Express's new Inbox Assistant puts it to shame.

To access the Assistant.

  1. Select Tools/Inbox Assistant from the main Outlook Express menu.
  2. Click the Add button to create a new sort rule.
  3. The old Inbox Assistant let you select only basic To, From, CC, and Subject criteria, and then only let you move corresponding messages to a new folder. The updated Inbox Assistant gives you many new options, such as deleting messages, autoreplying, leaving copies on the server, or forwarding messages to a different address.

You can even use the Inbox Assistant to sort mail that's already in your inbox. Just set up your sorting rules with the Inbox Assistant, click the Apply To button, and select your inbox. Outlook Express filters through the existing inbox messages and applies the rules accordingly.


Sending Mail in HTML

Outlook Express lets you create and view email in HTML instead of just in plain text.

To create an HTML message, click the Compose Message button on the main menu. In the New Message menu, select Format/Rich Text (HTML). A new toolbar appears that contains standard HTML formatting buttons for fonts, lists, images, and lines. You can use these buttons to create slick HTML email that your recipients can view either in HTML-ready email programs or in a Web browser.

NOTE: Not all mail software can read HTML pages, so unless you know the recipient can read this format send the mail in text format.


Import your address book

There is no need to start from scratch with Outlook Express! It's easy to import your existing Netscape or Eudora email messages and address books.

To import messages.
Select File> Import> Messages from the main menu. A Wizard steps you through the process of importing the message.

Importing an address book is even easier.

  1. Select File/Import/Address Book from the main menu.
  2. Select the email client you want to import from
  3. Click the Import button. Done!


Create Multiple Email Accounts

These days, many people have multiple email accounts, both personal and business-related.

Outlook Express makes it easy to create several accounts that you can check independently or all at once. With Inbox Assistant, you can even combine multiple accounts and put your mail in different folders based on those accounts.

When you first install Outlook Express (as part of the IE 4.0 installation) you create your first account.

To add more:

  1. Select Tools> Accounts from the Outlook Express main menu.
  2. Click the Add button
  3. Select the Mail tab to create a new mail account.

The Wizard steps you through the process of creating the new account. When the Wizard finishes, click the Close button in the Internet Accounts dialog box.

Note: You will need to know the necessary SMTP (outgoing) and POP3 (incoming) server mail addresses. Contact your Internet Service Provider for these details. 

To check mail in any or all of your accounts:

  1. Select Tools> Send and Receive from the Outlook Express menu.
  2. Choose either All Accounts or an individual account name.

This will check for mail in the account/s you have specified.


Change the title bar text

You can change the text on the Title Bar from Outlook Express to a text of your choice:
  1. Start the Registry Editor (Start> Run> type in regedit)
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Outlook Express
  3. Click on Outlook Express to open its contents in the right pane. 
  4. Select Edit from the menu.
  5. Select New> String Value
  6. Name it NewTitle
  7. Now double-click this entry and insert your text.
  8. Close the Registry editor and restart Outlook Express.


Change the Default Font

If you would like to change the font that Outlook Express uses by default when sending HTML mail. Here's how:
  1. From the menu bar select Tools, then select Stationery
  2. You can now set the Default font for both Mail and News


Backup your Accounts Information

If you want to backup your Accounts Information, follow these steps:
  1. Start the Registry Editor (Start> Run> type in regedit)
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Account Manager/Accounts
  3. Click the Accounts key.
  4. From the menu select Registry> Export Registry File
  5. Select a name for the file, select the location where you want to save it, and from the Export range, make sure that Selected branch is selected
  6. Click Save

If you want to restore your Accounts Information, simply Double click on the registry file, and the values will be imported to your registry (you will have to re-boot for the process to be completed).


Create a Signature

You can save a great deal of time by creating a signature that you can add to your emails with the click of your mouse button. In Outlook Express 5, choose Tools> Options> Signatures and click New. Type your signature in the Edit Signature box. To create an alternate signature, click New and type this second signature. Enable the "Add signatures to all outgoing messages" checkbox and click Apply, then OK. Your first signature will be the default and will appear automatically at the foot of all new messages. To use the alternate signature, highlight and delete the default one from the message, choose Insert/Signature, and choose the alternate signature to use.


Dialup a Contact

Outlook Express has the ability to dial a phone number for you. You can dial a number for one of the contacts in your address book. To do this, choose Tools> Address Book, right-click your contact's name, and choose Action> Dial. Enter the phone number (if it isn't listed already), or choose one from the drop-down list and click Call to begin dialing.


Block senders list

If you have added some-one to the block senders list and you would like to reverse this, here's how:

Choose Tools> Message Rules> Block Senders List, click the address of the person in the list, and click Remove.


Sending attachments

Before sending an attachment, please scan it to be sure it is virus-free using your favorite virus utility. Refer to the virus utility's manual for instructions on how to do this. Also, limit its size to 1 MB (maximum), to avoid lengthy downloads for the recipient. You can attach a file to a message you are composing by clicking on the Attach button on the New Message toolbar. Then locate the file you want to attach, double click on the file. This will automatically attach the file.


Prompt for password

You can keep others that may share Outlook Express with you from accessing your email account by making Outlook Express prompt for your password before accessing your email. Choose Tools/Accounts/Mail tab, select your account, and click Properties/Server tab. Disable the Remember Password check box, click OK, then Close.


Save a formatted email

If you find yourself emailing the same type of formatted email over and over again, you can save a template of the email to your hard drive for repeated use.  Here's how:  Once you have the email created to where all you have to do is add a few minor details, go to "File", click on "Save as", the subject line of your email will be the name of your saved mail as default. Choose a destination to store your email and click "OK".


File Attachment Considerations

  • If the file is larger than 2mb (2,048K), check with the recipient before sending to ensure that he/she will be able to receive it. Some Internet Service Providers place restrictions on message sizes.
  • Do not change the extension of the file. This extension (for example, .doc for Word documents, .xls for Excel spreadsheets) is used by Windows 95 to determine what program was used to create the file, and it also makes it easier for the recipient to know what type of file you have sent.
  • When sending an attachment, be specific when indicating what type of document is attached. If you know the software program and its version, include that in the message

Note:  You may find it necessary to zip or compress the files.


Delete attachment not the email

There are a few methods you can use for this action:
  1. If it is a new message, you can remove the attachment by opening the email message, right-clicking the attachment icon and selecting "Delete".  This operation will not work once the email has been moved to another folder as the "Delete" option will be grayed out.
  2. Open the email, click File/Save As and save the eml file on your Desktop.  Then open it there with Notepad or Wordpad and delete all info below the text in the body of the message all the way to the end.  Then in Notepad or Wordpad, click File/Save (NOT Save As) and you can then drag and drop it into a local mail folder in Outlook Express.
  3. Open the folder with the message(s) from which you would like to delete the attachment. Right click on the message in the message list and chose "Save message(s) to file(s)...". Save the message to your "New mail folder" which is nothing but your mail directory and give the file containing the message the extension ".cnm". A few seconds later you might be informed that new mail had arrived .... Proceed with method "deleting attachments, when mails are still in the new mail folder".


Drag and Drop Attachment

Instead of using the traditional method of attaching files to your emails, here's a quicker way of getting it done:

Open up a New email, then minimize it to the taskbar. Browse for the file you wish to attach and drag & drop it in to the email sitting on the taskbar.  

Note: You will have to hold the mouse over the email until the email opens up, then drop it in.


Backup address book and put on new computer

[You will need a blank, formatted floppy disk.]

To copy the Windows Address Book from one computer to another, use the following steps: 

  1. Start Outlook Express on the computer that has the Windows Address Book you want to copy, point to Export on the File menu, and then click Address Book. 
  2. Click Text File (Comma Separated Values), and then click Export. 
  3. Type a descriptive name in the Save Exported File As box, click Browse, click a floppy drive in the Save In box, and then click Save. 
  4. Click Next, click the appropriate check boxes to select the fields you want to export in the "Select the fields you wish to export" box, and then click Finish. 
  5. Quit Outlook Express, and then insert the floppy disk in the computer you want to copy the Windows Address Book to. 
  6. Start Outlook Express on the computer you want to copy the Windows Address Book to, point to Import on the File menu, and then click Address Book.

NOTE: To import a comma-separated file in Outlook Express 5, point to Import on the File menu, click Other Address Book, click "Text File (Comma Separated Values)," and then click Import. Skip to step 8. 

  1. Click Text File (Comma Separated Values), and then click Import. 
  2. Click Browse, click the appropriate floppy drive in the Look In box, click the file name you typed in step 3, click Open, and then Next. 
  3. Click the appropriate check boxes to select the fields you want to import in the "Map the fields you wish to import" box, and then click Finish. 
  4. If you receive a message "Would you like to replace the existing entry with the import entry?," click Yes To All to replace all duplicate entries, and then quit Outlook Express.  Reopen outlook Express and the address book will function normally.


Open Address Book from Run

Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express store your address book information in a file called "Windows Address Book".  To access this file, go to Start, type in: wab then press enter on your keyboard.


Quickly add an address

When you're in the Inbox, double-click on the message. This will display it in its own window. Then, on the 'From' line (in the message header), RIGHT-click on the name of the person or company that sent the message, and
select the "Add to Address Book" option. The name will be added.


Archiving OE Messages

If your Outlook Express folders are getting pretty full. Here is how you can empty the folders while saving the valuable message:
  1. Run Outlook Express 
  2. Select the folder you want to save.
  3. Click Create Mail and enter a name for your backup in the Subject line. 
  4. Drag all the messages you want to save from the selected folder into the new mail message.

Note: You can use Ctrl + A to select all the messages. Dragging the messages to the new mail message will attach all the files to the new message. 

  1. Choose File/Save As
  2. Locate a folder for your file and click Save.

Now, you can double-click your new file to read any of the saved messages.


Choose Message Columns

If you don't like the default settings for the message columns, here is how you can change this feature:
  1. Run Outlook Express
  2. Choose View/Columns.
  3. When the Columns dialog box opens, deselect the check boxes of columns that you don't need and click OK.


HTML Message Won't Print

There is a bug in Outlook Express and Internet Explorer 5.0 and earlier. You may come across blank pages being printed. If this should occur, I recommend upgrading to the highest version as Microsoft fixed this in Outlook 5.5 / Internet Explorer 5.5.  However, if you should still have problems, here is what Microsoft recommends as a fix for printing HTML formatted messages:
  1. In MS IE, OE or Exchange click the View menu> Encoding > clear the Auto-Select box.

Note: Prior to making any changes to your registry ensure to make a back up copy. If you do not feel comfortable or are not at an experience level to perform this task, then do not attempt it.

  1. Run Regedit and go to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
  2. In the right hand pane look for the "Use StyleSheets" String Value.
  3. Create it if not present, or edit it to change its value from no to yes to enable the use of Style Sheets.
  4. Then try to print a web page from Windows Explorer, MS IE or OE.

If the printing function is still disabled, if you get a blank page, or if your printed page(s) look garbled, delete the "Use StyleSheets" value altogether. Exit the Registry Editor when done.


Change your view

The Address Book in OE5 offers you a new View option.  You are able to view the Address Book in a Windows Explorer type 2-pane view.  This view displays all of your folders and groups in the left pane and all of your contacts in the right pane. To set this new view, run Outlook Express and click Addresses. In the Address Book, choose View/Folders and Groups.


Uninstall and Reinstall OE

This is the easy way to uninstall and reinstall OE.
You may require a Windows CD or your computer's Restore CD.
1.    Select Start Button / Control Panel / Add & Remove Programs / Add & Remove Windows Components
2.    Find Internet Explorer in the list (OE is part of it) and uncheck it
3.    Click Next, and then Finish, exit Control Panel and reboot computer
4.    Select Start Button / Control Panel / Add & Remove Programs / Add & Remove Windows Components
5.    Find Internet Explorer in the list (OE is part of it) and check it
6.    Click Next, and then Finish, exit Control Panel and reboot computer.
If this procedure doesn't work, I suggest you download a fresh copy of IE or OE from and install it over your current copy.


Compressing OE Folders

If you would like to compress your mail folders manually (even though OE does this automatically), here's how:
  1. Open Outlook Express
  2. Select Tools
  3. Select Options
  4. Select the Maintenance tab
  5. Select the option titled: Clean Up Now
  6. In the Local File Cleanup windows, select Compact
  7. Click Close


Remove Windows Messenger From OE

This tweak is used to remove MSN Instant Messenger functionality and integration from Outlook Express.
  1. Open your registry and find or create the key below. 
  2. Create a new DWORD value, or modify the existing value, called "Hide Messenger" and set it according to the value data below. 
  3. Exit your registry, you may need to restart or log out of Windows for the change to take effect. 

Note: This tweak should also remove AOL Instant Messenger 5 integration. 


Delete Mail Without Opening

You can turn off the preview pane, which would then require you to double-click on a message to open it. To remove the pane, click on View>> Layout and un-check "Show preview pane".

Also, you can setup a Preview button on the top toolbar in OE to toggle this effect on/off. Go to View>> Layout>> Customize Toolbar.  From the left pane select Preview and move it to the right pane, click close. You should now have a button on the toolbar that says Preview. You can now toggle between having the bottom pane closed or opened.


Change sound for new messages

You can change the sound for New Mail Notification under Control Panel>> Sounds.


Save a message w/o attachment

There are 2 ways, neither of which is perfect, but both will get it done.

1) Forward the message to yourself, remove the attachment, then click
File>> Copy to Folder, or just mail it to yourself. The disadvantage of this method is that the message now appears to have come from you, not the original sender.

2) Click File>> Save As and save the message as type *.eml, or just drag the message onto your desktop. Open that file in Notepad, scroll down to the beginning of the encoded attachment (you can't miss it), and delete everything below that. Save the file, then drag the *.eml and drop it in an OE folder. The disadvantage is that it is time consuming, but the original headers remain.


Attaching Multiple Files

You can attach files to your message three ways:
  1. Use the paper clip button on the Compose message window 
  2. Using Windows Explorer and then navigating back to your Compose message window
  3. Drag and drop the file into your message window.

To attach multiple files, first compose your message in the Compose/Reply Message window. Next, open Windows Explorer and highlight all the files you want to attach. Third, drag the files over the top of the New or Reply Message window that is on your toolbar and hold them there long enough for the window to become active. Release your mouse button of the message. There you are-multiple files attached at once.


Send Picture Not As Attachment

Instead of sending the picture as an attachment--in which case, the person has to open the photo separately, you can insert the photo directly into the message. (First make sure that your recipient can receive HTML messages.) Here's how to include a graphic directly into a mail message:
  1. Click the Compose Message icon on the toolbar. (If you don't see a toolbar of options just below the Subject line, choose Format + Rich Text [HTML] to make the toolbar appear.) 
  2. Type the body of your message. 
  3. Place the cursor wherever you want to insert the picture. 
  4. Click the Insert Picture button on the toolbar (it looks like a postcard with mountains on it). 
  5. Click the Browse button and navigate your way to the picture you want to use. 
  6. Select the picture and then click Open. 
  7. Click OK. 
  8. Click [Send]


Add a Dividing Line

Here is how to add a separator (a dividing line) to a message:
  1. Click the Compose Message icon on the toolbar. (If you don't see a toolbar of options just below the Subject line, choose Format + Rich Text [HTML] to make the toolbar appear.) 
  2. Type the text of your message. 
  3. Place the cursor where you want the separator to appear and then click the Insert Horizontal Line button (it has--of all things--a horizontal line on it). 
  4. Click [Send].


Attach Background Sound

If you would like to send an email with background music that will automatically play when opened, here's how:
  1. Create a new email message.
  2. Ensure that it is in HTML format by going to Format on the toolbar and selecting Rich Text (HTML).
  3. Then select Format>> Background>> Sound
  4. Use the Browse button to select the sound file you want to play in the background. 
  5. Specify whether you want the sound file to be played continuously or a certain number of times. 
  6. Click OK. 

Note: Be sure that the file size is not too large. Large files can take a great deal of time to download which can be very annoying to the recipient.


Free Spell Checkers


Occasionally you need to check the spelling of words in an application that does not include a spelling checker and you don't want to launch your word processor just for that. This is when tinySpell becomes handy. It is a small utility that allows you to easily and quickly check the spelling of words in any Windows application. tinySpell monitors your typing on the fly and alerts you whenever it detects a misspelled word. It also checks the spelling of every word you copy to the clipboard.
tinySpell installs itself in the system tray for easy access. It comes with an American-English dictionary containing more than 110,000 words.

Checking your spelling is simple:
While you are typing, tinySpell monitors the text you enter and whenever it detects a misspelled word it beeps and the tinySpell icon in the system tray turns from white to yellow.

Correcting a misspelled word is also simple:
When a misspelled word is detected, click the tinySpell icon or press the hot-key to pop up a list of suggested replacement words from which you can select a correction. The selected word is inserted into your document, or is copied to the clipboard (so you can paste it in your document), or both (depending on your settings).

Author Version 1.3 548KB All Windows

Download TinySpell Version 1.3



A free program, made to allow people to use Spell Checker in Outlook Express. This is a stand alone application, that incorporates in Outlook Express.

The purpose of this program, is to supply for free the ability to use Spelling in OE, without the need to purchase other software, such as MS Word,Works, or Office.

Author Version 2.1 2-12-03 All Windows 596KB

Download Vampire Version 2.1


Disable the OE splash screen

Warning: Making mistakes in the Windows Registry can have serious effects on your Windows OS. Be sure that you make a fresh backup copy before making any changes. Use the registry editor at your own risk.
  1. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK
  2. Navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER>>Identities>>{GUID}>>Software>>Microsoft>>Outlook Express>>5.0

Note: GUID is your Global Unique IDentifier for your identity.

  1. Click once of the 5.0 entry to empty its contents into the right pane.
  2. Right click an empty area of the right pane.
  3. Select New>> DWORD
  4. Name this new DWORD value NoSplash.
  5. Now, double-click your new NoSplash entry and enter a value of 1.
  6. Exit the registry editor and reboot your system.


Hide Outlook Bar in Outlook Express

Since Outlook Express already has a layout that shows folders that duplicate the Outlook Bar. You can just go ahead and hide it by using Window Layout Properties.

Select View>> Layout. When the Window Layout Properties dialog box appears, simply deselect the Outlook Bar check box and click OK.


Window Layout Properties Dialog Box

How to Delete Outlook Express Emails Without Opening Them

By default, emails automatically open in a "Preview Pane" just below your Inbox list whenever you click on an email. Due to viruses, worms and other undesirables, it may not be a good idea to let Outlook Express display these messages automatically.

Also, emails that contain images can be tagged by the author to report that this email was opened by the user giving them proof of a valid email address. This confirmation would result in you getting more SPAM in your inbox.

Outlook Express has provided a method of deleting a message without ever opening them rendering them harmless. As you know, most of the time you can tell what kind of message it is by the subject line, so there is no need to take a chance on opening it.

To setup OE to delete an email without opening it:

  1. Open your Inbox and click View in the top menu bar
  2. Select Layout and a Window Layout Properties box will open
  3. Uncheck the box that says Show Preview Pane.
  4. Click Apply and OK.

This will mean that only your Inbox list of messages will be displayed. To view a message, just double-click it, and it will open in a new window. To Delete a message, just click once on it to highlight it and then click the Delete button. It will now be sent to your Deleted Items Folder and can be restored from there if you make a mistake.

Toggle the Preview Pane

You can also setup Outlook Express to toggle the Preview Pane on and off. Here's how:

  1. Open your Inbox and click View in the top menu bar
  2. Select Layout...
  3. Click the Customize Toolbar button
  4. In the Customize Toolbar window and inside the menu titled "Available toolbar buttons", scroll the list and locate "Preview Pane".
  5. Click once on Preview Pane and click the "ADD" button to the right. The Preview Pane entry will now reside in the "Current toolbar options" window.
  6. Again, click on the Preview Pane entry to highlight it and select the "Move" button options to locate the Preview Pane button to a desired location on your toolbar.

Now that you have the Preview Pane button on your toolbar, you can click on your email message to highlight it and select the Preview Pane button in your toolbar to preview this message. Clicking the Preview Pane button again will return you to your previous setting.


How to Backup Outlook Express Data

Below are detailed instructions for backing up your Outlook Express data:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Maintenance tab, click Store Folder.
  3. Select the folder location, and then press CTRL+C to copy the location.
  4. Click Cancel, and then click Cancel again to close the dialog box.
  5. Click Start, and then click Run.
  6. In the Open box, press CTRL+V, and then click OK.
  7. On the Edit menu, click Select All.
  8. On the Edit menu, click Copy, and then close the window.
  9. Right-click any empty space on your desktop, click New, and then click Folder.
  10. Type "mail backup" for the folder name, and then press ENTER.
  11. Double-click the Mail Backup folder to open it.
  12. On the Edit menu, click Paste.
  13. Close the Mail Backup window.

Copy the contents of the "mail backup" onto a floppy (or similar device).

Please check the contents of the floppy for these following files:

  • SentItems.dbx
  • DeletetedItems.dbx
  • Folders.dbx
  • Inbox.dbx
  • Offline.dbx
  • Outbox.dbx
  • pop3idil.dbx

If the contents on the floppy are similar to the contents as specified above (they do not need to be all the same) then perform the following steps to import them to the new system:

  1. Insert the floppy drive into the new drive.
  2. Make a folder and name it: "backup" and place it on the desktop.
  3. Copy the contents of the floppy drive into the "backup" folder on the desktop.
  4. Open Outlook Express
  5. Click File in the menu bar, select Import and then select Messages
  6. Click Microsoft Outlook Express 5
  7. Click Next
  8. Click the radio button for "Import mail from an OE6 store directory"
  9. Click OK
  10. Click Browse button
  11. Double-click Desktop and then select Backup folder
  12. Click OK
  13. Click Next
  14. Click on the radio button of "All Folders"
  15. Click Next, this will restore all the data into the Outlook Express boxes
  16. Click Finish


Add a Signature to Outlook Express

Adding a signature can be a very good time saver. I use a signature block that is 7 lines long. So, typing that in with every e-mail that I send is not a option. Here's how to set it up:
  1. Open Outlook Express
  2. Go to Tools>> Options...
  3. In the Options menu, choose Signatures, then select New

Outlook Express - Options Window

  1. In the Edit Signature section, make sure that the "Text" selection is ticked. Or, if you would like to browse for a signature on your hard drive, you can tick the "File" selection.
  2. Enter the text for your new signature. Most commonly used signatures include:
  • Name
  • Company
  • Title
  • Web Address of company
  • E-mail Address
  • Company Slogan

Here is a sample of what mine looks like:

Vince Underwood
President, 5 Star Support
Microsoft MVP Windows Shell/User
admin@[no spam]
A Computer Learning Environment

  1. After you've finished inputting your new signature, click Apply

Your new signature will now be available to use with your outgoing mail.

Here is how to attach your new signature to an Outgoing message:

  1. Open Outlook Express
  2. Click the Create Mail button
  3. In the New Message window, type your message as you normally would
  4. Place your cursor where you would like your signature to appear
  5. Go to Insert>> Signature>> Select the signature that you would like to use

Outlook Express - New Message Window

Your signature will now appear in the body of your email message.


Send a picture in the body of your message

If you are sending a group of pictures, then it is probably best to send them as an attachment to your e-mail message. But, if you are only sending one or two pictures, then the person you are sending to might find it more convenient to have them right in the body of the message so that they don't have to go and open the attachment. Here's how:
  1. Click the Create Mail button in the top toolbar.
  2. Type the body of your message.
  3. Click in the body of your message where you would like to insert your picture. The cursor will now blink at this location.
  4. Click the Insert button on the New Message toolbar.
  5. Click the Browse button and navigate to the picture you want to use.
  6. Select the picture and click Open. Then click OK.

Next, I will show you how you can resize the picture to any desired size:

  1. Click once on the picture in the body of your e-mail message.
  2. Place your cursor over any of the small square boxes that reside on the pictures edges until the cursor changes into two arrows.
  3. Left click once and while holding the mouse button down, drag the picture to the desired size.

Next, I will show you how you can format the picture:

  1. Right click the picture in the body of your e-mail message.
  2. Select Properties (See resulting image below).

Sample Picture Dialog Box in Outlook Express

  • From here you can insert "Alternate Text" into the picture so that the recipient will see what you've typed when they mouse-over the picture.
  • Or, you can modify the layout of the picture, such as; align it to the left or right by clicking the dropdown menu labeled "Alignment". Once you open this menu, you will see a large selection of options available. The default setting is "Baseline".
  • Or, you can add a border to the picture by simply placing a number inside the box labeled "Border Thickness". The larger the number, the thicker the border.
  • Or, you can indent your picture by placing a number inside the two "Alignment" boxes labeled "Horizontal" and "Vertical". The larger the number, the larger your picture will be indented.
  1. Feel free to play with any of these settings. Everything can be easily reversed. Once you have everything just the way you want it and you have filled in the "Send To" and "Subject", click Send


E-Mail Link Not Working
An emailed link is click and does nothing. If you are using Internet Explorer, there are several methods that could fix this issue:

Method #1

Open IE, go to Tools>> Internet Options>> Programs tab>> Click the Reset Web Settings button>> Uncheck the "Reset My Home Page" check box, then click Yes.

Method #2

Open IE, go to Tools>> Internet Options>> Programs tab>> Make sure the checkbox titled "Internet Explorer should check to see whether it is the default browser" is checked. If it is not, then check it and Apply the change. Reboot your computer and reopen IE.

Method #3

Open IE, go to Tools>> Internet Options>> Programs tab>> Make sure that Outlook Express is listed as your default email program under the "Internet programs" options.

Method #4

Go to Start>> Run: type in: REGSVR32 URLMON.DLL [Enter] or Click Yes

You will receive a "procedure completed" message.

Method #5

Open Outlook Express, go to Tools>> Options>> Read tab>> Uncheck the "Read all messages in plain text" checkbox>> Click Apply.

Method #6

If all else has failed, then it must be that your firewall security settings are set too high. Also, check to make sure that a popup window blocker is not blocking your browser windows from loading.


Managing Your Outlook Express E-mail

If you have a variety of contacts that each send you quite a bit of mail. It may be easier for you to have Outlook Express sort these e-mails in to individual folders for you. This will make for a much less cluttered inbox. Here's how:
  1. Open Outlook Express
  2. In the left pane and under the "Folders", click the "Local Folders" folder towards the top
  3. Go to File>> Folder>> New (CTRL + SHIFT + E)
  4. Type in the name for your new folder under "Folder name:". In this example I will use: "Shift Manager" as the name for this new folder.
  5. Click OK

The new "Shift Manager" folder will now be created and reside within the rest of your local folders.

To make each e-mail from the "Shift Manager" automatically go to your new folder, you need to set up an e-mail rule for Outlook Express to follow, here's how:

  1. With Outlook Express open, go to Tools>> Message Rules>> Mail...
  2. The New Mail Rule window will now be shown. Under item #1 (Select the Conditions for your rule), place a checkmark in the checkbox titled: "Where the From line contains people"
  3. Under item #2 (Select the Actions for your rule), place a checkmark in the checkbox titled: "Move it to the specified folder".
  4. Now there will be two links residing in the item #3 box (Rule Description). You will need to click each link separately and fill in the appropriate information pertaining to each rule. In this case, you would click the two links named:
    • Contains people:
      Place the name of the person sending you the e-mail in this box. Or you can select the individual from the Address Book by clicking the Address Book button. Once you have selected the name, click "Add", then click OK.
    • Specified:
      Click the folder that you would like associated with this rule and then click OK.
  5. Under item #4 (Name of the rule), for this example I will name it "Shift Manager". Then click OK and the OK again.

The new "Shift Manager" folder is now set up to receive e-mail from the person that you've specified in your rules.


Configure Outlook Express for Yahoo mail

  1. From the Tools menu, choose "Accounts."
  2. Select the "Mail" tab.
  3. Click the "Add" button.
  4. From the Add menu, click "Mail."
  5. In the text box labeled Display Name, type your name and click "Next."
  6. In the Email Address box, type your Yahoo! Mail address (be sure to include "") and click "Next."
  7. Under "My incoming mail server is a..." select "POP3."
  8. Type "" in the Incoming Mail (POP3, IMAP, or HTTP) Server box.
  9. Type "" in the Outgoing Mail (SMTP) Server box.
  10. Click "Next."
  11. In the Account Name box, type your Yahoo! Mail ID (your email address without the "").
  12. In the Password box, type your Yahoo! Mail password.
  13. If you want Outlook Express to remember your password, check the "Remember password" box.
  14. Do not check the boxes labeled "Log on using Secure..."
  15. Click "Next."
  16. Click "Finish."
Important: The Yahoo! Mail SMTP server now requires authentication. To turn this setting on:
  1. From the Tools menu, choose "Accounts."
  2. Select the "Mail" tab.
  3. Double-click the account labeled ""
  4. Select the "Servers" tab.
  5. Check the box next to "My Server Requires Authentication."
  6. Click "OK."
To control deletion of messages from the Yahoo! Mail Server:
  1. From the Tools menu, choose "Accounts."
  2. Select the "Mail" tab.
  3. Double-click the account labeled ""
  4. Select the "Advanced" tab.
  5. In the Delivery section at the bottom of the window, check "Leave a copy of messages on server" if you want to save your Yahoo! Mail messages on the Yahoo! Mail server as well as on your local computer. Do not check this box if you want your messages to be deleted from the Yahoo! Mail server once you have received them in Outlook Express.
If your ISP blocks port 25 or if you're unable to send email, then you will need to use port 587 when sending via Yahoo!'s SMTP server. To make this change, please follow the directions below:
  1. From the "Tools" menu, select "Accounts"
  2. Select your Yahoo! POP account and click on the "Properties" button
  3. Click on the "Advanced" tab
  4. Next to "Outgoing server (SMTP), change port 25 to 587
  5. Click "Apply", then click "OK" and "Close"


Saved E-mail Template

Posted 4.13.06

Subject: Outlook Express Patch KB911567

If you are saving an e-mail template on your local drive, you will have lost the ability to send this unsent e-mail template once activated by Outlook Express by installing the subject patch (above). The result will now be a 'sent' message template and cannot be resent.

For more information on this patch, click the link below:

To return the functionality of your saved e-mail template, you will need to uninstall the patch.

Warning: Please be aware of the inherent security risk by uninstalling this patch. See the above link for further details before deciding to uninstall the patch.

Uninstalling an MS Update:

1. Go to Start>> Control Panel>> Add/Remove Programs
2. Be sure that there is a checkmark the "Show Updates" checkbox.
3. Scroll the list until you find the subject patch number (911567)
4. Click on the patch entry and select 'Remove'. Follow the prompts to uninstall the update.
5. Reboot your system

If you have Automatic Update configured to automatically download and install your updates, you will end up with this update reinstalled into your system again. To stop this behavior, you will need to reconfigure your Automatic Update settings.

Reconfigure your Update Settings:

1. Go to Start>> Run>> Type in: sysdm.cpl [Enter] or click OK
2. In the System Properties window, select the Automatic Updates tab
3. Tick either of the two listed entries:
  • Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them.
  • Notify me but don't automatically download or install them.

4. Click OK and Exit the System Properties window.

Now that you have reconfigured your settings, you still see the yellow install shield in your taskbar. You will need to tell Automatic Update to ignore this update, here's how:

1. Click the yellow install shield in your taskbar.
2. Select 'Custom' installation.
3. In the resulting window, uncheck the update and click OK.
4. Check the box that states; "Do not tell me about it again" (or similar).


Slow Down (or Stop) Spam Email

Many websites use JavaScripts to extract your "Default" email address. This can occur even if you do not have Outlook Express running during the visit. The script is designed to access this information from your registry. If you load Outlook Express with a fake email address, this will stop the script with gaining access to your real one. Here's how:
  1. Open Outlook Express.
  2. Select Tools>> Accounts
  3. From the Internet Accounts window, be sure that the 'Mail' tab is selected.
  4. At the right side of the windows, select Add>> Mail.
  5. The Internet Connection Wizard will now start. Enter in a Display name that your would like to use (eg: nospam). Click Next
  6. Enter a totally fictitious email address in the "email address" textbox (eg: fake@email.addy). Click Next
  7. At the email server names window, you must enter in fake email servers in order for Outlook Express to accept your new email address. In the Incoming mail textbox, enter in: pop.xspam.xspam. In the Outgoing mail textbox, enter in: smtp.xspam.xspam. Click Next.
  8. At the Internet mail Logon windows, type in an account name that you would like to use (eg:stopspam). Be sure to leave the password textbox blank and uncheck the "Remember password" box. Click Next.
  9. At the properties window, type in a fake Mail Account name (eg: stop.spam.spam). Under "User Information", enter a name (eg: stopspam) and then enter your fake Email address: fake@email.addy. Be sure to uncheck the "Include this account when receiving mail or syncronizing" checkbox. Click OK.
  10. The Wizard will now quit. Make sure each time you open a "New Message" window, you must select a valid email account from the dropdown list in the "From" field.


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