How to Share OE (Mail/News/Address Book) between Users in Windows XP

If you don't mind having Signatures, Rules and all the other settings the same, this method works.

From the user account that is already set up:  Click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT

Locate the following 4 branches of the Registry

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Account Manager
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\WAB\WAB4\Wab File Name

Right click on each branch above and select Export and save the REG files to your hard drive.

For each account you want to have the same mail settings, log into that account. Click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT. Locate the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities branch, right click it and select Delete. Next open Windows Explorer and locate the 4 REG files you saved above. Double click each one and answer yes to the import prompt.

Now you can open OE in any of the User accounts, and all the settings, accounts, will be the same.  This was tested with the Mail and News Store on a FAT32 drive. I can't guarantee it will work on an NTFS drive. 

Note: You will need to re-enter the passwords for mail and news group accounts.

Note2: If you use Signatures, you should put them in a text file and change OE's settings to use them. Signatures are often corrupted during the import. This is due to the Unicode storage of the signatures in the Registry.

Sharing the Outlook Express Address Book in Windows XP

While logged on to the user's desktop that has the address book you want to use:  Click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT:

Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\WAB\WAB4\Wab File Name

Note the path to the WAB file in the (Default) entry. Log into the other desktop and open REGEDIT there. Navigate down to the same location as above. Double click the entry for (Default) and make it match the entry for the first user.

This page last updated 06/03/2011 06:10
All material © Doug Knox