Uninstalling Office 2013

Last reviewed on May 25, 2013   —  17 comments

Office 2013 logoSo you installed Office 2013 Preview and decided you didn't want to use it and thought you uninstalled it... but like many Office betas, uninstalling it leaves stuff lying around.

Microsoft has an uninstaller for the Click to Run version as well as instructions for anyone who prefers to uninstall Office 2013 themselves. Details can be found at Uninstall Microsoft Office 2013 or Office 365

After uninstalling Office, reboot then do a reinstall of your old version. Because Outlook 2013 moves the Profile keys (now in HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Profiles), uses a more compact *.ost format, and keeps IMAP mail in an *.ost file, the Outlook 2013 profile won't work with older versions of Outlook.

Also note that if you used an IMAP account in Outlook 2013, it now stores calendar and contacts in an offline data store (*.ost). You'll need to export any calendar items or contacts added to the IMAP folders before uninstalling Office 2013 or removing the account from Outlook as the *.ost file can only be opened by the account that created it.

Removing orphaned Control Panel Mail icon

Uninstalling Office 2013 Preview left behind the Control Panel "Mail (Microsoft Outlook 15)" applet. It shows as a broken shortcut with a white paper icon. How do I remove it?

orphaned mail appletCheck the following registry locations for an entry for Office 15, starting with the first keys. As always, you should export the keys before deleting them.

Deleting this key should remove the Control panel Mail applet.

Default value: "C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office 15\\root\\Office15\\MLCFG32.CPL,0"

Note: delete the entire key (folder icon, on the left), not just the default value! You can export the key first if you are worried it will mess up your system. Right click on the key and choose Export the right click again and choose Delete.

If not, check these keys and delete the values that point MLCFG32 to the Office 15 path.

Control panel key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel\Cpls 
Name: mlcfg32.cpl

Control panel key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel\Extended Properties\{305CA226-D286-468E-B848-2B2E8E697B74}
Value: path to MLCFG32, such as C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\MLCFG32.CPL

Control panel key:


Clients key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\Mail\Microsoft Outlook\shell\Properties\command
(Default) value will be something like: rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL "C:\PROGRA~1\MICROS~1\Office15\MLCFG32.CPL" 

About Diane Poremsky

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlook forums by Slipstick.com.

17 responses to “Uninstalling Office 2013”

  1. Ed Evans

    I tried the steps above. Still have white icon. Windows 7 64

    1. Diane Poremsky

      I'm assuming there is nothing at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\Office15\MLCFG32.CPL...

      Did you reboot?

  2. Ed Evans

    Yes. I rebooted but path is gone

  3. Diane Poremsky

    I'll have to look into it - deleting the registry keys should have removed it.

  4. Claudine Corkins

    When I reply to a message in Outlook 2013 the message font reduces drastically?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      It's probably the zoom setting. Do you see a zoom button on the right of the ribbon or the zoom slider in the status bar?

      See http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/adjust-outlooks-zoom-setting/ for more information and screenshots.

  5. Ed Evans

    Did you find anything on this?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      No, so far no one seems to know why it's still there (on a personal computer) if the folder is gone and the 5 registry keys are gone. If you are using a corporate computer, it could be the result of a group policy.

  6. Ed Evans

    Nope, non-corporate

    1. Diane Poremsky

      I'm out of ideas. Sorry.

  7. Teri Gary

    installed office 2013 on laptop and one day later it crashed!!! purchased new laptop, can i reload on new laptop???? how?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      You can reload it on the new one. Did you get an online subscription or a boxed DVD? If online, log in, download and install. If you have a CD, reinstall it - you may need to call in to activate.

  8. Scott Mains

    Hi Diane et al,

    Deleting this key removed the extra Mail Icon from my system:

    "LocalizedString"="Mail (Microsoft Outlook 15)"
    "InfoTip"="Microsoft Outlook Profiles"

    @="C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office 15\\root\\Office15\\MLCFG32.CPL,0"



    @="\"C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office 15\\root\\Client\\AppVLP.exe\" rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL \"C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office 15\\root\\Office15\\MLCFG32.CPL\""

  9. Susan

    My outlook is set up as exchange. My email will not work with exchange. How do I get rid of it? I have uninstalled and reinstalled three times to no avail.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      You need to edit the profile to remove the account and add it back, using the correct account type. Do this in Control panel, Mail. See Remove and Add accounts in outlook if you need the complete steps.

  10. funmi lawal

    My outlook is completely not responding, I accidentally entered the wrong server details and now it wont allow me to access anything on outlook. error message cannot open f.lawal@miaconsulting.biz.pst.

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