Common Tasks

FAQ Using the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe)

SCANPST.EXE buttonThe Inbox Repair Tool is your first-aid-kit when it comes down to corruptions in your Outlook’s data storage file (pst-file).

A common need for running this tool is when Outlook refuses to load or is not willing to open a pst-file and displays an error similar to;

Something is wrong with one of your data files and Outlook needs to close. Outlook might be able to fix your file. Click OK to run the Inbox Repair Tool.

Additional often seen variants are;

Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. Errors have been detected in the file <path to pst-file>.

Errors have been detected in the file <path to pst-file>.

The file <path to pst-file> is not an Outlook data file (.pst).

In other cases, you might get recommended to use this tool when you are suffering from some specific symptoms such as (but not limited to), Outlook crashing upon displaying a folder or writing data to it, mspst.dll errors in the Event Viewer, import/export not completing, several send/receive errors or view settings not being maintained.

This guide helps you locate the Inbox Repair Tool for your version of Outlook, walks you through the repair process and gives recommendations what to do to when the Inbox Repair Tool fails and how to prevent pst-file corruptions from happening in the future.

Continue reading: Using the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe)


FAQ Using images in Signatures

FAQ Forgotten PST-password

There is a handy tool to strip the password of a pst-file. The funny thing is that this tool wasn’t even written for stripping the password of a pst-file but for upgrading the pst-file to a newer format. Stripping the password was just a (handy) side effect. Don’t use this tool for any illegal activities!!!

Read the pstread.txt file included in the zip before using the utility!
Click here to download.

If this workaround doesn’t work for your pst-file, consider using a tool that has been designed for pst password recovery such as Atomic Pst Password Recovery.

FAQ Out of Office Assistant / Automatic Replies / Vacation Responder

Automatic Replies buttonAn Out of Office Assistant (OOF) allows you to set an automatic reply message when you are away. How to enable this depends on which Outlook version that you are using and which mail account type that you are using.

While this is primarily an Exchange account feature, there are several workarounds for POP3 and IMAP accounts as well.

Continue reading: Out of Office Assistant / Automatic Replies / Vacation Responder

FAQ Adding/Recreating a Mail Profile

An Outlook mail profile is a combination of settings and files to support the configured accounts. A single mail profile can contain multiple mail accounts and different account types such as POP3, IMAP, Exchange and Outlook Hotmail Connector accounts.

However, in some cases it might be recommended or required to create an additional Mail Profile or to recreate the current one.

Continue reading: Adding/Recreating a Mail Profile

FAQ Can Outlook minimize to the Notification Area?

FAQ What happens to mails dragged or moved to the top Mailbox folder (Outlook Today)?

FAQ Create a BCC rule

While you can create a rule to automatically CC someone when sending a message, unfortunately an automatic BCC is not possible. However, this is often preferred over a CC and still possible via a VBA macro solution or via an add-in.

Continue reading: Create a BCC rule

FAQ Creating a Classic View in Outlook 2003

Since a lot of people are “hooked” on the classic view of Outlook or simply don’t like the initial Outlook 2003 view I made an overview of settings to change so it looks more like previous versions of Outlook.

Change the Messages view

The Messages view is the default view for all Mail Folders. When we change this view all Mail Folders who are still in this default Messages view will change as well.

To change the Messages view go to;
View-> Arrange By-> Current View-> Define Views…-> select Messages-> button Modify-> button Other Settings…

There are 3 changes we’re going to make to this default view;

  1. Change the location of the Reading Pane to Bottom
  2. Ungroup the items
  3. Remove lines between messages

View Other Settings Although the method isn’t fail proof and it won’t change the view of the folder who are in a modified view already this will still save you a lot of time adjusting the folders. For the folders which didn’t change after you modified the Messages view there is no other way than to repeat the steps described above in that specific folder.

Drag down the Navigation Pane

This one is easy; go to the top of the Navigation Pane hold down the mouse and then drag it down

Starting Outlook in the Folder List or Shortcuts Navigation

By default Outlook starts in the Mail Navigation. This navigation only displays the Mail folders. The Folder List Navigation shows all folders that exist in the mailbox in a hierarchy. The Shortcuts Navigation can be compared to what the Outlook Bar was; here you can configure all your own shortcuts to other Outlook folders, Explorer folders or even files*
Outlook remembers in what Navigation you closed but you can also change this in the registry. This can be handy if you are an administrator and want to deploy Outlook in the Folder List or Shortcuts Navigation so you can give your users a “Classic” Navigation.

To change the start-up Navigation we must change/create a registry key.;

  1. Make sure Outlook is closed.
  2. Open your registry editor by opening the Run command and type regedit (regedt32 for Windows 2000)
  3. Locate the following key
  4. Expand the Options key and select the “WunderBar” key.
    If it doesn’t exist yet choose  Edit-> New-> Key and name it WunderBar (case sensitive!).
  5. In WunderBar select “BootModule”
    If it doesn’t exist yet choose  Edit-> New-> DWORD value and name it BootModule (case sensitive!).
  6. Double-click on the newly created value and give it the number matching the Navigation you want to start Outlook with;
    0: Mail Navigation
    5: Folder List Navigation
    6: Shortcuts Navigation; note that you must have a shortcut present to the Inbox in order for this to work
  7. Press OK on the input box and close the registry editor
  8. When you open Outlook the Outlook will start in the configured Navigation.

Not comfortable editing the registry manually? Download the reg-files here. Double-click one to import them into the registry and change the Navigation.

*When you drag & drop files or folders from Explorer into the Shortcuts Navigation a shortcut will be created automatically

FAQ Unblock Attachments

Unblock Attachments buttonBelieve it or not but some people are actually creating and sending messages with attachments that will do your computer no good. Yes, you are correct; VIRUSES! There are a lot of file types in which a virus can reside. The most known are executables (programs) and scripts (automated processes).

A filename consists out of 2 parts; a name and an extension. The extension is the part of the filename after the dot. For instance the filename document.docx. Document is the name part and docx is the extension part. The last part decides how the file opens. In our example a docx file will open with Microsoft Word.

Continue reading: Unblock Attachments