General discussion

Outlook Express uses wrong account for replies - help

May 13, 2008 2:43AM PDT


I hope someone here can help me. I'm having an annoying little problem with my Outlook Express 6.

I have a number of different email accounts on my OE. For simplicity sake, I'll call them NameOne@, NameTwo@ ... etc. Both are for the same domain name (not hotmail or gmail by the way, but my business domain).

NameOne is marked as my default account and when I create a new email, it correctly uses that account.

However, whenever I reply to a message, it plugs in NameTwo on the From line, no matter which of my accounts the original email is addressed to!

I've checked all the properties on each account and all appear correct (the REPLY address is blank on all). In fact, the properties are identical (except, of course, for the email address itself and my "nickname" for each).

I have only the one "identity" and I've also looked at all the choices under OPTIONS and can't find anything that would regulate this.

I know I'm just missing something, but WHAT???? Even though I haven't added any new accounts or modified the settings, I **think** this problem just started recently (although I never really paid much attention).

Can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong and how to correct it?

Thanks so much ....

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Not a bug.
May 13, 2008 6:22AM PDT

It's something OLEXP doesn't do. Try other email clients.

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Wrong address for replies
May 13, 2008 7:53AM PDT

I'm sorry, but I don't understand. WHAT doesn't Outlook Express do?

It was my understanding that, when we reply to a message, the FROM line was supposed to be (by default) the account name/email address the original message was sent to.

Is this not correct?

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Sorry if I was unclear.
May 13, 2008 9:15AM PDT

Other email programs might get this right. I see someone already noted Microsoft's answer.

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Fix. . .
May 13, 2008 7:51AM PDT

When you create or reply, note the From address, and waaaaaaaaay over on the right should be a drop down arrow. Click it to choose the account you want to use.

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Another solution?
May 13, 2008 8:26AM PDT

Thank for the tip but, although I realize I can do that, isn't it supposed to *automatically* choose the email to which the original message was sent?

It may be that my assumption about the way it works is wrong and I'll have to manually choose the right email address each time I reply. If that's the case, well, I'll have to live with it, but I'm hoping I just have something set up incorrectly.

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I must admit
May 14, 2008 7:27AM PDT

that I was surprised at this as well. I don't use Outlook Express, (I favor Thunderbird), but it was my understanding that any email client would display the default email address when sending a reply.

Otherwise, if, like me, you use different email accounts from different ISP's, then each time you intend to reply to an email from your default ISP/email account, the client would display some other email address in any reply and you would have to change it. That doesn't make sense.

There is one thing I have noticed with my setup. At the moment I have 3 different ISP's and so 3 different email accounts/addresses. I could have more from my main ISP but I have never taken up that option.

Anyway, I have 3 sets of folders, (Inbox, Drafts, Templates, Sent, Trash, as well as other folders I have created), for each account. I have noticed that, if I am inside any of the Inboxes for these accounts and click the Reply button for any email, the email address that displays as From is the one for that ISP

That means that in theory I can reply to any email from any account and the reply will default to the email address for that account. That's quite clever in my view.

In practice that doesn't work for me because I need to be logged on to the other two accounts before I can send emails from those accounts. For example if I am logged into my broadband ISP it will not let me send emails from either of my dial-up ISP's. That's reasonable. I can receive emails from all accounts whichever ISP I am logged into, but they will only let me access their SMTP server if I am logged into their ISP.

That doesn't apply to you of course. But the principle may be the same. If your incoming emails are moved to different Inboxes for the different accounts, then maybe when you attempt to reply to them your email address for that account will be displayed. If that is the case, then I would say it makes sense and is proper.

I hope that helps.


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Good tip!
May 14, 2008 9:21AM PDT

It's worth a try and even if it doesn't work, it will help since I can then reply to all my NAMEONE@ mail; then all my NAMETWO@ mail, etc.

At my age, I can't rely on memory so I need all these little helpers.

Thanks so much -- particularly for letting me know that this is a fault (if not a bug) in OE and not something wrong in my own settings.


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I just checked.
May 14, 2008 7:39AM PDT

I've got 2 email addresses from different ISP's, and a reply selects the right one.

However, one of the addresses occurs several times with different display names (me, me and wife, president) and then from that he always picks the same (don't know if it's the one set for automatic receiving or the first one). If I want another one of that set, I've got to change it.

It seems logical. Don't know why it shouldn't work with you.


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Same Problem Suddenly Started With Me
Oct 17, 2008 7:14AM PDT

I know this is an old thread, but the same problem just started with me on my laptop.

I have not noticed this problem at home, but I don't usually use the laptop to access email. What is different, is that I am traveling and using a different ISP to access my email. My email is on I also have older, seldom used email addresses on, but I have those turned off under Accounts of OE6.

Most emails that I try to reply to behave correctly - they reply "from" the same email address that the original message was sent "to." But a couple of messages, from certain senders, do not behave that way. When I click Reply, the window opens displaying the "from" address as one of the emails that I have turned off. I also double checked that the "default" email address is set correctly.

After reading several Google search results, it seems like several people have experienced the problem, but with no reported fix.

Has anyone else had any luck since this thread was started?

Gary A

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Me Too
Oct 25, 2008 1:40AM PDT

This problem drives me nut.
I wish someone would provide an answer.

I have six accounts in my Outlook Express.

IT seems to randomly choose one of them as the FROM: when replying,
but it doesn't choose my default address,
and it doesn't choose the first one in the list.


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OE6 Reply Sent From Wrong Account (email address)
Nov 3, 2008 12:36AM PST

I have been traveling and not had the time to investigate this further, but the problem is still there. Google shows many forums with similar questions from users, but no solution. I can't believe it!

It worked correctly for years and now it can't reply correctly and no one has any other suggestion except change to a new email client?!?

Very frustrating!

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sfc - No Joy
Nov 3, 2008 2:52AM PST

I just ran sfc /scannow with no joy!

The strange thing is that some emails that I reply to, get the "from" address correct. Then there are other messages that if I try to reply to, get the "from" address wrong - different messages select different wrong addresses to reply from?!?


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I May Have It Fixed
Nov 8, 2008 8:09AM PST

I took a "big swing" at my problem to see if I could fix it after reading this:

1. Deleted and manually rebuilt all 10 of my email accounts in OE6
2. Compacted all email folders which might fix minor file corruption issues
3. Deleted an old (2004) cleanup.log file
4. Checked for any .dbx files with numbers after the filename (xxx) which may indicate a corrupted file and manually rebuilt those.

I did NOT delete the Folders.dbx file yet. It contains the folder tree structure and deleting it causes a major problem. It still could be corrupt, but I'm not going to delete it except as a last resort.

So far, so good. But I haven't had a lot of test time.

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Problem Fixed!!
Dec 9, 2008 8:15AM PST

I just thought I would report back that in the one month since my last post and after taking the corrective steps I described, I have not had one single instance of my original problem.

One (maybe more) of those steps fixed it!

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may be help
Jan 6, 2010 1:20PM PST

according from my experience
this could be help. (hope so)

my suggestion is, you receieve SAME email for those all email adress. (because i think you only have ONE email (real) adress for many REPLY email adress (right?))

if this is right. Please uncheck the include this email adress when syncronice at account setting. tools-account-properties....

--- to make sure this is the right answer,
try to -one by one- reply from any (same) email you receive (the mail should be same (subject, date, from, everything). dont sent it, just to look 'from' box. see if that from box change. it depends on who receive that email was.

hope its works
sorry for my english....very poor eh, but technical-english is very easy reading and understand by technical-guy right?;posts&authId=VRdCHAlQacnwe6A3vqSk5vB7oDe+pKTmzXmi1GbBdEdKdDQDc5Clu9oDJ+h/Aq98

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Transfer files to new PC seems to cause this..
Jan 1, 2014 7:43PM PST

I have the same problem HOWEVER I have only just transferred Outlook Express files to another PC. The reply works correctly with emails received on this new machine, but not for the ones brought across from old PC (from .dbx files copied across) I have not tried nikki605's solution of rebuilding, I dare say it would work, but as I most likely won't be replying to too many of my old emails I don't think I will do it just yet....

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