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How remove primary account from outlook 2010

    Question

  • Hi,

    I have 3 accounts setup in Oulook 2010 Beta, 2 Microsoft Exchange ones and 1 IMAP one. Now I want to remove 1 of the Microsoft Exchange accounts (because the company changed servers). And when I go to the Account settings, select the account and click remove I get the following notice:

    [quote]
    The primary account cannot be removed unless it is the only account in the profile. You must remove all other Exchange accounts before removing the primary account.
    [/quote]

    I can remove the other Exchange Account, but I don't want to as I want to continue to use it. How can I remove the primary account? (BTW: What is a primary account? Is it because this account was added first to the profile or something?)

    Thanks a lot in advance
    Friday, May 21, 2010 10:19 AM

Answers

  • The error is a little bit misleading as it actually refers to the default message store which cannot be removed and not the default account. Set the message store of the other Exchange account or a pst-file as the default, restart Outlook and then you should be able to remove the account.

    To change the default message store use;
    File-> Account Settings-> Account Settings...-> tab Data Files



    Robert Sparnaaij [MVP-Outlook]
    Outlook guides and more: HowTo-Outlook.com
    Outlook Quick Tips: MSOutlook.info
    • Proposed as answer by Sally Tang Monday, May 24, 2010 8:31 AM
    • Marked as answer by Sally Tang Thursday, May 27, 2010 9:30 AM
    Friday, May 21, 2010 1:00 PM
  • I ended up removing both Exchange account and re-adding the Exchange account I wanted to keep.
    • Marked as answer by PHDASPIC Thursday, July 08, 2010 11:52 AM
    Monday, May 31, 2010 9:06 PM

All replies

  • Can you see if the account you want to remove is set as default under Tools | Account Settings | E-mail tab? If so, does changing the default to another account help?

    - Thanks, Jinesh.
    Friday, May 21, 2010 11:21 AM
  • Thanks for the reply.

    The account I want to remove is *not* the default account. The account which is the default account can be removed.

    I don't know how I can change what account is my primary account.

    Friday, May 21, 2010 12:11 PM
  • What is your Exchange version?
    - Thanks, Jinesh.
    • Proposed as answer by Rene Lippens Tuesday, June 04, 2013 8:05 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by Rene Lippens Tuesday, June 04, 2013 8:05 AM
    Friday, May 21, 2010 12:38 PM
  • The error is a little bit misleading as it actually refers to the default message store which cannot be removed and not the default account. Set the message store of the other Exchange account or a pst-file as the default, restart Outlook and then you should be able to remove the account.

    To change the default message store use;
    File-> Account Settings-> Account Settings...-> tab Data Files



    Robert Sparnaaij [MVP-Outlook]
    Outlook guides and more: HowTo-Outlook.com
    Outlook Quick Tips: MSOutlook.info
    • Proposed as answer by Sally Tang Monday, May 24, 2010 8:31 AM
    • Marked as answer by Sally Tang Thursday, May 27, 2010 9:30 AM
    Friday, May 21, 2010 1:00 PM
  • The data store of the other Exchange account already is the default data store. Should I try just manually removing the data store of the exchange account I want to remove?
    Friday, May 21, 2010 1:26 PM
  • What is your Exchange version?


    - Thanks, Jinesh.

     

    How can I determine this?

    Friday, May 21, 2010 1:27 PM
  • What is your Exchange version?

    How can I determine this?

    See: Exchange version

    Robert Sparnaaij [MVP-Outlook]
    Outlook guides and more: HowTo-Outlook.com
    Outlook Quick Tips: MSOutlook.info
    Friday, May 21, 2010 2:36 PM
  • What is your Exchange version?

    How can I determine this?

    See: Exchange version

    Robert Sparnaaij [MVP-Outlook]
    Outlook guides and more: HowTo-Outlook.com
    Outlook Quick Tips: MSOutlook.info


    I doubt this will help me as I can no longer connect to the exchange server I am trying to remove (it is discontinued). Also I am using Outlook 2010 so using the method from the article it would no be possible to differentiate between which server the information is coming from I think.

    Did you also see my reply before this?

    The data store of the other Exchange account already is the default data store. Should I try just manually removing the data store of the exchange account I want to remove?
    Friday, May 21, 2010 2:49 PM
  • Bump.
    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 7:19 AM
  • I ended up removing both Exchange account and re-adding the Exchange account I wanted to keep.
    • Marked as answer by PHDASPIC Thursday, July 08, 2010 11:52 AM
    Monday, May 31, 2010 9:06 PM
  • Hello Mr Roady MVP, your solution does not work. Office 2010 hates it when you try to remove an Exchange account.

    The only way to do this is to delete all Exchange accounts and re add them like the last post says. No idea why.

     

    Monday, July 05, 2010 4:34 AM
  • Have the same problem here. Can't remove the first account that was added to the profile. Tried changing default Data and Mailbox, but didn't help.
    Wednesday, October 27, 2010 12:51 PM
  • Same issue here (RTM version). Just two Exchange accounts. Old server is no longer available. No possible way that I have found to remove either of the accounts. I am told they are both Primary when trying to delete...

    Creating a new profile is the only method I have found to work...which is disappointing. 

     

    Saturday, November 27, 2010 5:13 PM
  • of course it's not going to be easy and of course, Microsoft support will not adequately answer the question.  they usually give a canned response that seems like it comes from a non-english speaker with 60 IQ.

    Anyway, I figured it out.  Go to Control Panel -> Mail and Show Profiles.  Remove the Outlook (default) profile and create a new one.  Then, start fresh and setup your account how you need it.

    • Proposed as answer by David.Warwick Saturday, September 22, 2012 3:45 PM
    Sunday, April 17, 2011 6:37 PM
  • Roady-

     

    This solution did not work. I am happy to run down any additional instructions you may provide.

    We have 210 people in the same situation

    My technicians migrated our Exchange services from one vendor to another and believed it would be a good idea to run both account side by side.

    Now that we are canceling the first provider, more than 200 people with starting getting authentication errors if we cannot delete the old (read primary) account.

    We do not have time to create new profiles for each of 210 users and then export PSTs and re-import PSTs.

    Your instruction provoked a slightly different response once and only once, I changed the default data files and then tried to delete the primary account and received the following new error . . . "Configuration information is being copied to your new data default file. You can delete the file after this information is copied". I waited for two hours . . . same result, restarted Outlook , restarted machine, now back to "Cannot delete primary account".

    Please advise with any other workarounds to get us moving.

     

    Thanks for your expertise.

     

     

     

    Monday, June 20, 2011 6:55 PM
  • This is still broken.

    I am running Windows 7 Professional 64 bit with all the latest recommended patches, Microsoft Office Professional 2010 with the Microsoft Office 365 update, and I am unable to remove the account for our old, internal exchange server after adding the Office 365 exchange server.

    Wednesday, October 05, 2011 1:45 AM
  • Unable in what way? What happens when you try? Any error messages?

    Depending on how the original configuration was deployed, you may need to recreate your mail profile completely via the Mail applet in Control Panel.
    See; http://www.howto-outlook.com/faq/newprofile.htm



    Robert Sparnaaij [MVP-Outlook]
    Outlook guides and more: HowTo-Outlook.com
    Outlook Quick Tips: MSOutlook.info
    Wednesday, October 05, 2011 8:03 AM
  • Same error:

    "The primary account cannot be removed unless it is the only account in the profile.  You must remove all other Exchange accounts before removing the primary account."

    But I really don't want to go through the hassle of setting up the other (working) account again.

    There has to be a fix for this that actually works.  I've confirmed that both the account and data file that are set as default are NOT the ones that I want to delete and it still won't let me delete the account.


    zaanglabs.com | charliedigital.com | linkedin.com/in/charlescchen
    Tuesday, January 17, 2012 1:31 PM
  • I had the same problem, this is what I have done.

    Open the profile, found my second Exchange Account and copied the path to the OST file. 

    I backed up the OST file.

    Created a new Profile and then pick the existing OST file as the Data File.

    This seems to have achieved what I wanted.

    M

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 8:03 AM
  • Same problem here, some of our accounts also have links to PST data file, recreating a new profile will impose us to add all existing PST which will take a lot of time on all computers. Did any one find a solution to this problem, even if it means buying a dedicated tool ? Running W7 Pro 32 and Office 2010 Pro.

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 4:01 PM
  • Exact same problem here...and I'm not into this for 2 hours.  Outlook appears completely broken - which is wonderful.  I'm surprised that in 2012 we are still running into this type of stuff.
    Friday, June 08, 2012 8:45 PM
  • Try the solution at http://www.slipstick.com/exchange/primary-account-removed-outlook-2010/ - you'll need to remove a value from the registry, but with it gone, you can remove the primary.


    Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook]
    Outlook Daily Tips | Outlook & Exchange Solutions Center
    Subscribe to Exchange Messaging Outlook weekly newsletter

    • Proposed as answer by -_H_- Monday, August 20, 2012 11:56 AM
    Saturday, June 09, 2012 1:15 AM
  • You are a saviour, had I seen ur reply before, i wouldn't had to waste more than 4 hrs to fix the thing.
    Thursday, July 12, 2012 3:16 PM
  • That`s much easy as you think,

    Just remove

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem

    key, after that remove 

    C:\Documents and Settings\%userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook 

    folder.

    That`s it, launch Outlook and create new profile as usual.

    Wednesday, August 01, 2012 7:27 AM
  • If you delete the messaging system key, you are deleting ALL profiles configured in Outlook, not just the primary account from the profile.


    Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook]
    Outlook Daily Tips | Outlook & Exchange Solutions Center
    Subscribe to Exchange Messaging Outlook weekly newsletter

    Wednesday, August 01, 2012 1:01 PM
  • FORBES has the proper instructions here for this issue -

    This worked out perfectly, I would propose this as the answer!

    Issues: 

    • Cant remove the Primary Account from Outlook.
    • Two Accounts appear to both be primary Account and you can't remove them.
    • You have deleted a Mailbox with the intention of getting rid of the Primary Account problem but after you delete the Mailbox Outlook still shows the accounts in the Mailbox list on the left side in Outlook.
    • You try and remove the data file but Outlook tells you to remove the E-Mail Name but when you try and remove a name it won't let you remove the account.

    Resolve by:

    Close outlook.

    Open Control Panel and select MAIL.

    Select Show Profiles

    Select ADD and Enter the a Name for the Profile ( Example Persons Name )

    Now Highlight the Profile that has the problem you experienced earlier and the select REMOVE to remove the Profile.

    Select Apply and OK.

    Check to make sure that the Exchange Mailbox has the proper DEFAULT Email Address you want for the problem user - make sure the proper email Addess is SET AS THE DEFAULT email Address.

    Open Outlook and run the New account wizard for that user and it will reconnect to the mailbox with your mail and have only one Mail Account.




    Joe


    • Edited by Joe Albergo Thursday, November 15, 2012 9:36 PM Put my comment on top.
    Thursday, November 15, 2012 9:35 PM
  • Thanks a lot ,
    It worked , but I had to delete many keys because I was having many exchange accounts configured on my outlook.

    Is there a simple way to find the correct key for the specific user which has the primary account instead of deleting all of them?

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 8:31 AM
  • I was able to go to the Registry key below and export it first as a backup but then I searched for the server name that was used in the old account and deleted the whole key(Folder) not just the value. I then opened the profile account settings and removed with no problem.

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Windows Messaging SubSystem\Profile\profile-name

    Thursday, December 13, 2012 4:44 PM
  • Brilliant it worked!!!

    The show profiles is the button below 'Email Accounts'.

    I was having all sorts of problems like, i couldnt even switch the default account because it gave me erros, I could add new accounts but not remove them etc... I couldnt figure out how to switch the primary account, probably because it wouldnt let me, i really did try everything, except for the show profiles and then removed that and added a new one.

    the show profiles must be the container for all email accounts made on a windows machine.

    Thank you Matt Hines IT you are the man, saved my butt!!!

    p.s Dont forget to export your .pst file first!! 
    • Edited by loopafox Friday, April 19, 2013 5:15 PM forgot to add something
    Friday, April 19, 2013 5:15 PM
  • A bit late to the party:

    I tried the reg key option mention on SlipStick, and found several references to the old/primary mail account.
    It didn't work despite deleting all of them. 

    So I tried using the option of creating a new profile (in control panel - Mail 32) for the mail account that I wanted to keep, then simply adding in a new duplicate account as if starting from scratch.

    The key then is NOT to delete the OLD profile until the new duplicate account has synced up with Exchange. Once done,check your mailbox/contacts/calenders etc. to make sure all is up to date.

    You can then delete the other/old profile in outlook thus removing the OLD default account. I didnt need to re-import a .PST/OST as the exchange with the account I wanted to keep just updated the same EMAIL account in the other profile.

    Hope that helps

    Thursday, April 25, 2013 9:42 PM
  • So glad to find the pros on this issue.  Is anyone fixing this in Outlook 2013?  I have same issue of trying to delete former exchange server to replace with new one and am getting the primary account error message. When I go to

    Control Panel under Profiles, I see two: The EX I want to keep and the other one is simply called Outlook and that

    one contains all 3 of my email accounts, the new and old exchange server for my business, and my ATT (Yahoo),

    which was my original business account for several years and I do all my business via email so can't screw it up.  

    Monday, April 29, 2013 5:22 AM
  • Try the solution at http://www.slipstick.com/exchange/primary-account-removed-outlook-2010/ - you'll need to remove a value from the registry, but with it gone, you can remove the primary.


    Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook]
    Outlook Daily Tips | Outlook & Exchange Solutions Center
    Subscribe to Exchange Messaging Outlook weekly newsletter

    Love a good old fashioned Registry hack.

    I found 3 entried with the server name of the account I wanted to delete, did that.

    Restarted Outlook and removed the account no problem.

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013 3:50 AM
  • Thanks Diane. Removing that the old Exchange account from the Registry without having to remove the new one was exactly what I was looking for.  Had to to clean up some other traces from the Mail control panel, but it promoted the new Exchange account to primary. Thank you!
    Wednesday, January 29, 2014 4:18 PM