About Robert Pearman
Robert Pearman is a UK based Small Business Server enthusiast. He has been working within the SMB IT Industry for what feels like forever. Robert likes Piña colada and taking walks in the rain, on occasion he also enjoys writing about Small Business Technology like Windows Server Essentials or more recently writing PowerShell Scripts. If you're in trouble, and you can find him, maybe you can ask him a question.

35 Responses to Quick Fix: Outlook 2013 Unable to Delete Primary Account–Updated

  1. An Actual IT Engineer says:

    Delete this bullshit walk through. You are breaking peoples computers

  2. Pounder_Moughmore says:

    This worked for me with no issues.

  3. mathew says:

    There is a better way to do this without editing the registry.
    1. Open Control Panel and launch the Mail/Mail (32-bit) applet
    2. Designate another email account as the Default
    3. Designate another data file as the Default
    4. Close the applet
    5. Launch Outlook
    6. Close Outlook
    7. Open Control Panel and launch the Mail/Mail (32-bit) applet
    8. Remove the email account.

    • i have a feeling that may not have worked at the time, for whatever reason, chances are i was doing it wrong :)

    • Andy says:

      Office 365, Outlook 2013, Windows 7 Pro x64.

      This didn’t work for me – I had to use Robert’s registry hack, which did the job.

      I’d recommend backing up the whole registry beforehand.

  4. I tried mathew’s solution above with Outlook 2013. It didn’t work. Same error message about removing primary account (even though I designated a different default account). Unfortunately my old and new Exchange accounts are so similar I can’t tell the registry keys apart, so I couldn’t try Robert’s solution.

  5. CosmicKate says:

    Thank you Mathew. That worked a treat for me even after I had deleted the account but had an infuriating copy of it in my mail view. It was the first mail account I added to new laptop as pop instead of IMAP and although I had deleted the mail account all I needed to do was delete the data file. Why does MS make is so hard sometimes? Thank you again.

  6. Tony says:

    It worked – thanks!

  7. Lakmal says:

    this is the only thing that worked for me! thankss :)

  8. dymondy2k says:

    This did the trick!

  9. Sam says:

    I can confirm this breaks things! Its luck of the draw wheter or not this will break things like mail in control panel from working in my case it broke… thanks for causing me several hours of additional work.

    • Sam says:

      Thanks for clearing the guide up Robert, in my case when I did this it made “Mail” under control panel break when opening a profile, it would crash completely, to fix that all I did was run repair install of outlook and this seemed to fix things in my case.

  10. Daniel B says:

    This is a horrible design by MS, but this is also a horrible article, not nearly specific enough about what to delete.

  11. Chris says:

    It took some mind warping but it worked on the first try. Thanks for this!

  12. Misael. says:

    You can try Mattew solution. But add a new Profile on the Mail APP

  13. Ariel Abaca says:

    Excelent procedure, and a very simple one! It resolved my problem just like that.
    Thanks from Argentina.

  14. Sebastiaan says:

    For me the following worked: Configuration Screen -> Mail -> Profiles -> Add new profile -> Set using profile to newly created one and remove the old one.

  15. Maria says:

    Robert, this is awesome! Thank you a lot!! My not active primary account also asked me for a password every time and got the nerves by this. Finally I am able to remove it

  16. Giorgi says:

    Windows 10 and Office 2013, this guide helped me and save me from re-synching 7 Gb of data again from the Exchange 365. I recommend to backup entire Profile Key and then do any modification without fear. :-)

  17. pietje says:

    Robert, yes it’s the most dirtiest hack I made on the registry ever. But the windows -8 hack worked on my windows-7 64-bit V14 version of Outlook Hints to elaborate
    Under the subkeys of 9375CFF0413111d3B88A00104B2A6676 you can which number (3, 6 etc.) is tied to which account name by editting the Áccountname value, in the text bar to the right oof the edit window you will see the account name in ASCII.
    Once you know which account–number to be deleted (0,1,3,6) it’s a matter of looking up the subkey in 01023d15 key and entering that value in the top-level : 0a0d020000000000c000000000000046 subkey.

  18. Ivan says:

    Thanks. Works fine with Outlook 2016 and Windows 8.1 too. (followed instructions for Windows 8)

  19. Ivan says:

    Thanks. Works fine with Outlook 2016 (registry path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\Profiles) and Windows 8.1 too. (followed instructions for Windows 8)

  20. Andre says:

    Thanks! Works fine with Outlook2016 and Windows 10 with your Win8 instructions.

  21. David Martin says:

    Works with the latest Outlook2016 and Windows 10 using Win8 instrcutions and the in registery to version 16 not version 15.

  22. Tom C says:

    This worked *perfectly*. I actually found a bit of a shortcut as 00000002 didn’t exist for me (mine turned out to be 00000011).

    1. In the Mail 32bit program in Control Panel, set the account you want to be the new primary as the default in both the e-mail tab and the data files tab. Then close
    2. Search the profile for the value “001f662b”. You will find one for each Exchange account you have. Stop when you find the one corresponding with the account you want to remove (look at other values within the key, they will have things like the username of the account, etc.).
    3. Right click on the value called “01023d15”, click modify
    4. Select the whole data, right click, select copy.
    5. Go to the 0a0d0200000… key mentioned in this article
    6. Find the “01023d15” value, right click on it, click modify
    7. Select the whole data, right click, select paste
    8. Pres F5 to refresh, then close regedit
    9. Open the Mail 32bit program again. You can now delete the old primary mail account without the annoying error message.

    Thanks so much for your help identifying the crucial key. Saved me a world of effort as the exchange server that I was using as my primary changed, and I have 7 other e-mail accounts with 16GB of OST/PST files that I didn’t want to have to delete and recreate a new profile for.

    • Tom C says:

      Correction – point number 2 should say “one corresponding with the account you want to be the new default” (not the primary one you are wishing to remove)

      • John Li says:

        This is very important update, since you need copy the key data of the supposed primary exchange account and use this data to replace the primary account key.

        In this way the primary account is set to the new exchange account.

        Thanks for Clearify.

    • Pete Mason says:

      Thank you, that was the explanation that worked. It saved me a lot of hours of work.

  23. Lee says:

    Worked perfect for me. My computer works great and didn’t break!

  24. Nick P says:

    This is great, really dirty, but great – thank you Robert for doing the digging on it.

    The key here is definitely the value of *01023d15* in *0a0d020000000000c000000000000046*, which contains a reference to the primary account. The difference seems to be how the primary account is referenced in different versions of Office / Windows. I have only tested two configurations, but my results are below:

    On Office 365 (Version 1701) / Windows 10, *01023d15* should simply contain the Service UID of the primary account as outlined in the article.

    On Office 2010 / Windows 7, the key with the same name as the Service UID itself contains a GUID in *01023d15*, which should be used in *0a0d020000000000c000000000000046\01023d15*.

    For example, if the account that you want as primary has Service UID *e1 c3 97 69 0f 22 8e 4e 82 18 7d 39 69 b5 95 e7*, then use the value of *Profiles\Outlook\e1c397690f228e4e82187d3969b595e7\01023d15* in *Profiles\Outlook\0a0d020000000000c000000000000046\01023d15*.

    I hope that this helps someone as it took me a while to figure out, and the method in the article for Windows 7 didn’t work for me. I also preferred the Windows 8 way in the article of actually changing the primary account (and this seems to do the same for Windows 7).

    The other key thing here (which I didn’t find so clear in the article) is that *0a0d020000000000c000000000000046\01023d15* should be set to the value relating to the account that should be the new primary account, and the current value can be checked by cross referencing the values as above.

    Finally, on my Windows 7 system with Office 2010, the profile keys were under *HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\*.

  25. Vladimir says:

    Thank you, Robert, Tom C and Nick P. Using your tips on the point number 2, I successfully removed an obsolete exchange account on my Windows 10 Pro system with Outlook 2010. It worked for me without any problem. The *Windows 8 way* did the trick. I also had another Exchange account with 3 GB of data that I didn’t want to delete and recreate.

  26. Any says:

    Thanks. Works fine with Outlook 2016 (registry path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\Profiles) and Windows 8.1 too.

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