How to delete an Outlook profile without opening Outlook

I’ve always had a hate-love-hate relationship with Outlook. Outlook is a tool I use because it’s the best tool for the job while I still think it’s pretty bad. But this is not a post to complain about Outlook. Well, okay, it kind of is. But it’s mostly a tutorial to help you solve a problem you might run into.

When Outlook starts, it is possible that it hangs on “Loading Profiles”. No matter what you do, Outlook simply won’t open. One possible reason for this is that there is a serious issue with your account. Personally, I experienced this problem when someone botched an Office365 migration, making a connected profile lose its mind. Breaking Outlook.

If you run into this problem you have to ask yourself one question first before following this tutorial: Can you recover the mails and content easily?

When the suspected “corrupt” profile is a M365 profile or uses IMAP, you can safely follow this tutorial as recreating the profile will just make Outlook load all your e-mails, folders and wht else for you from the servers. In case you are not sure, you might want to find another solution because your mails might be gone permanently.

With that being said, here is the tutorial for deleting a profile when you are stuck on “loading profiles”. Deleting the profile will happen outside of Outlook, since you can’t open it – something many “guides” out there happen to forget.

How to delete the profile

  1. Go to “Search”
  2. Search for “Control Panel” and click your language equivalent. You can also search for your language’s equivalent but for me, searching for “Control Panel” also does the trick.
  3. Click “Mail (Outlook 2016)”
  4. A new window opens. Close Outlook 2016, just in case.
  1. Go to “Search”.
  2. Search for “Control Panel” and click your language’s equivalent. You can also search for the translation in your own language, of course.

3. Click “Mail (Microsoft Outlook 2016)

4. A new window will open. If you haven’t done this yet, this is a good time to close Outlook.

Click “E-mail Accounts”
  1. Click “e-mail accounts” which is the top option.
  2. In the e-mail tab, click the offending profile and then click “remove”
  3. In the pop-up screen, confirm that you want to delete the profile.
  4. Try starting Outlook again

When you selected the right profile, Outlook will now start again. You can now try adding the account to Outlook again, but I would recommend against it. Perhaps it’s a better idea to contact your employer or IT support to get some help with setting up the profile or you’ll likely run into problems again.

We hope this article helps!

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