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It's possible to set Outlook Express up with no Accounts menu item. I can only speculate on why that functionality exists.

I have no "Accounts..." menu item in Outlook Express. Why?

This took a little bit more than the usual head-scratching. After all was said and done, I came to find this: How to Remove the Accounts Option from the Tools Menu in Outlook Express. The exact oposite of the situation at hand. It turns out that there's a registry value that can be set to remove the "Accounts..." menu in Outlook Express. We set the value of that key to zero and the menu item returned.

The question we're left with is "Why?". Why didn't a clean install of Outlook Express reset the value?

My guess is that this particular setting is intended for situations such as corporations with strict internal email policies - the kind of company that insists you use company email for company business only. In an attempt to enforce that, disabling the accounts menu prevents employees from setting up additional non-work related accounts.

If that's the case, then it's fairly important that any install or re-install of the software not override the setting. Otherwise employees could easily circumvent the intended restriction.

Anyway, that's all speculation on my part. I could be wrong.

Article C1833 - August 18, 2003 « »

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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?

December 15, 2003 12:17 PM

Is there a similar process for Outlook 2000? I have lost the "Tools/Accounts" menu item!

December 15, 2003 12:27 PM

I don't have a direct equivalent (though I've heard of this happening before). The workaround in the past has been to use the mail control-panel applet to configure accounts.


April 28, 2004 4:25 AM

Help, I just installed OL 2000 and have the same prob, need to get accounts back!

April 28, 2004 9:24 AM

Same workaround. Go to control panel, Mail settings. You can set up your accounts from there.

Good luck!


May 5, 2004 6:04 AM

Hi, I don't have a "mail" option in my control panel. Seems the administrator has hidden that. Any ideas how I can start the mail services thing? E.g., the name of the exe?

May 5, 2004 9:48 AM

Actually at that point if your admin has gone through that much trouble, I'd work with him/her to get your needs met.

To actually answer your question, TweakUI may help re-enable it. (http://d-tweakui ) and I believe it's called mlcfg32.cpl.

July 5, 2004 12:21 PM

Lost Accounts tab in Outlook Express I have the tab in Microsoft Outlook but it doesent work. Please someone help Thanks Stuart

Fred Marx
February 10, 2005 6:00 PM

Can you explain how to get the Accounts Tab back in Outlook Express Version 6 when using Windows XP?

Thank's in advance - glad I found this site.

Fred Marx

April 7, 2005 3:08 AM

i have no accounts menue item in outlook express, why

May 7, 2005 4:50 AM

Okay, I have a computer that my brother got me for a good price from where he works. When I opened OE6, to setup my account, there was no accounts menu. I restored that from the information given above by changing the 1 to a 0 in the registry. Now I have setup my account and it downloads the email but it won't let me read them or delete them and when I close OE6 and open it again it downloads the same emails all over again. I have noticed that if I restart the laptop and open OE6 it will let me read one email and that's all. I have Windows 2000. I also can't send email. I get the following error when I open an email: Message could not be displayed
Outlook Express encountered an unexpected problem while displaying this message. Check your computer for low memory or low disk space and try again.

Any help would be appreciated.

May 15, 2005 8:06 PM

I used the control panel suggestion you made and that worked fine. I found the same applet under tools/services. In pervious installations I had a drop down arrow next to the send button, so I could choose which email account to send my message from. Now there is no choice. My ips support person suggested that I reinstall Outlook. I can do that, but prefer a simple fix if posible.

Thank you!


February 4, 2006 2:01 AM

I have computer installed Windows 2000 professional. I am going to create an hotmail account in Outlook express 6 to access my mail from hotmail. But it gives following error. I do not know how to configure Hotmail account in OE6. Please help me.
Error as follows:- Unable to poll for new messages on your HTTP server. Account: 'Hotmail', Server: '', Protocol: HTTPMail, Server Response: 'Access to Hotmail via Outlook and Outlook Express now requires a subscription. Please sign up at', Port: 0, Secure(SSL): No, Socket Error: 122, Error Number: 0x80004005

February 4, 2006 10:39 AM

Read the error message you just posted: you cannot use Outlook for free Hotmail accounts any more.

Ratheesh Nair
May 10, 2006 11:15 PM

How to configure outlook express in window 2003 server.when i configure gets error message.u have to take subscription from msn.pls help.How i can configure without subscription .

October 16, 2006 6:41 PM

Question? My problem is I have accounts in OE6 that I can't delete. This is my home computer and I have followed everything I can think of and I still cannot remove/delete these accounts. Any ideas.

May 3, 2009 10:12 PM

I really need outlook express but I keep getting the message that I need a subscription. I try but it doesn't work . What's up with that? Please help a 66 yr. old with a 2000 computer!!!

May 3, 2009 10:16 PM

I will use my account - I still can't use outlook express. I get that damned message.
It seems hotmail can't be used so I won't bother with that one!!!

Ray Nock
July 26, 2011 8:59 AM

Hope the following is of interest, it certainly restored my Accounts Tab in Outlook Express.
Accounts Tab is Missing in Outlook Express in XP.

You will need to go into Regedit, and amend the registry entry.
It is not difficult, but just be careful.
To do so,

Click on START
Click on Run
Type Regedit

Select the following keys

In the right-hand pane, find No modify accts (Double click this to get to the Edit box).
You should see a 0 (Zero), (or maybe a 1).

Change the 0 or 1 to read DWORD = 0 (Note space either side of = sign)
(If you just enter a 0, it probably won’t work, it must be DWORD = 0).

Click OK, then the little X at top right of screen to exit Regedit.
Just be careful when doing this, but it is relatively easy, provided you stick to above.

Restart Outlook Express, and the Accounts Tab should be back.

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