How To Make Outlook Love You and Your New Password

Grafiti Shoes

Every now and then you come across a simple bit of new information that makes you say, wow. Why didn’t I already know this? Man, it would have made such-and-such, X days ago so much easier. This just happened to me only moments ago.

If you work at a computer in an office, it’s likely you work with Microsoft Office, specifically the Outlook mail client. Invariably, you will change your password. The IT people will make you, or you’ll just find out that you’ve been sending randy love letters to co-workers while you’ve been on vacation. Whatever the reason, your PC’s password must change. And guess what, you change it, and you can no longer connect to the Exchange mail server (the box in the back room that slings email around the office). So you reboot, and call help desk. They reset your password again, and then again when it didn’t work the first time. So what the hell is going on?

As I just learned, Outlook uses a cached password to authenticate with the exchange server. That means that Outlooks has stubbornly decided that it will use your old password, even if you reboot and log in with a new password! <Insert your favorite profanity here, you’ve earned it. />

The good news is I have a quick, easy fix for you. If you follow these steps, you’ll never have to deal with this problem again. (Well, as long as you do it each time you change your password.)

  1. Reboot, if you’re already logged in.
  2. Log in with your new password. Don’t open outlook yet.
  3. As soon as your in press Control-Alt-Delete.
  4. Click the Lock Computer button.
  5. Do the Control-Alt-Delete finger dance again and log in.
  6. Now open Outlook.
  7. You’re good to go. (If you’re not, you may have to un-check the “work offline” option in the bottom right corner of the Outlook window.)

Now, I could end here, leaving you amazed with my magical geekery, but because I’m such a nice guy, I’ll tell you why this works. Simply put, the process of locking and unlocking your PC updates the password cache that just happens to be used by Outlook. At least, that’s how it was explained to me. I’ll buy it, the process works.

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