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How to Reinstall Outlook Express (and Internet Explorer)

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If a day is headed the wrong and ugly way; if your team is behind 0-9 and the game is soccer; if you have just spotted a black sock in your white laundry; if Outlook Express starts to behave in inexplicable but disturbing ways, then a fresh start can turn things around.

Unfortunately, re-installing Outlook Express (and, by extension since they always seem to come in pairs, Internet Explorer) is often not so easy an undertaking. As a program that comes with Windows, starting with a fresh installation of Outlook Express would usually mean starting with a fresh installation of Windows. Not a place you want to go, right?

Reinstall Outlook Express (and Internet Explorer)

Fortunately, you can install a new copy of Outlook Express if you can make Windows believe that what you install is a new version, or apply the latest service pack that contains a full install of Outlook Express again. This will mean different things on different systems, so make sure you get the right download and install the right version:

  • Windows XP with SP 2: Download Windows XP Service Pack 2 Network Installation Package or get your SP 2 CD ready and re-install Service Pack 2.
  • Windows XP without SP 2: Install Service Pack 2 via Windows Update. This should give you a fresh copy of Outlook Express without any further tweaks. Optionally, you can reinstall Internet Explorer 6 SP 1 and Outlook Express using the method described below.
  • Windows NT 4/98/98 SE/ME/2000: Download Internet Explorer 6 SP 1 and follow the instructions below.

Reinstall Outlook Express and Internet Explorer 6 SP 1

To re-install Internet Explorer and Outlook Express on systems other than Windows XP with SP 2:

  • Select Run... from the Start menu.
  • Type "regedit".
  • Click OK.
  • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE­\SOFTWARE­\Microsoft­\Active Setup­\Installed Components­\{44BBA840-CC51-11CF-AAFA-00AA00B6015C}.
    • The key named (Default) will read Microsoft Outlook Express 6
  • Double-click IsInstalled.
  • Type '0'.
  • Click OK.
    • To re-install Internet Explorer as well, set the IsInstalled key for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE­\SOFTWARE­\Microsoft­\Active Setup­\Installed Components­\{89820200-ECBD-11cf-8B85-00AA005B4383} (Internet Explorer 6) to "0" in the same manner.
  • Close the registry editor.
  • Open the ie6setup.exe file you previously downloaded and follow the installation instructions.
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