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.

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