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How to Completely Uninstall Outlook Express

Thursday, February 17th, 2011 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help

Jude asks:

I use Incredimail as my e-mail program. My question is, is there a way to uninstall Outlook Express? I can’t find a uninstall program for it. I use XP home.

Outlook Express is an email program that comes preinstalled with Windows XP. Not everyone likes Outlook Express, however, and they may choose to use another email program, such as Incredimail. The steps below will help you remove Outlook Express completely from your computer. This will seem like a lot of steps to go through, but I promise to walk you through them all.

Click the Start button and then click Control Panel to open the Control Panel window.


Double-click the Add or Remove Programs icon in the first row. A list of programs installed on your computer will be listed.

Click Add/Remove Windows Components on the left side of the window.


The Windows Component Wizard dialog box opens. Find Outlook Express in the list, check the box next to it and then click the Next button.


Click the Finish button when the process is finished, and you will be taken back to the Control Panel window. Close this window.

The important files on your computer are automatically hidden to prevent you from editing them. For right now, we need to see these hidden files so we will unhide them.

Click Tools from the menu bar at the top and select Folder Options. Click the View tab and find Hidden files and folders in the Advanced Settings section. Click Show Hidden Files and Folders and then click OK.


Next, you need to rename the Outlook Express folders. To do this, click the Start button and then click My Computer.


Double-click Local Disk (C:)


Double-click the Program Files folder, the Common Files folder and the Microsoft Shared folder.

Right-click the Stationary folder and select Rename. Rename the file to old_ stationary.


Click the green Back button in the top left corner of the window three times. Double-click the Documents and Settings folder, your User folder and then the Application Data folder.

Right-click the Identities folder and select Rename. Rename the folder to old_identities.

Click the green Back button three times. Double-click the Program Files folder and then double-click the Outlook Express folder. Delete all of the files in this folder. Hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and click each file to highlight them. Right-click on any file and select Delete. Click Yes to confirm, and all of the files will delete. Make sure you do not delete the Outlook Express folder but only the files in the folder. Close the My Computer window.

Now, you need to delete the Outlook Express registry keys in the Windows Registry. Serious problems with your computer can occur if you modify the Windows registry incorrectly. You need to back up your registry before making any changes just in case something goes wrong. You can go here for help with backing up your Windows Registry.

If you’re concerned about tinkering around in the registry, the following tip, Navigating the Registry , helps explain navigation and should ease your mind.

Click Start, Run and type regedit in the Open box and click OK.


When the Windows Registry opens, you will notice there are folders with + signs next to them on the left side. This is where we will be working.

Deleting the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINES\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express

Click the + sign next to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINES to expand it. Click the + sign by Software to expand it.


Expand the Microsoft folder under Software and then right-click the Outlook Express folder and click Delete.

Do the same steps to remove the following Registry keys.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express

Close the Windows Registry.

The last thing we need to do is rename Outlook Express files. Search for the files below and rename them to filename.old. For example, Msoeacct.dll should be renamed to Msoeacct.old.

Click Start and then click Search. Click All Files and Folders on the left side.

Type Msoeacct.dll in the All or part of the file name field and click Search.

Right-click the file and rename to Msoeacct.old. If you receive a response from Windows about file protection click Cancel. Click Yes, if you receive a prompt that Windows does not recognize the file.

Do the same for the following files.


That was a lot of steps, I know, but if you followed them correctly Outlook Express should now be completely removed from your computer. Hope you enjoyed this tip!

~Rita Wood

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9 Responses to “How to Completely Uninstall Outlook Express”

  1. Sue Schrader says:

    I have 4 Identities folders–I didn’t know this. Which one do I use?

  2. Speedy6691 says:

    Thanks dude. I have been attacked by a hacker..and I have found reference to his using OE to send log files and such..hoefully this will slow him down
    Thanks so much


  3. ML says:

    A lot to do . . .thanks Microsoft. They are like that relative that comes to visit and never wants to leave and then you have to call the cops!
    Thanks for the help…great job!

  4. fleur says:

    Hi Rita

    I tried your instructions above but was unable to delete the Outlook Express files. The message I got was ‘Access denied’. I also noticed that files I was allowed to delete simply got recreated straight away.

    I don’t use and have never used Outlook Express. I want to completely remove the thing as I get a most annoying message about compacting every time I log into my computer. It’s as if Microsoft have written their very own virus.

    Any help with getting rid of this useless piece of sw much appreciated.


    • ojaime00 says:

      Hi Fleur,

      I’m running into the same problem when trying to delete the OE files. Did you find out how to solve that problem?


  5. Jamie says:

    I followed these instructions to the letter and i still have outlook express!!! I also noticed when changing file to .old they were recreated back to the original format. Is there anything else i can try??

  6. Peggy McReynolds says:

    I am using windows 8.1 and I have MS outlook as a second mail program and it never works right. Can you tell me how to remove it completely from my computer?
    I have an HP20 all in 1. Thanks

  7. rato says:

    unlocker download.
    or file assasing

  8. Piper says:

    DO NOT remove those .dll files. If you do then you will no longer be able to drag and drop files into folders.

    You can still move the files around within the folder they are in, but you won’t be able to move them from one folder to another unless you right click and choose move from the context menu.

    This is really bad advice. Microsoft provided the safe way of removing outlook express without removing the other necessary components. If it’s security you are worried about due to using an outdated version, well then you should go into “add or remove programs” and then go to “set program access and defaults” then choose “custom” and where you see outlook express, uncheck the box next to outlook express that says “enable access to this program”.

    Some of the .dll files mentioned here also are shared components in general and are part of the operating system. They are not installed with outlook express even though they are used by it, which is why you should never just delete them.

    Furthermore, you should never delete .dll files before un-registering them.

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