The “Microsoft Outlook won’t save my password” problem

In have had this issue for YEARS. It is so annoying and only a problem with my gmail and one of my ISP accounts. But by God it drives me nuts. So I’ve Googled it every so often to see if I could fix it but nothing useful has come up. Nobody I asked could figure it out either. The answer was always “you’ll need to recreate the mail account”. Pfft, it still happened!

I was a bit bored tonight, well, waiting for UT2k4 to install so I thought I might give it another Google…

From a comment on the Ask Dave Taylor blog entry regarding this issue:

I also had this issue in Outlook 2003, but also in indows Live Messenger and Internet Explorer 7.

I spend hours and hours searching the internet and could not find the solution. The only possible solution you find on almost all forums (but does not help in most cases is to repair the protected storage system provided registry key:

So, here is a solution that is not even in the Microsoft knowledge base. It helped me and hopefully many others. It was found because I new exactly when it started to happen: after uninstalling a software program. The uninstall procedure removed to many registry keys…


Important: this solution contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure to back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. View the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base for information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry:

Follow the next steps to solve this issue:

1. Close all running programs
2. Click on [Start] » Run
3. Type “Regedit” and click [OK]
4. Open the following folder:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
5. Now choose Edit » New » Expandable String Value
6. Enter “AppData” as a name
7. Double click the new entry
8. Enter “%USERPROFILE%\Application Data” in the value data field.
9. Close the registry editor

It is possible that additional registry keys are missing. Below is a list of all keys that should exist in the “User Shell Folders”. There are different ways to add these keys again:
* Use the instructions provided on
* Add them manually by following the steps above
* Export the keys from a computer/user on which the issue does not occur, and then importing them again.

To export and import:
1. Logon to Windows with a user account for which the issue does not occur (this may also be a different workstation).
2. Click on [Start] » Run
3. Type “Regedit” and click [OK]
4. Open the following folder:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
5. Right click the “User Shell Folders” key on the left and choose “Export”. Specify a name and location of for the export file and click [Save].
6. Close the registry editor
7. Logon to Windows with the user account that experiences this issue
8. Double click on the exported registry key you created in step 5.
9. Click [Yes] when asked if you are sure to add the information, then click [OK] for the “successfully imported” message.

Registry keys that should exist in the “User Shell Folders” key.
The list below has the format “Key Name – Value Data”. The type for all keys is “Expandable String Value” (REG_EXPAND_SZ).

* AppData – %USERPROFILE%\Application Data
* Cache – %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files
* Cookies – %USERPROFILE%\Cookies
* Desktop – %USERPROFILE%\Desktop
* Favorites – %USERPROFILE%\Favorites
* History – %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\History
* Local AppData – %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data
* Local Settings – %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings
* My Pictures – %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\My Pictures
* NetHood – %USERPROFILE%\NetHood
* Personal – %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\
* PrintHood – %USERPROFILE%\PrintHood
* Programs – %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs
* SendTo – %USERPROFILE%\SendTo
* Start Menu – %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu
* Startup – %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
* Templates – %USERPROFILE%\Templates

The “User Shell Folder” is a subkey of the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer registry. Entries in this subkey can also appear in the “Shell Folders” subkey and in both HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and HKEY_CURRENT_USER. The entries that appear in user User Shell Folders take precedence over those in Shell Folders. The entries that appear in HKEY_CURRENT_USER take precedence over those in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
Posted by: JeePee at May 23, 2007 3:47 PM

I don’t know who you are JeePee, but you’re a fucking legend. Thank you!!

6 thoughts on “The “Microsoft Outlook won’t save my password” problem

  1. Cool Beans Man!! Now if I ever have that problem I know who to ask. ;) Did it fix your Gmail account password also?

  2. Woohooo! look at me, I’m helping peoples… -_-
    ’tis the power of the web, find the solutions to problems and then SPREAD THEM!

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