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Why Does Outlook Send From the Wrong Account?

written by: •edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 4/28/2011

Avoid sending Outlook messages from the wrong account by altering the way you use the popular email software...

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    It's the Wrong Account!

    If you have multiple email accounts, you might notice that Outlook occasionally sends messages from the “wrong” account.

    This can happen for a variety of reasons, usually based on which account you selected when you composed the message as well as which email account was the recipient.

    For instance if you reply or forward a message, Outlook will always send from the account that the original message was sent to.

    Luckily it is easy to instruct Outlook which account to send from at any given time, although there is no way to prevent Outlook from sending emails from the wrong account automatically; there is no universal fix for this, just user configuration.

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    Advantages of Multiple Email Accounts

    One easy way to prevent the problem of Outlook sending from the wrong account is to drop the “other” account. However, this is not likely to be an easy fix as there are many good reasons to have multiple email accounts in Outlook.

    For instance, you might have used Outlook Connector to configure your Windows Live Hotmail account in Outlook, finally enabling you to access Hotmail in your desktop email client for the first time. Alternatively, you might have a business email account that you use for keeping work related emails separate from domestic emails.

    Over the years you might also have accumulated many email accounts from various services like Gmail, your ISP, etc., and rather than delete these and spend hours needlessly updating your various contacts and any online services you have setup with these email accounts as a reference you can just access them all via Outlook.

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    Is There a Fix for Outlook Emails Sending from the Wrong Account?

    An Outlook Email Sends from Wrong Account Fix 

    Unfortunately, Microsoft does not supply a method of automating which emails send from which account. Even with a default email account selected this will only come into play when you open Outlook, when you send a new email and when you are selecting which account to send from, as the default account will appear first in the list.

    However, this makes sense. How could a routine that detects your automatic choice for sending an email from a specific account work? As we have seen, the default account works as it should, acting as the account through which a new email is sent unless you specify otherwise.

    To choose which account to send your email from, use the From drop-down menu next to the Send button. This will display all of your email accounts in Outlook as well as display the default account at the top of the list, and will also provide the appropriate email signature for each account should you have different ones setup.

    Using the From drop-down menu is easy to do and this same method can be used when forwarding and replying to emails.

    Screenshot by author

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    An Easy Fix for a Frustrating Problem

    It really is as simple as that. We probably take Outlook for granted at times, good as it is at managing our emails, calendar data and tasks. Sadly, it is not able to guess which email account we want to send messages from, which is why it provides the drop down menu for you to choose and offers a default account.

    If you prefer not to be given a choice, and want Outlook to use the same account every time, then consider using only one email account with Outlook, and migrate your other account to a different email tool, such as Windows Live Mail.

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    References

    Author's own experience.