How to add or remove an email account

Last reviewed on January 25, 2013

We hear from a lot of users who receive the following error when they open Outlook for the first time after upgrading Outlook. (This frequently happens when using Easy Transfer to move the accounts to a new computer.)

“The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable. Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action. “‪

Sometimes they mistakenly created the wrong account type; other times Outlook upgrades an older profile and gets it wrong. (Let Outlook’s autodiscover create the email account automatically and it will create the recommended account type for your email domain.)

How can I remove Microsoft Exchange from my setup of my emails.  I can’t seem to remove it or change to an alternative.  The mail icon in the control panel does not exist. I can’t seem to locate the problem to change it…I’ve tried everything.

When you have the wrong type of account configured in Outlook you can easily remove the account and create the correct type of account. Because Windows groups the control panel applets, we recommend using search to find the Mail applet, instead of browsing for it.

  1. Go to Control Panel, search for Mail. If you use 64-bit Windows and 32-bit Outlook, it will be named “Mail (32-bit)”
  2. Double click on Mail (or Mail (32-bit)).
  3. Click Email account button
  4. Set up mail accounts

  5. Select the wrong account and click Remove. (If you only have one account listed in your profile, you may need to create a New account first (Step 5), set it as default then remove the wrong account.)
  6. Remove Account

  7. Click New, select Email Account for POP3 or IMAP accounts, or select Other then the correct account type.
  8. Add new account

  9. Fill in your preferred display name, email address and password on the Add New Account dialog.
  10. Use autosetup to create the account

  11. Outlook will look for published account configuration for the domain and setup the account automatically.

In the event your email provider does not publish autodiscover information, you’ll need to set up the account yourself. Check your mail providers support site for the proper configuration then check the box to Manually configure the account at the bottom of the Add New Account dialog. (#2 in the screenshot above)

How to Remove and Recreate Accounts Tutorial:

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.

If the Post Coment button disappears, press your Tab key.