Here is a simple tip on how to password protect your Outlook emails from other users of the same computer.
I was recently asked (via Facebook)… How can I secure my Outlook account and let no one see my mail?
The best way to do this is to actually have a separate WINDOWS account on your computer where you login to do your work. If every user on your computer has a different Windows login then there is no need to protect your emails separately. Just remember to log out or lock your computer whenever you are away.
But… if you will be sharing the same Windows login with more than one person (or if you have setup Windows so that there is no login screen at all) then here is what you can do.
WARNING: Do NOT lose your password as there is no free way of getting it back if you forget.
To create the Password:
- Do one of the following:
If you have a POP3 e-mail account, right-click the Personal Folders folder, and then click Properties For “Personal Folders”. In Oulook 2010, it will be Data File Properties…
If you have an HTTP e-mail account (not supported in Outlook 2000), such as MSN Hotmail, right-click the Hotmail folder, and then click Properties For “Hotmail”. In Oulook 2010, it will be Data File Properties…
- On the General tab, click Advanced.
- Click Change Password.
- In the Change Password dialog box, type your new password and verify it by typing it a second time. The password can be up to 15 characters.
- Ensure that the Save this password in your password list check box is cleared. This prevents the password from being cached, and you need to type the password each time you run Outlook. Most importantly Don’t forget the password.
- Click OK.
When you click the e-mail account folder, you will be prompted for your password. After you gain access, you won’t have to enter the password again for that session. If you exit and then restart Outlook, you will be prompted for the password as shown below:
To Remove the Password (You will be required to remember the current password)
- Follow the same steps above
- When you are at the Change Password dialog box, enter the current password in the Old Password field
- Leave the New Password and Verify Password fields empty
- Click OK
- Restart Outlook
This will remove the password that you create for the Data file.
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A reader asked me if there was any way in Outlook to mark appointments as complete… this is available for Tasks so it should be fairly safe to assume that there must be an easy way to do the same for appointments/calendar items. It turns out there is no built-in way to do this but here’s a work-around you can use instead.
There is an easy way to change the color of individual appointment items in Outlook. I use this trick to make my completed appointment Red (you can use any color you want).
Here’s how you can do the same…
If you are using Outlook 2007 or 2010 (scroll down for earlier versions of Outlook)….
The color of appointment items in Outlook 2007 is controlled using categories.
First… let’s create a category to mean Complete.
- Go to your Calendar.
- Right-Click over any existing appointment.
- Click Categorize and then click All Categories.
- Click the New button.
- Enter a name for the category (I used the word Complete), choose a Color and click OK.
- Click OK again to return to the Calendar screen.
The appointment you had right-clicked over should now be colored. If this appointment is actually not completed, you can clear the color by…
- Right-click over the calendar item.
- Click Categorize and click on the Complete category again (or click on Clear All Categories).
To mark another appointment on your calendar as complete.
- Right-click over the calendar item.
- Click Category and select the category of your choice (the Complete category).
If you are using Outlook 2003 or earlier….
The color of appointment items in Outlook 2003 (or earlier) is controlled with labels. Outlook comes with a default set of 10 labels (each of a different color) and you can also create your own.
First… let’s change one of the labels to mean Complete.
- Go to the Calendar folder.
- On the menu at the top, click Edit > Label > Edit Label
- Edit the label text as needed
Now… to mark an appointment on your calendar as complete..
- Right-click over the calendar item.
- Click Label and select the label of your choice.
This little technique makes it simple to see which appointments have been completed and which ones still need your attention. You can also use the same technique to color code different types of appointments for quick visual reference.
Did you like this article? Do you have suggestions to improve this technique?… Please leave a comment on the blog.
Other Posts on Outlook Appointments
Do you know that by default Outlook is configured to eventually corrupt itself and lose some and maybe even all your e-mails?
In this post, I will go through simple tips that will greatly improve your use of Outlook.
Here are a few essential tips that will help you to ensure that your Outlook data is safe and protected from software corruption or data failure.
1. Find out where you Outlook E-mails are saved and backup
Unlike other Office programs, Outlook does not ask you where you want to save your e-mails. Instead it creates a data file of its own.
Unfortunately, unless you have a good understanding of the inner workings of Windows, the file is saved in a location you probably will never remember to backup.
Tip 1 in our free e-book shows you how you can easily find out where your Outlook data file is.
You can Click Here to download your own copy of the e-book.
Once you know where your Outlook Data file is, make sure that you back it up regularly.
Have more than one backup set. (I tried to restore from a backup CD a few years ago to find that the backup was corrupt too. I lost more than 12 months of e-mails)
2. Outlook may corrupt itself unless you split your data into at least two files.
By default, Outlook saves all your e-mails in one file. There are a number of problems with this:
- As the Outlook data file gets filled up, Outlook will get slower
- There is a physical limit to the size of your Outlook data file.
- If you reach this limit, Outlook will suddenly stop working and
there is a great risk that you could lose some if not all of your
The solution is to split your data into more than one data file.
Tips 3 and 4 of our free e-book have step-by-step instructions on how you should split your data file.
You can Click Here to download your own copy of the e-book.
3. Use QuickFile to simplify shifting e-mails out of your Inbox and Sent Items folders
QuickFile is an inexpensive, easy-to-use Outlook add-on that greatly simplifies the filing of e-mails.
- It works inside Outlook by adding two buttons to your toolbar
- It does not require you to change the way you use Outlook
- It will dramatically reduce the time and effort required to file
Do you know that there is a simple e-mail filing technique (that you have probably been using for years) that will virtually guarantee that all your work e-mails are super easy to find and archive in the future?
With almost 80% of business correspondence now taking place by e-mail, you NEED a good system for filing your e-mails.
Do you, like many other Outlook users, print and file paper copies of important e-mails because you don’t trust your electronic filing system?
There lies the secret to your e-mail filing system. You already TRUST your physical paper filing system so …
Duplicate your Paper Filing System INSIDE Outlook
That’s it, that’s the big secret… create folders inside Microsoft Outlook following the same folder structure that you have for your paper folders (most probably by client or project).
Once you have your Outlook folders setup, file all e-mails (incoming and outgoing) that you need to keep for future reference into the correct Outlook folders.
Filing your e-mails like this has a lot of benefits… even if you print out copies of critical e-mails for future reference.
- BENEFIT 1: You don’t have to learn anything new to use this filing system (chances are your office has been filing your paper files using this system for years)
- BENEFIT 2: You can quickly see all e-mails for a client or project in ONE PLACE. You can use Outlook’s built in sorting to see the time-line of e-mails etc.
- BENEFIT 3: It is super-easy to export or archive projects. By filing in this way, you can use Outlook’s built-in tools to easily export e-mails out into a separate file if you need to. You can now file an electronic copy of all e-mails with your Word and Excel documents once a project is completed.
You can find detailed step-by-step instructions for creating your
Outlook folders in Tip 4 of our free report. Tip 10 has instructions to export and archive project.
Click Here to download your own copy of the special report.
WARNING! Your e-mail filing system may FAIL … and a solution
This e-mail filing system clearly works. If it didn’t, you wouldn’t be filing your paper files this way.
Yet most users are not able to continue filing their e-mails this way for very long. Why?
The reason is simple.
- It takes too much effort to drag each and every e-mail out of the Inbox and into the correct folder.
- It’s too easy to forget to go to the Sent Items folder to move e-mails out of there into the correct folders.
- It’s not as easy to delegate e-mail filing as it is to delegate paper filing.
We created QuickFile to solve the above problems.
QuickFile 4Outlook is an inexpensive Outlook add-on that works inside Outlook by adding two buttons called QuickFile and Send&File to your Outlook. It doesn’t change Outlook in any other way and it won’t change the way you have always used Outlook.
QuickFile is a fantastic time-saver for anyone who wants to use a client or project based filing system in Outlook.
Please give QuickFile a try. This is the only add-on we know that can guarantee that your e-mails get filed properly.
You may want to convert an email to a Task or Appointment if you need to take some action on it. Your Outlook Task List and your Calendar are where you should put any items that you need to work on.
Here are two ways to ‘magically’ convert an Outlook email to an appointment or task item
Method 1: Drag and Drop
1. Right-click and drag the email you want to convert.
2. Drop the item to the Task or Appointment folder where you want the new item to be created. A menu appears as shown below:
3. On the menu, select the option you want to use. You can either copy the email to the new location or move it there. The original email can either be copied as text into the body of the new task or appointment… or it can be attached to it. Personally I prefer to choose Copy as Attachment. This makes it easier to access the full contents of the email and then do a Reply if I need to.
Once you select an option, the new task or appointment will be created.
4. Fill in any additional information needed, and save the item.
Method 2: A Simple Button Click
There is a easier and more powerful way of doing this if you are a user of our addin QuickFile for Outlook. QuickFile adds a few extra buttons to the Outlook toolbar or Ribbon to give Outlook some extra functionality.
Simply select the email and then click the appropriate button on the toolbar
What is even cooler is that QuickFile for Outlook can also automatically create appointments and tasks from outgoing emails after they are sent. This is really handy if you need to take action on a future date on an email.
1. Compose your email as you normally would
2. Click the Send button, the Send & File screen will be displayed.
3. Click the Show Options >> link on the screen to expand the form
4. Click on Task/Schedule it! link to open the screen below:
5. Place a tick in the respective checkboxes to make an Appointment and/or Task.
6. Fill in the required fields and click OK.
7. After saving these setting click Send&File to send the email. (The Appointment/Task will also be created if you clicked on Send Only or Send&Delete)
According to your settings your Task and/or Appointment will be created.
It always amazes me with the fantastic ideas that our readers/users come up with. Here is a simple (why didn’t we think of this earlier) idea that a user suggested to us that virtually ELIMINATES any chance of you replying or replying-to-all to the wrong people.
Before I show you the cool new implementation the user suggested:
What is the danger of doing a Reply-to-All when you really meant to do a Reply?
You may receive an email addressed to many people… and want to respond to only the sender with some confidential information… or maybe a not-so-positive comment about one of the other recipients. An accidental Reply-to-All instead of a Reply… and suddenly everyone sees what you wrote.
And vice versa…What is the danger of doing a Reply when you meant to do a Reply-to-All?
In many cases you need to do a Reply-to-All to keep everyone informed in discussions. Do a Reply instead of a Reply-to-All and some people are left out…
This is usually less catastrophic and at the worst case usually means that you have to waste time resending emails… still a mistake better avoided if possible
What was our OLD Solution?
SendGuard for Outlook had a couple of prompts that came up to warn you when you were doing a Reply-to-All or a Reply on an email with multiple recipients.
It was a good solution but it was still easy to accidentally click Yes when you were in a rush.
What is the new SAFER and FASTER solution?
With the new version, anytime you click Reply or Reply-to-All on an email with multiple recipients, SendGuard for Outlook will show you exactly who you are sending the email to.
I love this screen and really wish I had thought of this myself. It’s so simple and so effective!
- Reply-to-Alls are SAFER! You can immediately see exactly who will be receiving the email. As a result there is almost no chance of sending confidential information to the wrong people… or accidentally clicking Yes when you meant No on a warning prompt.
- Plus..you SAVE so much TIME if you need to change the recipients. You can change the recipients directly on the prompt… by ticking or unticking names… no need to go back to the email
I love it. It may seem like a small change but you’ll be surprised how much easier and safer it makes Reply-To-Alls.
This update is FREE for Existing users of SendGuard. Install it over your old version and your registration information will automatically be retrieved.
Outlook normally shows a ScreenTips when you hover the mouse pointer over a toolbar button. Here is how you can show or hide the ScreenTips:
In Outlook 2003 and 2007:
1. In the main Outlook window, click Tools > Customize…
2. Click the Options tab. look at the “Other” section at the bottom of the dialog box.
3. Tick the checkbox for “Show ScreenTips on Toolbar“. To hide the ScreenTips, simply untick the checkbox.
4.You can also tick the checkbox for “Show shortcut keys in ScreenTips” if you want to see the shortcuts as well.
5.Click Close to return to the main Outlook window.
In Outlook 2010:
1. In the main Outlook Window, click the File tab > Options…
2. In the General section, look under “User Interface Options“. For ScreenTip style, select “Show feature description in ScreenTips” from the drop-down as shown below.
3. Click Ok to return to the main Outlook window
If you now hover your mouse over one of the button, you will notice a ScreenTip appearing.
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