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Creating multiple Outlook Profiles

Creating multiple Outlook Profiles
How to create another Outlook profile for your work email, allowing you to easily separate work and home emails.

I have recently spent some time working from home on my own PC. I found that although Outlook Web Access (OWA) is a great way to check for that important email on the move, it's a bit clunky to work with for a long period of time, particularly as I usually work with multiple mailboxes and calendars. So is there an alternative? As I have VPN access to the office I chose instead to create a separate Outlook profile to handle my work email. This enabled me to work with Outlook as if I was in the office.

Although Outlook can open only one profile at a time, there is no documented limit to the amount of profiles you can have. When Outlook starts you just choose the profile you want.

To create more profiles open Control Panel from the Start menu and select the "Mail" option. If your Control Panel is in category view you will find it under "User Accounts" in Windows XP & Vista and "User Accounts and Family Safety" in Windows 7.

Remember if you are setting up a profile for your work email you will first need to make sure you are connected to your office over a VPN.

Clicking on "Show Profiles" opens the following screen.

Outlook Profiles article - mail

To add a new profile simply click on "Add". A new box will appear prompting you to put in a name for the profile. Once you have chosen a name click "OK" and you will be taken to the standard account creation screen.


Outlook profiles article - new account

For an Exchange account tick the "Manually configure server settings or additional server types" box and click "Next".

On the next screen chose "Microsoft Exchange" and click "Next".

You now need to put in the name of your Exchange server and your user name. Your IT support will be able to provide these details for you. Click "Next" and that's it! Your profile is created.

You will now be back at the Mail profile window. The last thing to do is make Outlook ask for a profile when opening. To do this choose the "Prompt for a profile to be used" option towards the bottom of the window and click OK. Now every time you open Outlook it will ask you which profile you would like to use.

You will have noticed that the default profile is called "Outlook". You can't rename this so what do you do if you want two profiles called "Home" and "Work"?

In the Mail Profiles screen highlight the "Outlook" profile and click "Copy". Put in the name you want and click "OK". You will now have another profile which is an exact copy but with the name you want. Highlight "Outlook" again and click "Remove". All your profiles are now called something meaningful .

Image: Michelle Meiklejohn /

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