Inside Outlook Express



Tips and Ideas

Force Identity Logon

The Identities feature in OE has proven to be very popular. But many who use them would like for OE always to ask for an Identity when the program starts. The "official" procedure is that every user must always close OE by clicking File| Exit and Log off Identity. This does indeed work, but is too easily forgotten, especially since the X-Close Window button is so handy. Here are two ways to force OE always to ask for an Identity when starting.

Using a script

  1. In Notepad, copy the lines below, and then save the file as "IDforOE.vbs".

        Set WshShell = WScript.CreateObject("Wscript.Shell")

        'Clear the values from the registry
        WshShell.RegWrite "HKCU\Identities\Last Username", ""
        WshShell.RegWrite "HKCU\Identities\Last User ID", ""
        WshShell.RegWrite "HKCU\Identities\Default User ID", ""
        WshShell.RegWrite "HKCU\Identities\Start As", ""

        'Launch Outlook Express
        WSHShell.Run "Msimn.exe"

    You may also simply download this file by clicking below and saving the file to your hard disk.
          Download IDforOE.vbs
  2. Make a shortcut to the "IDforOE.vbs" file on your hard disk. Right-click the shortcut and click Properties, then Change Icon. Browse to the OE executable file, normally at
            c:\program files\outlook express\msimn.exe
  3. Replace all your current shortcuts to OE with copies of the one you just created.
  4. You might prefer to bypass the Logon dialogue by having a separate shortcut for each Identity . In that case, make a separate script file for each Identity. Simply edit the 4 "WshShell.RegWrite" lines in the script with the correct values for each Identity. To determine those values, logon to each Identity in OE. Run Regedit.exe and look at the values in this key:

        HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities

    Use copy/paste to put the correct values for the Identity into the script file, like this:

        WshShell.RegWrite "HKCU\Identities\Last Username", "Identity UserName"
        WshShell.RegWrite "HKCU\Identities\Last User ID", "{GUID}"
        WshShell.RegWrite "HKCU\Identities\Default User ID", "{GUID}"
        WshShell.RegWrite "HKCU\Identities\Start As", "{GUID}"

    where GUID is the long number used to designate an Identity. 

    You can now make shortcuts to each script file, each with a unique name and icon.

Using a batch file

  1. In Notepad, copy the lines below, and then save the file as "ClearID.reg". 

        REGEDIT4

        [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities]
        "Last Username"=""
        "Last User ID"=""
        "Default User ID"=""
        "Start As"=""

    You may also simply download this file by clicking below and saving the file to your hard disk.
          Download ClearID.reg
  2. Still in Notepad, create a batch file named "OELogon.bat" containing the lines below. If the path to your saved *.reg file contains blank spaces, enclose the entire path in double quotes:

    regedit /s "C:\<your path here>\CLEARID.REG"
    "C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\MSIMN.EXE"

  3. Right-click and drag the "OELogon.bat" just a bit, then select "Create Shortcut(s) here".
  4. Right-click the new shortcut, select Properties, then click on the Program tab.
  5. In the "Working" field, enter the path to the folder you want OE to use as the default location for "Insert" functions. If the path contains blank spaces, enclose the entire path in double quotes, like this:
    "c:\My Documents\Some Folder"
  6. In the Run: drop-down box, select "Minimized".
  7. Check the box for "Close on Exit".
  8. Click The "Change Icon" button and browse to "C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\MSIMN.EXE", or use another icon if you prefer. Click OK, OK to close the Properties dialogue.
  9. Replace all your current shortcuts to OE with copies of the one you just created.

To run OE, just click the new shortcut. There will be a very slight delay, during which you will see a taskbar button for the minimized batch file. The first line of the batch merges the contents of the registry file, without any prompts. That simply replaces whatever values were there with null strings (""). The final line of the batch launches OE, which checks the registry and sees that there is no default Identity, no Start With Identity, and no Last Used Identity. It therefore displays the Log On to Identity dialogue. Select the Identity you want, and OE continues to load.

This means that you can now close OE just like you do any other Windows app, without worrying about the next instance of OE using the same Identity. If MSN Messenger is running, it will automatically log off whatever Identity it is using, and automatically logon to the one you just chose.

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