Creating MAPI Profiles

The problem of how to grant services to end users of Microsoft Outlook is solved through the use of Messaging API (MAPI) profiles.

MAPI profiles are how administrators configure user accounts to describe their service options such as their mailbox and directories that are available to the end user. The profiles can be used to define and describe the location of an end user’s offline folder store (OST) and personal folder store (PST).

MAPI profiles contain registry settings and can be edited using “regedit”. Always backup your registry before making any changes. Most of the registry settings can be found in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Microsoft offers two tools – PROFGEN and NEWPROF – to help administrators with the administration and maintenance of user account profiles. These tools can be used to edit the contents of the MAPI profiles and can help with diagnosing problems associated with MAPI profiles. Other tools are available.

Another tool you can use to modify profile settings is the NewProf.exe utility that is included with Outlook. You can get more information about how to use this utility by reviewing the following site in the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN):

(The above link has been retired. Please use the following link for more information about how to use the NewProf.exe utility.)

You can also review the article number, 145905, in the Microsoft Knowledge Base for more information about the Newprof.exe command line options.

Also, article number 148664  provides a description of the Profile Descriptor File.

You can also find sample code for the Profman2.exe (MAPI Profile Manager) in article number 228736.

Some registry settings you will come across include:

NoOutlookFormatDesigner = 0 means prevent use of the Outlook forms designer

DisablePst = 0 means prevent user from opening PST files

DisableHTTP = 0 means prevent user from adding HTTP account to Outlook

There are many more registry settings that are included in MAPI profiles so the task of updating one or two profiles is fairly easy. But as an administrator, you are called on to support hundreds of users. You should first try the Microsoft tools – PROFGEN and NEWPROF – to help you with the maintenance of the MAPI profiles.

These tools can help with migrations and with saving multiple profiles. Familiarize yourself with these tools and then later try the many other tools available from the many third party vendors that are out there.

The Office Custom Install Wizard is part of a suite of tools provided by Outlook 2003 that replaces PROFGEN and NEWPROF. It can be used to make life easier for you by automating your installations and deployments.

You can also use Microsoft’s Outlook Resource Kit (ORK) to help you support your end user accounts. The Outlook Resource Kit is available for downloading to your server and clients from the Microsoft support site. ORK can be used to modify and edit your many client settings that can then be applied through group policies.

MAPI profiles can be created on Microsoft Exchange Server without the need for a MAPI client to be installed such as Microsoft Outlook or Exchange Client. There are administrators out there who are under the impression that a MAPI profile cannot be created unless just the opposite is true – they are mistaken.

That being said, it is not recommended that a MAPI client (e.g., Microsoft Outlook) be installed on production servers. One condition exists before a MAPI profile can be created: a MAPI subsystem must be installed.

A variety of ways exist that can help you to create MAPI profiles. But you need to pay special attention to the server settings of the Mapisvc.inf file. You can find this information in the Microsoft article, number 294470, in the Microsoft Knowledge Base which describes how to add entries to the Mapisvc.inf file related to Exchange services.

Here are some steps to help you create a new Outlook MAPI profile that will allow you to connect to your Exchange mailboxes using Outlook 2003 on Windows machines.

You first need to launch the Mail configuration tool for Microsoft Outlook. Go to Start and select the Control Panel settings icon for Mail. Click on the Show Profiles button. You may need to click Start, then Control Panel, then Other and then Mail.

You then hit the Add button to create a new mail profile. This will ask you to type a unique name into the Profile Name field for the new mail profile. Click OK or hit enter. You will then add a new email account on the Email Accounts screen and click Next. You will see a variety of servers to choose from which include: Microsoft Exchange Server, POP3, IMAP, HTTP and Additional Server Types. Select Microsoft Exchange Server and then click Next.  Enter the domain name address of your email server such as machinename(dot)domainname.

Next enter you username and password. On the Security tab you should check the “Encrypt data between Microsoft Office Outlook and Microsoft Exchange Server” box if it is not already checked. Click OK and then click Next. Click Finish.

Also, make sure you configure Outlook to always use this new profile whenever Outlook is started up. Select the new profile you just created and make sure the “Always use this profile” box is checked. Finish by clicking OK or hit enter.

And that’s it. You’re done.

Written by Mike Rede


  1. Owen · August 4, 2009

    The MSDN URL has a “Content Retired” note

  2. Mike Rede · August 9, 2009

    (The above link has been retired. Please use the following link for more information about how to use the NewProf.exe utility.)

  3. Chandhru · October 30, 2010

    This is really helpful to us

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