This is an old project, and I am no longer doing work in this field, but I maintain the information here because many people are still interested in it. If you are looking with assistance with Outlook issues, please see Looking for Outlook Help? for suggestions. And thanks for visiting! I hope you check out my current interests.

-- Sue Mosher

Configuring Microsoft Outlook 2003

Configuring Microsoft Outlook 2003 by Sue Mosher is aimed at network administrators and help desks who need to configure and maintain Outlook installations, it will also be useful to power users who want to tweak their Outlook settings to the max. Programmers will also find useful scripts for deploying Outlook mail profiles, setting a default signature, adding a secondary Exchange mailbox, setting the text labels for calendar color-coding, and performing a host of other Outlook configuration tasks.

For those planning an Outlook 2003 deployment, the appendices include a complete listing of group policy and user preference settings that can be configured with the group policy editor, Custom Installation Wizard, or Custom Maintenance Wizard.

ISBN: 1555583261, published by Digital Press, leading publishers of books on Exchange, Outlook, and other messaging issues. Other ordering links:

As a convenience to readers, the source code for the scripts included in the book is available for download here

Chapter 1:   Outlook Data and Settings Locations

Understanding Outlook Accounts and Data Storage

Data-storage Locations

Understanding the Default Information Store

Outlook Settings in the Windows Registry

Mail Profiles

Policy Settings

User Preference Settings

Client Extension and Exchange Provider Settings

Outlook Settings in the User’s Windows Profile Folders

Outlook Settings in the Information Store

Using the Information Store Viewer


Using Outlook Spy

Global Settings in the Information Store

Hidden-message Setting Items

Understanding Windows’ Roaming Profiles and Folder Redirection

Settings that Roam with a Windows Profile

Using Folder Redirection

Chapter 2:   Outlook 2003 Configuration Techniques

Tools in the Office Resource Kit

Using the Office Profile Wizard

Customizing the Office Profile Wizard

Creating an .ops File

Viewing an .ops File

Applying an .ops File

Some Practical Office Profile Wizard Applications

Using the Custom Installation and Custom Maintenance Wizards

Understanding Office Setup and Maintenance

Starting the CIW or CMW

Selecting Outlook and Office Features

Configuring Outlook and Office Default Settings

Configuring Files

Configuring Shortcuts

Configuring Add-in and Macro Security Settings

Managing Additional Outlook Settings

Viewing .mst and .cmw Files

Using Group Policy to Configure Outlook

Getting Started with Group Policy for Outlook

The Group Policy Management Console

Using Group Policy Modeling and Group Policy Modeling Results

The Office 2003 and Outlook 2003 Administrative Templates

How to Create a New Administrative Template

Choosing the Configuration Method  

Chapter 3:   Configuring Outlook Mail Profiles

Understanding Mail Profiles

Understanding .prf Files

Using the Resource Kit Tools to Build .prf Files

Example: Configuring a Profile for Exchange and IMAP4

Deploying a .prf File

Practical Considerations

The Structure of a .prf File

Deploying a Hand-modified .prf File

The [General] Section

The [Service List] Sections

The [Internet Account List] Sections

Mapping Sections

Chapter 4:   Advanced .prf File Usage

Using Scripts to Modify .prf Files

Expanding Environment Variables in a .prf File

Inserting .pst File Paths into a .prf File

Adding Settings Not Supported by the Custom Installation Wizard

Example: Setting the Location of the Default Archive File

Example: Fixing the TCP/IP Ports Used with Exchange 2000

How to Find Additional Settings

Understanding .prf File-mapping Sections

Relating Mapping Sections to the Profile Registry Settings

Finding Profile Settings for Exchange

Additional Exchange Settings

Limitations to .prf Files

Chapter 5:   Exchange Account Configuration

Choosing Your Exchange Connectivity

Cached Exchange Mode

Sidebar: Exchange Recovery Mode

Classic Online Mode

Classic Offline Mode

POP3 and IMAP4

Outlook Web Access with HTTP

Typical User Scenarios

Configuring Cached Exchange Mode

Data Storage and Synchronization

Cached Exchange Mode Optimization

Address Book Access and Storage

Other Cached Exchange Mode Recommendations

Configuring Exchange 2003 RPC over HTTP

Proxy Configuration

Deleted-item Recovery

Preventing Fallback to RPC over TCP/IP

Connecting to a New Exchange Server

Miscellaneous Exchange Issues

Managing New-mail Notifications

Controlling the Global Catalog Server

Managing the Default Mail Account in Small Business Server 2003

Chapter 6:   Locking Down Outlook

Locking down Outlook – The Big Picture

Threats to Information in Transit and at Rest

Understanding S/MIME

Configuring Outlook for S/MIME

Protecting the .pst Store

Protecting the Offline Folders .ost File

Locking Down Other E-mail Accounts

Threats to Unwanted Information Dissemination

Understanding Windows Rights Management Services

Creating and Using Rights-Protected Content

Spam and Other Threats to Incoming Mail

Configuring the Junk E-mail Filter

Deploying Junk E-mail Filter Lists

New Junk E-mail Features in Outlook 2003 SP1

Configuring Automatic Picture Download

Forcing Outlook to Read Mail in Plain Text

Understanding the Reading Pane

Attachment Blocking

Understanding the “Object Model Guard”

Sidebar: Building Outlook Programs That Avoid Security Prompts

Other Programmability Security Settings

VBA Macro and Add-in Security

Blocked ActiveX Controls in Outlook Forms

Forms in Other Mailboxes

Chapter 7:   Managing the Outlook Security Settings Folder

Limitations of the Outlook Security Settings Folder

Setting up the Security Settings Folder

Creating the Security Settings Folder

Installing the Outlook Administrator Pack

Publishing the Custom Form

Managing Security Settings Folder Options

Installing COM Add-in Trust Components

Configuring Outlook to Use the Security Settings Folder

Understanding How Outlook Uses the Security Settings Folder

Creating Security-settings Items

Managing Attachment-block Settings

Managing Miscellaneous Attachment-block Settings

Understanding Managed vs. User Attachment-block Settings

Managing Form-related Security Settings

Managing Programmatic Settings

Trusting COM Add-ins

Chapter 8:   Special Сonfiguration Scenarios

Deploying on Terminal Server

Benefits of Office on a Terminal Server

Drawbacks of Office on a Terminal Server

Installing Office on a Terminal Server

Things to Consider with Outlook and Office on a Terminal Server

Terminal Server Issues with Outlook

Moving a User to a New Machine

Files and Settings to Transfer

Save My Settings Wizard

Files and Settings Transfer Wizard

Upgrading from Earlier Outlook Versions

What Migrates?

Archive.pst file type for Exchange 2003: Unicode or ANSI

Loss of Outlook Address Book from Outlook 2000 IMO Mode

Configuring a New Mail Profile

Moving to a New Version of Outlook on a New Machine

Managing Multilanguage Installations

MUI Contents

MUI Deployment

Hotfixes and Service Packs

Deploying Updates

Update Tools

Chapter 9:   Configuring Other Outlook Options

COM Add-ins and VBA Code

Group Policy and User-preference Settings

Master Category List

Default Mail Font

Default Stationery

Blocking Stationery Use

Outlook Today Settings

Startup Navigation Pane

Mail-alert Duration

New-mail Notification Sound

Viewing Internet Message Parts

Wrapping Lines on Plain-text Messages

Additional Journal Types

Outlook Desktop Icon

Mail-profile-specific Settings

Outlook Address Book Order

Default Signatures

Adding a Secondary Exchange Mailbox

Folder-related Settings

Calendar Color Labels

Custom Search Folders

Adding Public Folders to Favorites

Folder Permissions

Some Configuration Challenges

Custom Views

Disabling the Reading Pane

Global Rules

Welcome Message

Appendix A:   Outlook 2003 Policy Settings

Appendix B:   Additional Outlook Registry Settings

Office Administrative Template Settings

Computer Configuration Policy Settings

User Configuration Policy Settings

Outlook Hotfix Settings

Additional CIW/CMW Settings

Confirmation Dialogs

Other Outlook Settings

Appendix C:   Disabling Menu and Toolbar Commands and Shortcut Keys

Disabling Menu and Toolbar Commands

Providing User Feedback on Disabled Commands

Disabling Shortcut Keys

Command and Shortcut Key IDs

Appendix D:   Other Resources