Outlook 2003 Command Line Switches

Posted on January 8, 2009 by Daniel Petri in Exchange Server with 0 Comments

What are the Outlook Command-Line Switches?

Outlook supports a number of command-line switches; these are normally used when you need to restore Outlook settings to their factory defaults. Some of these switches are recommended for solving problems. If you do hit an unexpected issue and want to run one of these switches, we strongly encourage you to log a call with us first as you may have hit a bug. This is especially important if you’re using beta versions of Outlook 2003.

Outlook 2003 is usually installed in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11 (substitute C with the appropriate drive letter on your system). Open a CMD window, navigate to that path, and run Outlook.exe with the appropriate switch.

To use switches, at the Start menu, Run command type:

Outlook /switch

Occasionally you’ll need to use the full path to Outlook, so the command line looks like:

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Outlook.exe ” /switch

Note: Paths that include spaces between words must be enclosed in quotation marks (“) and are case sensitive.

For your reference here are just some of the most commonly used switches:

/c messageclass

Creates a new item of the specified message class, works for any valid MAPI form. For example:

/c ipm.activity creates a Journal entry /c ipm.appointment creates an appointment /c ipm.contact creates a contact /c ipm.note creates an e-mail message /c ipm.stickynote creates a note /c ipm.task creates a task


Starts Outlook and deletes client-based rules. For non-Exchange users.


Sets Outlook 2003 Search Folders back to the default state (deletes custom Search Folders)


Cleans and regenerates free/busy information.


Removes invalid profile keys and recreates default registry keys where applicable.


Launches Outlook with a clean Personal Folders file (.pst)



Cleans and regenerates reminders.


Starts Outlook and deletes client- and server-based rules.


Deletes all Schedule+ data (free/busy, permissions, and .cal file) from the server.


Starts Outlook and deletes server-based rules. Used only with Exchange server accounts.


Restores default views.


Starts Outlook as if it were run for the first time.

/ImportPrf prffilename

Launches Outlook and opens/imports the defined MAPI profile (*.prf). If Outlook is already open, queues the profile to be imported on the next clean launch.

/Profile profilename

Loads the specified profile. If your profile name contains a space, enclose the profile name in quotation marks.


Resets the language of the default folders to the language of the Outlook client.


Restores missing folders for the default delivery location.


Rebuilds the Outlook Bar.


Rebuilds the new Outlook Control Bar in Outlook 2003.


Opens Outlook and displays the remote procedure call (RPC) connection status dialog.


Starts Outlook and forces a detection of new meeting requests in the Inbox, and then adds them to the calendar.

For Outlook PST Repair, check out our latest inbox repair tool article.


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