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Outlook 2010, Multiple Accounts and the Default Account



Outlook 2010, Multiple Accounts and the Default Account


Update: Outlook 2010 SP1: Mailto’s will use the default account for messages. SeeChanges in SP1 below for more information.

Update: Outlook 2010 SP1 includes the May 10 2011 hotfix addresses issues with default IMAP accounts when there are multiple accounts in the profile. See Solution for default IMAP accounts: Create a fake POP3 account below.

When you use Microsoft Outlook 2010 and have multiple accounts delivered to different *.pst files, Outlook doesn’t use the default account set in Account settings. Instead, it uses the account associated with the mailbox or *.pst file the folder you are viewing is stored in. This change in behavior takes some getting used to, but its my experience that once they understand how it works, most users with multiple POP3 or Exchange accounts like it.

This feature not as well liked by users with an IMAP account as their primary account and POP3 accounts delivered to the default *.pst file. Instead of using the default IMAP account as it did in previous versions, Outlook 2010 sends new mail using a POP3 account that is delivered to the *.pst. When the IMAP user sends a new message to a contact or starts a new message after viewing the calendar, Outlook chooses a POP3 account as the sending account.

The obvious solution is to use a different *.pst file for the POP3 accounts, but if that is not acceptable, you can use a macro to always open a new message with the default account selected. Others may want use create toolbar buttons to open a new message with a specific account selected.

Poll: Do you like Outlook 2010′s handling of default accounts?
Registry key to force account selection every time

This fix is simple, but can get annoying, fast, since it forces the user to select an account every time they send a new message. (Replies and Forwards always use the account the message arrived on.)

This might be good for people who use multiple accounts and frequently (accidently) send using the wrong account, especially if they are sending sensitive documents, as it will almost eliminate accidently sending email from the wrong account.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\14.0\outlook\options
Value Name: ForceAccountSelection
Value type: REG_DWORD: 1 for force, 0 to disable.

Notes: You need to create the path if it does not exist. You can also set this using the Office 2010 group policy templates.
The value type is the same for both 32-bit and 64-bit Outlook.

If you don’t want to edit the registry yourself, you can run this registry file to set the ForceAccountSelection key

Warning: As reported by a user in New E-Mail Button Not Working, this tweak may prevent the New item buttons in Contacts and other folders from working.
Changes in Outlook 2010 SP1

Update: Outlook 2010 SP1 addresses issues with multiple accounts in a profile and IMAP is set as the default account.

It addresses this problem: When you have multiple accounts and an IMAP account in Outlook 2010 and you change the default sending account to the IMAP account, you may experience the following issues:
When you click a mailto link from a browser or from Outlook, the default sending account is the Exchange Server account instead of the IMAP account.
When you create a new email message, the Exchange Server account is selected instead of the IMAP account.

Out of the box, the update uses the default account for Send to commands but not for new messages created while viewing the default pst file (when a POP account is assigned to the default pst file), unless you set a registry value to always force the use of the default account.

To force all new messages to use the default account, browse to the following registry subkey:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Options\Mail
Create a new DWORD value named NewItemsUseDefaultSendingAccount
Value: 1

If you prefer not to edit the registry yourself, we have a registry file ready to run:NewItemsUseDefaultSendingAccount
Solution for default IMAP accounts: Create a fake POP3 account

When clicking on a “mailto:” entry on a web page or using the Send to command in other applications, Outlook opens a new email. In older versions, the From account was the default From account in Account settings. Outlook 2010 uses the account assigned to the default message store, causing problems for users with IMAP accounts or Exchange server mailboxes where a POP3 account is default. The solutions mentioned previously won’t work because Simple MAPI is calling up Outlook.

While I don’t have a good solution for Exchange accounts (setting a PST as the default can have undesirable effects with the Exchange account), try this solution for IMAP accounts. Also, if you are using the Send to Mail Recipient command to send files in Windows Explorer, a custom SendTo shortcut may be a better solution.

Create a second account for the IMAP address
Set it up as a POP3 account, with “mail” as the pop server name.
Use the correct SMTP info for the server and logon information.
Make sure it is delivered to the default PST.
Click More Settings and configure the Outgoing server settings.

You’ll need to uncheck ‘Test account settings’ before clicking Next to complete the dialog as the POP3 account test will error.





When you return to the Account Settings dialog, set this account as your default email account.

Close the account settings dialog and return to Outlook.

Next, you’ll need to press Ctrl+Alt+S on your keyboard to open the Send & Receive Settings dialog.





Select the send and receive profile and click Edit.

Select the new “fake” account and uncheck the option to Receive mail.

Once you do this, Outlook should always use the desired account for sending but because the server is fake and you aren’t receiving mail on it, you won’t try to download mail.

Drawback: sent mail will be stored in the local Sent folder, not the IMAP sent folder. You can either use rules to move the sent items or move them manually.

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