Is there a way via script, powershell, reg delete, via telekinesis, whatever to reset Outlook 2013 as if no profiles ever existed and it was running for the first time ever?

Still working through this one but hoping others have insight.


Lots of users here have existing Outlook profiles connecting to an on-premise Exchange server. We are in the middle of our migration to Office 365. In order to migrate the user's Outlook you have to either create a new profile in Outlook or delete the old profile completely and then "start fresh".

We want our users to start fresh and have the default profile name of "Outlook" for their mail profile (instead of something custom or a 2nd profile like "O365"). This is because our ERP system looks for this profile to send email while in the ERP software.


The problem is "starting fresh" isn't really starting fresh.

If I manually remove the default profile "Outlook" from the Mail control panel settings, then Outlook starts up without a profile but prompts for a profile name: enter image description here

If I type Outlook as the new Profile name now I get:

enter image description here

If I go into REGEDIT and look in:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles

I still see "Outlook" as a profile.

I tried doing a Reg DELETE of this key and all sub-keys and while it says "successfully deleted" it doesn't.

If I manually delete this profile key I can then start Outlook again and when it prompts for a new Profile name I can put in Outlook and it will take it and let me continue as if it is a new setup of Outlook:

enter image description here

It doesn't appear from the command line switches for Outlook 2013 (found here) that the /cleanprofile is still around.


Is there a way via script, powershell, reg delete, via telekinesis, whatever to reset Outlook 2013 as if no profiles ever existed and it was running for the first time ever?

% reg.exe delete HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Profiles\Outlook /f
% reg.exe add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Profiles\Outlook

This will delete the default profile called Outlook, and then recreate it with no settings. Then when you re-run Outlook, it will launch the wizard.

  • This is correct. cZk below had said the same in his comments, but never came back to modify his answer. As such, I'll accept this one so that the question can be shown as having a definite answer. Thanks! – TheCleaner Oct 7 '13 at 12:52
  • Avoid "Thanks"... okay, this answer is just great. – Rob Jun 17 '15 at 14:00

Reset the key under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\ for first run from False to True.


According to the command-line switches page on MSDN you should be able to start outlook with a command-line argument to make it act like it's the first run. Give this a try and let me know how it works for you:

outlook /firstrun

Source: https://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/command-line-switches-HP001003110.aspx

  • In my experience this is not always reliable. It makes a new fresh profile, but the old profile(s) remain in the registry and Outlook will sometimes, for reasons beyond my understanding, fall back to one of those. Better to remove them completely. – Tonny Jul 26 '13 at 13:52
  • /firstrun isn't a valid switch for 2013 -- "The command line argument is not valid. Verify the switch you are using." – TheCleaner Jul 26 '13 at 14:06
  • 1
    I have Outlook 2013 on a test machine. I setup a profile, exited and then deleted all the keys under: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Profiles After restarting Office it ran the first-run wizard – cZk Jul 26 '13 at 14:28
  • @cZk - if you'll modify your answer and make it your final comment I'll upvote it and accept it. – TheCleaner Aug 30 '13 at 13:01

You are on the right track.
You will have to delete that Profiles key the registry.
But, and here is the catch, that can only be done by reg delete if there is nothing running (in foreground or background) that touches these keys.

So you will have to make absolutely sure that outlook.exe is not running. (It often keeps hanging around in the background for another 2-3 minutes after you close it.)
Also the ERP application itself may keep these keys locked. And if you run some sort of key-chain or certification software (e.g. PGP) that may interface with these reg-keys too.

If you want to script this make sure you run it as the real user. Not another admin-account. After all it is "HKLM\Currrent User*" we are talking about here.

I have done this before on Office 2007 and 2010 (which should be identical in this regard).
We put the delete command in the domain login-script with some additional checks to only run this once and only if the user was not migrated YET.

  • Thanks Tonny. Deleting the key works, but you still get the "prompt for a profile name". I'm hoping to find a way (even if it is deleting other registry keys) to force a first run scenario where Outlook starts on my last screenshot (and therefore auto creates the Outlook profile) – TheCleaner Jul 26 '13 at 14:10
  • If I remember correctly there is another key that needs to be deleted too. 'currentuser\software\microsoft\windows mail' maybe ? I don't have a Windows system available to check. – Tonny Jul 26 '13 at 14:38
  • I'm on the phone with MSSupport and they aren't sure how to get it to "first run/setup wizard" status. However, I did find config365.com and that tool plus a tiny script to rename the profile as needed works just fine for my needs. But I would still love to see a full reset as if I'm a new user logged in and opening Outlook for the first time to get the "Welcome to Outlook 2013" – TheCleaner Jul 26 '13 at 17:31

protected by Community Jan 11 '15 at 22:49

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