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Microsoft KB Archive/166778

From BetaArchive Wiki

Article ID: 166778

Article Last Modified on 1/19/2007


  • Microsoft Outlook 97 Standard Edition
  • MSPRESS Microsoft Office 97 Resource Kit

This article was previously published under Q166778


Profile.doc is a Microsoft Word 97 document which contains supplemental information about how administrators can modify the default profile settings used by Outlook's setup. Administrators can customize the Outlook.prf file before installing Outlook, or after installing but before the user starts Outlook for the first time. The More Information section of this article contains the complete text of this file, which is located in the \Outlook\Profiles folder of the Microsoft Office 97 Resource Kit Compact Disc.


Microsoft Outlook Profile Setup

Microsoft Outlook is a Windows Messaging application that requires a Windows Messaging profile. Profiles detail the user's e-mail settings and services, and are usually configured with the Mail and Fax application in the Windows Control Panel.

When the user first starts Microsoft Outlook on a system without a Windows Messaging profile, Outlook automatically creates a profile. The default Microsoft Outlook profile includes services for Personal Folders and the Outlook Address Book. After starting Microsoft Outlook, users can add services for Internet Mail, Microsoft Mail, Lotus cc:Mail, or other messaging systems.

Administrators can modify the default profile settings by customizing the OUTLOOK.PRF file before installing Outlook, or after installation but before the user starts Outlook for the first time.

How Outlook Profile Setup Works

If a valid Windows Messaging profile already exists on the system, then Outlook simply uses that profile and does not create a new one.

If a valid profile does not exist, Outlook creates one. Outlook Profile Setup works with NEWPROF.EXE, a utility provided with the Windows Messaging System. When the user first starts Outlook, Outlook searches for OUTLOOK.PRF in the user's Windows folder, verifies that the OUTLOOK.PRF file includes the Custom=1 setting in the [General] section, and then runs NEWPROF.EXE to create a new profile using the settings in OUTLOOK.PRF.

If OUTLOOK.PRF cannot be found, Outlook will launch the Windows Messaging Inbox Setup Wizard.

Exchange Server Administrators

Exchange Server administrators should replace the default OUTLOOK.PRF file. The default profile includes Personal Folders (a local .PST file) as the default message store, and does not include the Exchange Server service. Exchange administrators should copy EXCHANGE.PRF from the Office Resource Kit to their shared Outlook installation drive, edit it to provide a correct HomeServer= setting, and rename it OUTLOOK.PRF.

About the HomeServer= Setting

The HomeServer= setting is required for automatic configuration of an Outlook profile for Exchange Server users. The listed server can be any server in your Exchange domain; it does not need to be the user's specific home server. Outlook will query the user directory of the server you specify and will substitute the correct server name.

For example, if you have three servers-Server1, Server2, and Server3-in the same Exchange Server domain, you could create a single OUTLOOK.PRF file with HomeServer=Server1 for all Outlook installations. Outlook will substitute the correct server name for each user.

You should create separate OUTLOOK.PRF files with specific server names to allow for slow links or gaps in your wide-area network. For example, users installing Outlook in Europe should be pointed to an Exchange Server in Europe and not in North America.

If Outlook cannot resolve the user's name within the user directory of the Exchange Server you specify, Outlook will not start. Use the Mail and Fax application in the Windows Control Panel to provide the correct values for the user's mailbox name and server name, then restart Outlook.

Microsoft Mail Post Office Administrators

The EXCHANGE.PRF file in the Office Resource Kit also includes a list of client settings for the Microsoft Mail post office messaging service. You can edit EXCHANGE.PRF to install the Microsoft Mail service instead of the Exchange Server service.

Configuring Outlook User Options During Profile Setup

Some Outlook user options can be configured during profile setup by editing the OUTLOOK.PRF file. The complete list of valid settings is included in EXCHANGE.PRF file in the Office Resource Kit. The configurable options include:

  • EmptyWastebasket - Indicates that the Deleted Items folder is permanently emptied when exiting Outlook. Default is False.
  • SelectEntireWord - When selecting text, automatically selects entire words. Default is True.
  • AfterMoveMessage - Opens the next, previous, or no message after deleting the current message. Default is previous message.
  • CloseOriginalMessage - Closes the original message when the user replies or forwards. Default is False.
  • GenReadReceipt - Requests a read receipt report for every sent message. Default is False.
  • GenDeliveryReceipt - Requests a delivery confirmation report for every sent message. Default is False.
  • DefaultSensitivity - Specifies the default sensitivity level for new messages. Default is Normal.
  • DefaultPriority - Specifies the default priority level for new messages. Default is Normal.
  • SaveSentMail - Indicates that all sent messages are saved in the Sent Mail folder. Default is True.

To Disable the Outlook Profile Setup

To disable the Outlook Profile Setup, copy NONE.PRF from the Office Resource Kit to your shared installation drive, and rename it OUTLOOK.PRF.

For More Information

The Microsoft Technical Support Help File, included on the Office 97 Resource Kit's Tools and Utilities CD, contains useful information concerning Outlook and other Microsoft Office 97 products. The Help File contains Knowledge Base articles written by the Microsoft Technical Support Team. Some useful articles concerning Outlook and profiles are listed below. To find these articles, open the Microsoft Technical Support Help File and double-click on Outlook KB articles in the Contents tab.

  • XCLN: NEWPROF.EXE Command Line Options, Article ID: 145905, Revision Date: 25-JUL-1996
  • XCLN: How to Change Location of Offline Address Book Files, Article ID: 148493, Revision Date: 12-AUG-1996
  • XADM: Where Newprof.exe Gets the Username, Article ID: 148198, Revision Date: 25-JUL-1996
  • XCLN: Creating Default User Profiles, Article ID: 147352, Revision Date: 25-JUL-1996
  • XCLN: Description of the Profile Descriptor File, Article ID: 148664, Revision Date: 25-JUL-1996

You can visit the Microsoft Exchange Knowledge Base at and search for "NEWPROF". This site contains the above articles, along with any new articles that were published after this list was created.


Appendix A, "Tools and Utilities," of the Microsoft Office 97 Resource Kit provides additional information about controlling Microsoft Outlook 97 profiles during setup. The Microsoft Office 97 Resource Kit is a Microsoft Press book (ISBN: 1-57231-329-3) and is also available in an online form on the Microsoft Internet site at URL:

NOTE: Because the Microsoft Web site is regularly updated, the site address may change without notice. If this occurs, link to the Microsoft home page at the following address:

Keywords: KB166778