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Error message when you start Outlook 2003: "Unable to open your default e-mail folders"

Support for Office 2003 has ended

Microsoft ended support for Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

You install Microsoft Office 2003 by using a custom transform (.mst file) that was created by using the Custom Installation Wizard for Office 2003. After you do this, you may receive the following error message when you start Microsoft Office Outlook 2003:
Unable to open your default e-mail folders
This issue may occur when the following conditions are true:
  • You are using Outlook 2003 in Cached Exchange Mode.
  • The custom transform creates a REG_SZ registry value for the
    registry subkey.
  • The custom transform uses an environment variable such as %userprofile%.

    Note The Custom Installation Wizard for Office 2003 recommends that you use an environment variable.
Because the registry value is REG_SZ, Microsoft Windows cannot expand the environment variable.
To resolve this issue, modify the custom transform. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. In the Custom Installation Wizard for Office 2003, disable the ForcePSTPath setting in the Change Office User Settings dialog box. This setting is located in the Microsoft Office Outlook 2003\Miscellaneous\PST Settings folder.
  2. In the Add/Remove Registry Entries dialog box, click Add on the Add Registry Entry tab.
  3. Type the following registry settings:
    • Root: HKEY_Current_UserData Type: REG_EXPAND_SZ
    • Key: Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook
    • Value Name: ForcePSTPath
    • Value Data: userprofile\existing_folder_path
  4. On the Outlook: Customize Default Profile page, click New, and then configure the profile to use Cached Exchange Mode.
  5. Use this modified custom transform to reinstall Office 2003.
OFF2003 OL2003

Article ID: 917383 - Last Review: 04/21/2006 20:34:00 - Revision: 1.0

  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
  • kbtshoot kbprb kbexpertiseadvanced KB917383