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Microsoft Outlook will warn you when another program attempts to access its address book because many viruses do so in an attempt to spread.

A program is trying to access my email addresses - why?

If you've seen this popup message:

outlook popup message

Then you know the question. Why is Outlook telling you that someone is accessing your contacts?

If you have to ask, then chances are the news isn't good.

Microsoft added this warning to Outlook in response to a series of email-borne viruses that, once they infect, try to spread by sending email to everyone to everyone in your address book. Now, when a program tries to that Outlook asks if it's okay before actually allowing that program to see your contacts.

There are legitimate cases where a program would want to access your address book. For example my cell phone comes with software that allows me to synchronize my address book with one kept on the phone. But the important point is that I know it, and I know when it's happening. If that message pops up at some time when it's not expected then it might be cause for concern.

The concern, of course, is that you might be infected with one of those viruses. And you can guess my advice: update your virus scanner and scan right away.

And for what it's worth, it's a vicious circle: virus writers have found ways around the protection afforded by this feature in Outlook, and Microsoft has patched those vulnerabilities. The virus writers are probably busy at work looking for a new way around those patches.

The moral is the same as my advice: regularly update your virus scanner and scan.

Article C2097 - July 4, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

July 13, 2004 8:21 AM

I've been getting this message the first time I launch a new message template every time I reopen Outlook. That is, I start Outlook, and then the first time I create a new message, I get the warning. This only began happening AFTER I updated Office XP to SP 3. I believe it may have something to do with Microsoft trying to add security to my sysetm, and the fact that I use Word as my e.mail editor.

I also get an extremely brief flash of this message when I synch Outlook with my Palm Tungsten T3, but I think the Palm OS or the Key Folders software I'm using is smart enough to "click" the allow button.

July 28, 2004 11:13 AM

Is there any way to disable it completely?

July 28, 2004 7:26 PM

Not that I'm aware of.

Lee Oughton
August 3, 2004 11:02 PM

I have got this message and too noted that it only appeared after installing SP3. I was really worried that it could be a virusand have reformatted the hard drive and reinstalled windows.

If anyone works out how to sort the problem please dolet me know!


August 4, 2004 6:01 AM

Is there any way to disable it completely?

August 4, 2004 10:02 AM

Not that I'm aware of.

August 25, 2004 6:44 AM

It just started happening to me also. I think that it's Word, since I have word as my email editor.

Mel Woolf
September 15, 2004 8:55 AM

I'm getting this message also. My PST file is on a shared network drive. Is it possible for the message on my machine to be displayed if a machine (other than mine) with access to that shared drive gets a virus?

September 15, 2004 9:57 AM

No. The message is only triggered by a program running on your machine.

September 24, 2004 11:29 AM

I hate Microsoft sometimes. There's no way to unistall this "feature" without reinstalling Windows all together. This is a major problem when it's running on an Ap server such as a phone system.

September 30, 2004 9:00 AM

That "error" is normal. It comes from and new function of office sp3, has it been explained later.

During the normal email create or reply, this errors occurs when ms word is used to edit the emails. Try to disable word as the default email editor, and this error will be gone.

October 6, 2004 11:53 PM


I want to disable this 'feature' only for Remote Assistance emails in a school environment.

Is there a way to give 'trust' to the Remote Assistance in XP?


Bob R
October 8, 2004 11:46 AM

So what do you do when you get the message (pops up every time I try to open an email), and Norton...updated with the latest definitions...detects no viruses?

October 8, 2004 6:57 PM

One of the earlier commenters mentioned that he experienced this when Word was selected as his email editor. Turning that off seemed to fix the problem.

October 13, 2004 4:15 PM

Looks like it IS possible to turn off this annoying feature, but not easy.

This link goes to the Microsoft support page that explains how.

November 12, 2004 8:28 AM

I agree that it has to do with SP3, but I have also found if you have a full version of Adobe Acrobat installed you will get this message. If you uninstall Acrobat and keep SP3, the message disappears. Just another Microsoft incompatibility.

November 16, 2004 8:27 AM


Outlook Redemption software

ClickYes Software

This will fix your problem.


February 16, 2005 11:12 AM

I have similar problem. There are two user accounts on my laptop. One is local and works without any problems. Second is for company and it works in local networks (connect to domain and bla bla bla). This account has problems with Outlook. Something is trying to access address book. Virus is updated. I'll try to disable Word, but not sure if this will work... Anyways, I can do this only from company...

Any ideas, why it works differently on the same computer?

March 3, 2005 12:18 AM

try this free program:

April 28, 2005 11:28 AM

How annoying is this!
Thanks to the poster for the Acrobat tip. Removing Acrobat fixed the problem. Here's the tech support url from Acrobat about this:

[Copyrighted information removed. Just follow the link above. -Leo]

Rita Peterson
May 21, 2005 2:54 AM

Please i forgot my password on this yahoo mail
Please help me, mail me on if you can help.


May 21, 2005 11:29 AM

You want this article: - it applies to Yahoo as well.

Paul $
May 25, 2005 9:32 AM

God bless Leo and Caroline for her Adobe post on this issue! Definetly turned out to be our companies problem.

The Adobe tech site pointed me in the right direction but failed to resolve the Acrobat 6.0\Outlook\Word isssue I was experiencing in the best possible way.
Adobe fails to instruct users that they can also remove the "Attach as PDF" feature from Outlook by modify the Acrobat install from Add/Remove Programs.This stops the access pop-up.

June 1, 2005 11:56 AM

i lost my yahoo account password i don't remmeber my password and secret question.that is my yahoo acount id would u help me ..........
thank you..

June 2, 2005 1:40 PM

This article talks about Hotmail but it applies to Yahoo as well:

June 28, 2005 10:05 AM

Please i forgot my password and secret question ..thats my e-mail Id
can u tell me how i can get my ID


August 19, 2005 1:00 PM

i found this solution and it solved the issue for me:

"The solution is to search for PDFMOutlook.dll on your machine. It's probably located here:

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0\PDFMaker\Mail\Outlook

Once you find it rename it PDFMOutlook.dllold and your problem is solved.:) "

Thanks to Brian "swngcat2000"

August 28, 2005 3:21 AM

Maybe a little late to post this, anyway, found a nice solution for this problem. Its called "Advanced security for Outlook" and its a litte freeware program from MapiLab. In my case the message popped up every time I wanted to send a new mail message and the reason was a dll from Adobe (I have Adobe Acrobat Professional on the computer) Look for MapiLab in Google ...

Roger Bone
January 20, 2006 3:26 PM

The problem with outlook message was fixed by this, thanks very much Brian

February 27, 2006 1:10 PM

The information from Icelocked about MAPILab help me out. Thanks!

June 12, 2006 2:21 PM

I have an easier fix.
You just need to disable to Outlook module in Acrobat 6.0.

Browse and look for the file "PDFMOutlook.dll" in c:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat 6.0\PDFMaker\Mail\Outlook.

Then, rename the file to "PDFMOutlook.dll.old"

That should fix the problem

June 27, 2006 12:17 PM

Thanks a pile to Anonymous (June 12/06). Your fix is perfect. One more cause of irritation off the list! By the time this computer is obsolete, it will be working perfectly...

April 17, 2007 6:57 AM

There's a terrific Outlook add-in at:
that identifies which program is trying to access, and fixes it. It was how I found out that PDFMOutlook.dll is the culprit.
Adobe website acknowledges this as a problem... see

[HTML Link Edited]

January 26, 2009 11:28 PM

OK , that is nice but still , i can't see any solution to disable this message if i want that .

February 4, 2010 6:50 AM

thanks jon! this solved it for me

August 3, 2010 5:44 AM

Hello JB,

I am also getting same prblem from outlook warning saying that " A program is trying to access email address from outlook" I am using Windows XP and microsoft outlook 2003.I went to the website which u mentioned that has worked for u. But I cud not find teh solution there. I am taken to FAQ'spage when I click on "add-in".kindly help where can I find the add-in? is it free?

Anyone of u if u know soln pls help.Awaiting for ur reply.

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