Set a password to help protect your Outlook information

Applies to
Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003
Microsoft Outlook® 2000 and 2002

Currently there is no way to password protect Outlook on startup or to lock Outlook if you need to quickly walk away from your computer other than by using your Microsoft Windows® logon password or by using third-party software written specifically to password protect Outlook. However, you can set a password on your 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.). If you use an Internet e-mail account in Outlook, such as a POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3): A common Internet protocol that is used to retrieve email messages from an Internet email server.) or HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP): Protocol that is used when you access webpages from the Internet. Outlook uses HTTP as an email protocol.) account, your e-mail messages are delivered to a .pst data file on your computer's local hard disk. You can use a password on your .pst file to help prevent accidental intrusion by other people whom you share your computer with.

ShowHow?

  1. On the Go menu, click Folder List.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you have a POP3 e-mail account, right-click the Personal Folders folder, and then click Properties For "Personal Folders" on the shortcut menu.
    • If you have an HTTP e-mail account (not supported in Outlook 2000), right-click the account folder, and then click Properties For "Account" on the shortcut menu.
  3. On the General tab, click Advanced.
  4. Click Change Password.
  5. In the Change Password dialog box, type your new password and verify it by typing it a second time. The password can be up to 15 characters.

 Note    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.

  1. Make sure that the Save this password in your password list check box is cleared. This prevents the password from being cached, and you need to type the password each time you run Outlook. Don't forget the password.
  2. Click OK three times.

When you click the e-mail account folder, you will be prompted for your password. After you gain access, you won't have to enter the password again for that session. If you exit and then restart Outlook, you will be prompted for the password when you click the e-mail account folder.

 Important   The .pst password feature is not intended to provide security against hackers. It is just a way to prevent inadvertent intrusion by other people whom you trust and share your computer with, such as at home with your family. A more secure way of protecting your data on a computer that you share with other people is to create a password-protected Windows user account for each individual using the computer.

 
 
Applies to:
Outlook 2003