Why Outlook Express may not switch between identities!

Posted By : of Data Doctors on December 30, 2002

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Recently I updated (Windows XP Home edition) with Service Pack 1 and since then, I've been unable to use the Switch Identities feature. Is it my machine or is there some change that has occurred from the update?


This question was answered on December 30, 2002. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

If you are a user of either version of Windows XP (Home or Professional) and use Outlook Express 6 with multiple identities, you may have experienced this ‘bug’ after installing the XP Service Pack 1 update.

The problem was discovered in October, shortly after SP1 was released (Microsoft posts these free Service Packs as a way to address known issues with their software.)

The bug only affects users that have more than one ‘Identity’ created in Outlook Express and attempt to switch between them (Identities allow multiple users to use the same program to check different e-mail accounts Click on ‘File’ then ‘Identities’ to add or manage identities.)

One work-around that has been posted suggests that users disable the default account setting so that the program always asks you to select an Identity whenever it is opened To do this, click on ‘File’ then ‘Identities’ and then click ‘Manage Identities’ Remove the checkmark from the ‘Use this identity when starting a program’ check box and click on Close.

This configuration is also handy for households that have lots of e-mail users that all use Outlook Express and want to ensure that the proper identity is used when the program is opened By default, Outlook Express returns to the last identity that was used, which can allow users to accidentally send a message from the wrong account.

Since the bug was discovered, Microsoft has also posted a fix for this bug and several other known issues at www.tinyurl.com/2e5i Be sure that you have installed the Internet Explorer Service Pack 1 update (www.tinyurl.com/1ec9) before installing the Outlook Express fix.

If you use the www.windowsupdate.com site on a regular basis to protect yourself from the various vulnerability issues that are discovered in Microsoft products (I recommend doing so at least once a month) you may already have the ‘Cumulative Update for Outlook Express 6.0 SP1’ patch installed.

To determine if you have the patch, click on the ‘Help’ menu then on the ‘About’ option to display the exact version of Outlook Express you have installed If the version number is 6.00.2800.1123, then you have already installed the update.

This update also addresses issues with long web addresses that would break if it had to ‘wrap’ (continue on a second line) in the body of a message and a freezing problem when users attempt to insert a signature in a message.

By the way, for those of you that have to publish long web addresses (like the ones to Microsoft’s web site in this article) and don’t want to risk having them ‘truncated’, broken in a message or mistyped, you can use one of my favorite resources on the web; www.tinyurl.com.

This site will create a ‘tiny url’ for long addresses and redirect users via this tiny address to the original site and best of all it’s free!

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Posted by of Data Doctors on December 30, 2002

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