Clear Outlook's Most Recently Used lists

Last reviewed on October 29, 2013

Applies to Microsoft Outlook 2010, 2007, 2003 and older

Clear location fieldOutlook stores a number of recently used lists, from other users mailboxes, to locations, and recent searches, and stationery lists.

If you want to clear the list, you need to delete the appropriate registry value. Because the values are stored in binary format, you can’t edit the list to remove some entries from it, only delete the entire list. The next time Outlook is used, it will recreate a blank key.

Outlook 2013 MRUs are listed at Clearing Outlook 2013′s Most Recently Used (MRU) lists

The MRU lists are stored in two areas, the user profile key under Windows Messaging Subsystem or Outlook’s key.

MRUs under the profile key

In Outlook 2010 and older, navigate to the profile key, found at:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\profile\0a0d020000000000c000000000000046

MRU list:Value to delete from 0a0d020000000000c000000000000046
Actions, New Mail Using, Stationery list101f035e
File, Open, Other Users Folders (OL97/2002)101e0384
File, Open, Other Users Folders (OL2003)101f0390
Move to Folder history101f031e
Save Sent Items folder list101f0449
Insert, Signature dialog of the Outlook editor101f035c
Find Contact (Outlook 20072010)101f0446
Insert > Business Card (in compose message)101f042b

Note that this is the key in Windows 2000/XP/Vista – the path may be slightly different in earlier versions. If you can’t find it, search for “Windows Messaging Subsystem”.

MRUs under the Outlook key

Note that in Outlook 2013, the Profile key is now under this key.

Navigate to :
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\xx.0\Outlook\

where xx is your version of Outlook.

MRU list:SubkeyDelete this value:
Find Contact toolbar button (not Outlook 2010)..\Contact\QuickFindMRU\QuickfindMRU
Find Pane’s Look in list..\Contact\StripSearchMRU\StripSearchMRU
Appointment Locations..\PreferencesLocationMRU
Advanced Find’s Search for Word(s)..\Office Finder\MRU 1
Advanced Find’s More Choices, Categories..\Office Finder\MRU 3
Choose Form dialog
New Item > More Item > Choose Form
..\Office Explorer\Namespaces

The Fonts MRU list is stored in the SettingsWordMail value in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\xx.0\Word\Data. I’m not sure exactly what else is in the value, but you need to delete the value to clear the Fonts MRU.

Do It For Me

If you don’t want to edit the registry yourself, you can download and run the reg file for the key you want to delete. Make sure you choose the correct version and remember to restart Outlook for the key to take affect.

Appointment Locations (LocationMRU): Outlook 2010 | Outlook 2007 | 2003 | 2002
Advanced Find’s Search for Words (MRU 1): Outlook 2010 | Outlook 2007 | Outlook 2003
Advanced Find’s More Choices, Categories (MRU 3): Outlook 2010 | Outlook 2007 | 2003
Choose Form dialog (Office Explorer \ Namespaces): Outlook 2010 | Outlook 2007 | 2003

How to use the Registry Editor

Many of the Most Recently Used (MRU) lists in Outlook can be deleted by editing the registry. Quit Outlook then open the registry editor from the Start menu, Run command by typing regedit, and then click OK.

Navigate the left pane of the registry editor, looking for :

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\xx.0\Outlook\

or:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\

Outlook Version numbers are as follows:

Outlook 201315.0
Outlook 201014.0
Outlook 200712.0
Outlook 200311.0
Outlook 200210.0
Outlook 20009.0
Outlook 988.5
Outlook 978.0

Once you locate the proper set of keys, use File, Export to back up this section of the registry. If you are worried you made a mistake, you can double click on the *.reg file to restore it. Next, browse for the specific keys mentioned above. Select the value on the right side and delete it.

MRU’s in other applications

If you need to delete MRU list in other windows applications use the Registry Editors Edit, Find menu to look for the keyword “MRU”.

Written by

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 Outlookforums.

17 responses to “Clear Outlook's Most Recently Used lists”

  1. mitch

    Wish I had found this site years ago. Great info posted here.

  2. Jan Sergey Øverby

    Great information Diane.
    My problem was with the "Find Contact" function in Outlook 2010, it showed/listed old deleted contacts. I did tried to clear the "Find Contact" cache with all the regular solutions such as uncheck "show results as I write", Clear cache "clear auto complete list". Your solution did work:
    run/regedit
    navigate to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\a0d020000000000c000000000000046
    Clear this value:
    101f0446

    Keep up the good work, Thanks!

    Regards Seiern

  3. Lone Rngr

    very good information, thank you. how to remove the list of "Attach item/Business card" when creating an email message? thanks!

  4. Lone Rngr

    awesome - worked like a charm. thank you!

  5. Brian Pituley

    Rather than clearing the list, I'd like to know how to make the list longer than it is. I've been unable to find the registry key for it...

  6. Brian Pituley

    Disappointing. Thanks, Diane.

  7. Mark

    How do I clear the drop down list when I go to new mail and the "to" button gives me email choices for the first letter i push. How do I clear that list?

  8. Mark Pool

    Worked like a charm. Thanks.

  9. Beatrice

    This is really helpful, but I've been trying to find how to clear the most recently used fonts on the fonts drop-down list for ages. This is the closest I've come so far. I'm almost debating reinstalling my Outlook, but I don't know if I should go that far (as this is the company computer).

  10. Beatrice

    A miracle! Thank you so, so much, Diane!

  11. Roberto

    Thanks!!!!!!!! :-)

  12. Eyal Melamed

    Hello
    I have a slightly different problem that I can't find solution to:
    When I clicked on "move to folder" button (or "copy to folder") I used to see a list of the Most Recently Used (MRU) folders. This was very useful and saved time.
    Suddenly this disappeared. I do not see this list any more and I see only the regular folder navigation window.

    I saw your article (and others) talking about the registry I need to delete in order to clear the MRU list (deleted the registry 101f031e which is "move to folder history") but it did not help.
    After I re-opened outlook, and moved a note to a folder, the register appeared again - so I see it is updated with the history, but when I click on "move to folder" I STILL DO NOT SEE THE HISTORY LIST, just the regular navigation list
    Can someone help?

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