Resetting Outlook to Default Settings: A Step-by-Step Guide

Resetting Outlook to default settings can give you a fresh start if things have gone awry. It’s like giving your email a deep clean, removing all the clutter and customizations that may be causing issues. Here’s how to do it: you’ll close Outlook, navigate to the Control Panel, open the Mail Setup dialog, hit the ‘Show Profiles’ button, remove your current profile, and then create a new one. By doing this, Outlook will be restored to its original settings, and you can start afresh.

Step by Step Tutorial: Resetting Outlook to Default Settings

Before diving into the steps, let’s understand what we’re about to do. Resetting Outlook to default settings essentially means deleting your current profile, which includes all your emails, contacts, and settings, and creating a new one. This process will remove any customizations you have made and bring Outlook back to its original, ‘out-of-the-box’ state.

Step 1: Close Outlook

Make sure Outlook is completely closed before you begin.

Closing Outlook ensures that you don’t run into issues when trying to reset the settings. You can do this by right-clicking the Outlook icon in the system tray and selecting ‘Exit.’

Step 2: Open Control Panel

Navigate to the Control Panel on your computer.

The Control Panel is usually found in the Start menu. Once there, look for the ‘Mail’ option, which will take you to the Mail Setup dialog.

Step 3: Open Mail Setup

In the Control Panel, click on ‘Mail’ to open the Mail Setup dialog.

This is where you can manage your Outlook profiles. If you can’t find ‘Mail,’ ensure your Control Panel view is set to either ‘Large icons’ or ‘Small icons’.

Step 4: Show Profiles

Click on ‘Show Profiles’ in the Mail Setup dialog.

After clicking ‘Show Profiles,’ you’ll see a list of all the profiles linked to Outlook on your computer.

Step 5: Remove Your Profile

Select your profile and click ‘Remove.’

Removing your profile will delete all the data associated with it, so ensure you’ve backed up any important information beforehand.

Step 6: Create a New Profile

After removing your old profile, click ‘Add’ to create a new profile.

Follow the prompts to create a new profile. This will be a clean slate, with all settings reverted back to default.

After completing these steps, when you open Outlook, it will be as if you’re opening it for the first time. You’ll go through the initial setup process and can then start using Outlook with default settings.

Tips: Making the Most of a Fresh Outlook Start

  • Before resetting, backup your emails and contacts to avoid losing important information.
  • Take this opportunity to re-organize your emails and folders for better efficiency.
  • Review your email habits and unsubscribe from unnecessary newsletters to keep your inbox clean.
  • Customize your new profile judiciously, adding only the add-ins and customizations you truly need.
  • Regularly clean and maintain your Outlook to prevent future issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will resetting Outlook delete my emails?

Yes, resetting Outlook will delete all emails, contacts, and settings associated with your profile. Be sure to backup any important data before proceeding.

Can I recover my settings after resetting Outlook?

Once you reset Outlook, you cannot recover your old settings. That’s why it’s crucial to make a note of any important customizations you might want to reapply.

Is it safe to reset Outlook?

Yes, it’s safe to reset Outlook. However, since it involves deleting your profile, you should ensure that you’ve saved any important data elsewhere.

Will resetting Outlook fix all my email issues?

Resetting Outlook can resolve many issues, particularly those caused by corrupted files or settings. However, some problems may require additional troubleshooting.

Can I reset Outlook without reinstalling it?

Yes, you don’t need to reinstall Outlook to reset it. The steps outlined above will allow you to reset Outlook to its default settings without the need for reinstallation.


  1. Close Outlook
  2. Open Control Panel
  3. Open Mail Setup
  4. Show Profiles
  5. Remove Your Profile
  6. Create a New Profile


Resetting Outlook to default settings is like a breath of fresh air for your email software. It clears out the cobwebs, giving you a clean slate to start over. Remember, while this process can solve many Outlook issues, it’s not a fix-all solution. It’s a good practice to regularly maintain your Outlook profile to keep it running smoothly. Also, be mindful of the customizations and add-ins you install, as they can sometimes be the root of future problems.

Starting afresh with Outlook can be liberating. It’s an opportunity to streamline your workflow, re-evaluate your email management strategies, and possibly improve your productivity. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the clutter in your inbox, or if Outlook isn’t functioning as well as it should, consider resetting it to default settings and beginning anew. With a clean state, you’ll be able to shape your Outlook experience to better suit your needs and preferences. So, why not give your Outlook a fresh start today?

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