Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

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

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

Are attachments stored in my Outlook PST? How can I remove them, if they are?

The ability to send other files as attachments to email is very useful, but also results in bloated email folders and in Outlook's case, PST files.

Can I install Outlook twice with different accounts?

You cannot install Outlook more than once, but Outlook does have a feature that supports multiple account configurations.

Can I open more than one instance of Outlook at a time?

Outlook is designed to be a single-instance application. There's an unwieldy trick to get more than one that may, or may not, be useful.

How can I convert a .ost from Outlook 2003 to a .pst file?

You can convert an .ost from Outlook 2003 to a .pst by copying its contents into a new .pst file, but you must be able to open the .ost.

How can I get Outlook 2003 to default the reading pane off, and to stop grouping?

Changing Microsoft Outlook 2003's default viewing behaviour is difficult. There are a couple of possibilities, but so far nothing that really works.

How can I move my Outlook Master Category List to another machine?

The Outlook Master Category List is a way to tag messages, contacts, appointments and more. Copying it to another machine requires a little trickery.

How can I reverse the compressible encryption of a pst file?

There's a simple way to reverse the compressible encryption of a pst file.

How can I send someone an attachment, if it's blocked by their copy of Outlook?

Microsoft Outlook tries to protect users from malicious attachments by blocking them. What if you're sending something that's legitimate, but blocked?

How do I "shred" individual emails in Microsoft Outlook?

Securely deleting email messages can be important, but doing so in Microsoft Outlook is difficult, though not impossible.

How do I backup a large number of large PSTs?

Backing up a large number of machines over a network has a number of challenges. PST files are only one aspect of the issue.

How do I enable auto-complete for the addresses in my Outlook Contacts?

Auto-complete only works for addresses that have been typed into the To: field, but there is a short-cut key that works just as well.

How do I force Outlook to open "potentially unsafe attachments" that I know are ok?

Outlook tries to protect you from opening certain types of attachments, even if you know they're safe. A registry change puts you back in control.

How do I get the 'From:' button to show in Outlook 2003?

Getting the 'From:' button to show in Outlook 2003 fortunately is a easy thing to accomplish.

How do I move my Microsoft Outlook mail and address book from one computer to another?

Moving Microsoft Outlook mail from one machine to another involves copying a single file once the new copy of Outlook has been set up.

How do I open up more than one item at a time in Outlook?

Depending on if you're trying opening more than one email or more than one attachment, you may or may not be able to do it.

How do I receive email on different accounts into different folders in Outlook?

Outlook can be configured to access multiple email accounts, but by default throws all email into a single inbox. Outlook rules can help.

How do I recover my contact list in Outlook?

Recovering data from an Outlook PST file may not be possible. A complete backup would have saved an intact file for you.

How do I stop *wanted* email from going to my Junk folder?

Stopping wanted emails from going to Outlook 2003's Junk folder requires a quick change to your "safe" list and visits to Office Update for updates.

How do I synchronize Outlook 2003 between a desktop PC and laptop?

Moving from machine to machine with Outlook as a mail client is conceptually easier than you might think, but there are pitfalls.

How should I setup Outlook?

In this fifth in a series of articles covering my new computer's setup, we continue by making adjustments to Microsoft Outlook.

I suspect the large number of emails and folders in my PST is causing problems with Outlook. How can I fix this?

Outlook can become unstable if the PST file is too large. There are several ways to save and archive old emails and folders.

My "Outlook Today" folder disappeared, how do I compress without it, and how do I restore it?

Outlook Today is the top level summary window that Outlook displays. There are several ways to restore it, and alternate ways to perform compaction.

My PST has grown over 2gig, and now I can't repair it. What do I do?

Outlook XP and earlier have a limit of 2gigabytes on the size of its PST file. However there's no warning, only problems, if you exceed that limit.

What kind of Compression or Encryption do I want for Outlook's .PST files?

Microsoft Outlook allows you to compress and/or encrypt your PST file. We'll look at what the options are, and when you might choose them.

What should I do about the error 'Not Responding' when I am compacting my PST file?

Depending on the size of your PST and other factors, a compacting operation can take a long time. I recommend when to do the operation.

Where do Outlook's auto-complete suggestions come from?

Outlook tries to be helpful when you begin typing an email address by suggesting possibilities. But where those suggestions come from is not simple.

Why does Outlook tell me it wasn't closed properly?

Outlook maintains a database of your email in a file called a PST. If that file has not been properly closed it'll be checked for errors on startup.

Why is Outlook so slow to receive email?

Slow Outlook downloads could indicate problems in writing to the disk. I walk through a series of steps to clean things up.

Why is all my email not getting downloaded in Outlook?

The first thing that comes to mind is that one of the devices you're accessing your email account with is set to downloaded the mail, thereby removing it from the server.

Why isn't my Outlook PST getting smaller after deleting emails?

Deleting items in an Outlook PST doesn't mean that space will be freed up right away. We'll look at two reasons, and two ways around it.

Will Outlook's reading pane tell senders I've seen their mail?

Under some circumstances, it might be possible for Outlook's reading pane to tell senders that you've seen their mail.