View Full Version : Manually remove Outlook Express?

12-10-2004, 09:29 PM
Has anyone done this yet? Any Complications?

This process isn't complicated, but it does involve several steps. Start by setting folder options to display both hidden files and protected operating system files. After making sure you've backed up any Outlook Express data if necessary, rename the following folders, adding _old at the end of each:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Stationery
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Identities
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Address Book

Next, open the Registry Editor, and delete the following keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{44BBA840-CC51-11CF-AAFA-00AA00B6015C}
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{7790769C-0471-11D2-AF11-00C04FA35D02}

Finally, search for and rename the following files. Note that each file resides in two locations. Rename both copies, adding _old to the end of each.


Windows will display a file protection warning. Click Cancel when prompted to enter the Windows 2000 CD, and click Yes when Windows asks if you want to keep the unrecognized file versions. Restart the computer after you've renamed the files.

Note: Editing the registry is risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before making any changes

Peter H
12-10-2004, 09:51 PM
Why would you want to?

Terry Porritt
12-10-2004, 10:00 PM
>>Why would you want to?

Because I have never used it :)

I have removed it from both XP and Win2k, and Win98SE.

Instead of renaming files I just deleted them, I couldnt see the reason for renaming, except only if OE was going to be re-installed.

Microsoft doesnt like you to delete the Outlook Express folder in Program files, or it's contents. I had to boot into DOS and delete from there.

It all saves a bit of space.

12-10-2004, 10:01 PM
There is life after microsoft isn't there?

Terry Porritt
12-10-2004, 10:03 PM
Forgot, I also ran Registry First Aid to remove the last dregs of OE. It does take a bit of removing though, files try to re-install themselves again.

12-10-2004, 10:47 PM
Hi folks. >It all saves a bit of space.
Seems like a lot of shagging about with the potential to do untold damage just to delete something you can ignore, especially with the size of today's hard drives. Nothing personal in this comment - just thinking out loud.

12-10-2004, 10:53 PM
Peter, it is not an easy decision to make to remove it hence the post, I have used it for years.
It is now become quite obvious that outlook express is flawed in the security area beyond repair, couple that with Microsoft soon to stop updates for anything other than XP.
I look upon this move as a natural progression to an easier, safer and more secure Mail system so I will use web based mail in the mean time.

Murray P
12-10-2004, 11:05 PM
I find Thunderbird a more than adequate replacement for OE. Thanks for the topic, and the others who have done the bizzo already, doesn't look too onerous a task for the reward.

Cheers Murray P

13-10-2004, 12:18 AM
I too use Thunderbird, and if you have a look through my previous posts, Ive done something similar with Thunderbird/Firefox replacing IE / Outlook Express :-)

Obviously not all are going to bother with it, after all Microsoft still needs minions to buy their products and suffer using them ;-)


13-10-2004, 12:39 AM
Chill .
Remember that new B-) O/S .. due out in fall next year .. 12 months or so

Terry Porritt
13-10-2004, 10:25 AM
The procedure for removing OE was initially described by Microsoft for W2k (damn, cant get the link to work, so see at the bottom of the post), but it's the same for XP.

I think MS really made a mistake in trying to integrate so many programs into the operating system, rather than making them optional extras. Win XP OS is all bloatware, there is not much serious install options, and there must be dozens of features many people would never use.
I mean when you install SP2 you get OE (and Media Player from memory),whether you like it or not, then if you dont want it, have to go through the rigmarole of getting rid of it.

I'm just looking at the Windows directory for Windows 1.01, basic install no extras; 1074016 bytes, 1 megabyte, (there was no system directory then), from then on it was all bloat :).


13-10-2004, 06:51 PM
Thanks for the feedback and options.

14-10-2004, 01:58 PM
thanks to fairway or whomever gave that last set of directions, some kind of bug has been opening OE without permission these last few days (I've been happy with Opera) and if this shuts it down, well done

14-10-2004, 09:52 PM
So you have the instructions in detail.

I have never removed Outlook Express. This still resides on my computer. I use Outlook 2003 as my Email client.

I suggest you just follow the instructions if you really feel you need to remove the software.

While you are the job you might want to get rid of IE as a browser as well.

You may consider a format of the hard drive and install a different operating system. After having done that you can then worry about which O/S you want to install and then get lessons in how to drive it and what applications will run under the O/S.

14-10-2004, 10:00 PM
Oh and why would you post this and possibly organize a computer to crash in the event the person doing all the typing just makes one mistake?

Why rename things to *.old unless you want to restore?

If you want to restore then why do this in the first place?

14-10-2004, 10:44 PM
Thank you Elephant. My thoughts of a couple of days ago. Asking for the non-geek to get themselves in to trouble.

14-10-2004, 11:56 PM
Sounds like a mouse with a foot in it's mouth, but I can adjust to that.

It's pretty basic .. isn't it ? deleting/adding an extention to some files
The steps taken in the post I believe are quite simple to follow?

In hindsight you are right, a study done in America stated that the average american had to be shown how to do a basic task 24 times before he could comlpete it on his own.
If you like I will ask for this post to be removed.

Murray P
15-10-2004, 12:17 AM
You have already described the answer quiet elegantly Fairway. Simply repost the method 24 times and all will be forgiven :D

Even I should be able to get the gist of it by then ;)

Cheers Murray ;P

15-10-2004, 12:36 AM
yeah, well, My appologies to the More "indepth people"
I have emailed Mr. Buckman to remove the post in the aid of safety.

Ever since I fitted that "damn it" key to the top lept of my keyboard I haven't had a problem.??

Terry Porritt
15-10-2004, 07:50 AM
I just don't understand some people, no one is saying you must uninstall OE, but Microsoft and other sites tell you how do it if you want to.

It's like anything you do in this world, it's at your own risk. There is so much legislation for one's own safety these days that there is no sense of adventure left.

Even removing OE is now seen as life threatening procedure :)

15-10-2004, 08:42 AM
Well, I don't see a reason to remove the post. Anyone doing this just needs to be aware that they are doing something MS advises against and doing it wrong might have unwelcome results for your PC. But then so could over-clocking, or using un-patched copies of key MS software . . .

17-10-2004, 12:34 AM
I guess I felt overwelmed by those people with "greater Knowledge" than me " that people are not responsablre for the control of there own computers ...., I believe the dis ease is called "Hellen-itis" ..
Common symptoms are a feeling of extreme power and control within ones own knowledge, thinking others are dumb.

Geeks, get over it!

Terry Porritt
17-10-2004, 07:56 AM
Go for it Fairway :D

>>with the potential to do untold damage

Well, I mean to say we are only talking about a computer aren't we? So what if it goes up in smoke, it's not the end of the world. There is another life out there other than sitting in front of a keyboard and playing games :)

If we are talking about a works computer, or if your livelyhood depends on your computer then I'd say play safe, and that also means having proper backups and alternatives in the event of a crash. It's amazing how many people don't though.

I have to confess though to having 3 plugable drives, clones of each other, so if something turns to custard -no problem. I can try and find the answer without worrying.

Anyway, this particular process is documented by MS, so it isnt anything particularly esoteric.

17-10-2004, 10:42 AM
Only for those on the "cutting edge" and not for Newbies :D

nlite (http://nuhi.msfn.org/nlite.html) which enables you to construct an XP install CD without things like IE and OE. Caution must be observed, as you can remove things, that other components rely on. Read through the forums and documentation first before going live.

Just some more "grist for the mill" . (translation..info for discussion)

17-10-2004, 11:24 PM
I thought I caused a ripple .. well you just sent forth a tidal wave, this adds new meaning to the changing face of windows.
"framework" is on MSDN 'professional' (which is the one I have)
I have a spare hard driver so will have a play, Thanks Phoenix.

Murray P
18-10-2004, 01:15 AM
http://nuhi.msfn.org/download.html has the framework files on the nlite download page :)

Cheers Murray P

18-10-2004, 10:00 AM
No, not a tidal wave, it's just another toy to play with. It's not perfect, but then as you seemed interested in XP "useless bulk" removal, I thought you may enjoy playing.

See what little gems come out of the woodwork when you post :D

19-10-2004, 10:07 PM
Don't remove messenger, Gmail use it for their notification, What a neat toy .. not to be used indiscriminately .. well nearly not ... :-)

09-01-2005, 05:22 PM
I tried this and it didn't work for my XP Home SP2 system. It's a new Dell that I'm tweaking before I connect it to the net or add on any software.

When I was going thru the steps, I found that some of the files didn't exist on my system. (Possibly this is because I had never run the OE on my machine?)

All I know is I deleted all of the available files, then restarted, and OE was staring me in the face laughing ( lol )

While I'm here asking for help, let me share another site for excellent XP tweaks.. http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/supertweaks.htm

"Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm. As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others." - Sam Levenson

Terry Porritt
09-01-2005, 07:32 PM
Outlook Express is like a weed that is resistant to being hand weeded. Leave a trace behind and it it springs back again as large as life, instantly :)

You have to make sure that all the OE files have been deleted from c:\windows\system32 and c:\windows\system32\dllcache folders. Then you can also delete the files from c:\program files\outlook express.

Remove the registry entries listed in the MS instructions, and also run a registry cleaner to ensure the last traces of OE have been weeded out.

Leave the outlook express folder in the program files folder. If you remove it by foul means (it tries to say you cant delete it), it just reforms.

Terry Porritt
09-01-2005, 07:34 PM
Oh yes, some files wont exist if you havent previously configured OE, or made an address book etc.

09-01-2005, 08:22 PM
a weed is right :b Imagine buying a computer and not being allowed to remove parts from it... now imagine buying an OS and not being able to... oh, that's right, it's already a reality :b

"You have to make sure that all the OE files have been deleted from c:\windows\system32 and c:\windows\system32\dllcache folders."
When I got to this part, I found each search only located 1 file (not doubles). I was assuming I didn't have the doubles at the other location since I never installed OE.

Buut, since Mr. OE is still on the computer, obviously I missed something.
Is there a trick to delete it from both folders?

Something else is that when I deleted the first 3 folders... I couldn't locate an address book in either location.


Terry Porritt
09-01-2005, 08:51 PM
I think c:\windows\system32\dllcache is a hidden or special folder, it appears in faint outline, I dont think the XP Search finds the OE files in it.

From memory, I went to dllcache folder, and manually deleted the OE files, rather than deleting from the search results window. If the files are not removed from dllcache, they will reappear again in the program files\outlook express folder almost immediately after deleting them.

The reason Ive always deleted OE, is that I've never used it, so it's just virus prone unwanted baggage. From Win3.11 days I've always used Foxmail and had no reason to change, except for upgrading versions.

09-01-2005, 10:51 PM
Great, I'll try that tomorrow and see how it works.

Right, my uncle worked for many years, and now, with computers, and he says MS Office and MS OE are 2 of the biggest security risks.

The system I'm working on will be dedicated to investing for the benefit of my expenses and for charities and aid/education groups, so I don't want any security risks that I don't need to accept. The system won't be used for any emailing or any casual browsing, so I don't have a need for OE (I have my personal computer for email and browsing). IE however, is needed for some other embedded XP applications, so I supposedly need to leave that on. But I'll be using "23rd Letter Browser" for the few sites that I do need to use.

My Xincom router has been tested by
https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2 to have all my ports be invisible, but it still seems smart to remove any MS programs I don't need, especially OE.

Billy T
09-01-2005, 11:31 PM
I know this is an old thread, but This program (http://www.litepc.com/shop/) is as reliable as you can get and will safely remove heaps of stuff you don't need from W2000 & XP. It is cheap enough too, so it is not really worth anybody's while to reinvent the wheel.


Billy 8-{)