OLEXP: Unable to use Personal Certificates in Outlook Express

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When sending digitally-signed mail in Microsoft Outlook Express you mayreceive the following message:

   The message could not be sent. An error has occurred.				

When you receive encrypted mail in Outlook Express, the message may beincorrectly decrypted.
This behavior can occur if you click Cancel at the Windows Log On. OutlookExpress is unable to locate your personal certificate information and willtherefore be unable to send digitally-signed messages or decrypt messagesreceived.

This behavior can also occur if the username.pwl file is corrupt, missing, or renamed.
To resolve this issue, when you are prompted for user name and password,enter the correct information and press OK.

You should export the Personal Certificate before renaming or deleting the username.pwl file, and then import the certificate after creating a new .pwl file. If you are unable to export the certificate, you need to obtain another personal certificate.
More information
The Personal Certificate information used to digitally sign and decryptsecure messages in Outlook Express is stored in an area of the registrybased on the user who is logged in to Windows. If the user clicks Cancelat the Windows log in screen, the user is not logged in to Windows and thesystem may not be able to determine which Personal Certificate to use forsecure communications. In addition, the user may experience the samebehavior if they had clicked Cancel at the log in screen during the sessionwhen they acquired their Personal Certificate.
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Article ID: 190296 - Last Review: 01/12/2015 16:01:20 - Revision: 1.0

  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • kbnosurvey kbarchive kbprb KB190296