I forgot my Outlook password

Important notice for users of Office 2003    To continue receiving security updates for Office, make sure you're running Office 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3). The support for Office 2003 ends April 8, 2014. If you’re running Office 2003 after support ends, to receive all important security updates for Office, you need to upgrade to a later version such as Office 365 or Office 2013. For more information, see Support is ending for Office 2003.

Applies to
Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003
Microsoft Outlook® 2002

ShowE-mail account password

If you have a POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3): A common Internet protocol that is used to retrieve email messages from an Internet email server.) e-mail account, and you have a problem with your account password, the following dialog box appears.

Enter Network Password dialog box

You can fix the problem by doing the following:

  1. Contact your Internet service provider (ISP) (ISP: A business that provides access to the Internet for such things as electronic mail, chat rooms, or use of the World Wide Web. Some ISPs are multinational, offering access in many locations, while others are limited to a specific region.), and ask the ISP to assign your account a new password. Your old password cannot be retrieved from Outlook.
  2. Update your e-mail account settings with your new password.


  1. On the Tools menu, click E-mail Accounts.
  2. Click View or change existing e-mail accounts, and then click Next.
  3. Click the e-mail account you want, and then click Change.
  4. Make sure that the settings you see match the information you received from your ISP. You have the option of having Outlook remember your password by typing it in the Password box and selecting the Remember password check box. Although this means that you won't have to type your password each time you access the account, it also means that the account is vulnerable to anyone who has access to your computer.
  5. To verify that your account is working, click Test Account Settings. If any information is missing or incorrect, such as your password, you are prompted to type or correct it. Make sure your computer is connected to the Internet.
  6. If necessary, make your changes to the appropriate information. If you want to change additional settings, click More Settings. Otherwise, click Next.
  7. Click Finish.

 Note   Unless specified by your ISP, all server and address entries are typed in lowercase letters. Some ISPs require a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters for passwords to add further security, for example, passWorD. Check with your ISP to see if it requires a case-sensitive password. Use strong passwords that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Weak passwords don't mix these elements. Strong password: Y6dh!et5. Weak password: House27. Passwords should be 8 or more characters in length. A pass phrase that uses 14 or more characters is better. For more information, see Help protect your personal information with strong passwords.It is critical that you remember your password. If you forget your password, Microsoft cannot retrieve it. Store the passwords that you write down in a secure place away from the information that they help protect.

ShowPersonal Folders file (.pst) password

If you have password protected a Personal Folders file (.pst) (Personal Folders file (.pst): Data file that saved your messages and other items on your computer. You can assign a .pst file to be the default delivery location for email messages. You can use a .pst to organize and back up items for safekeeping.), when you try to open the .pst file in Outlook, a dialog box similar to the following appears.

Personal Folders Password dialog box

 Important   Make sure you remember your password. Without the password, you cannot open the .pst file, and you cannot access any of the items or folders it contains. Microsoft is not able to retrieve lost file passwords.

Applies to:
Outlook 2003