Outlook cannot save password

On Windows 2000 and Windows XP systems, Outlook is unable to save mail server passwords

This is usually reported to occur when a system has been built using a master disk image prepared with "sysprep", which causes an issue with the "Protected Storage Sub-system", however is has also been seen on systems "in the field" that have lost the ability to save passwords.  The fix below works for both scenarios.

To resolve this behavior, delete keys beginning with the letter “S” within the following registry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage Provider

• Close Protected Storage Service 


• Choose HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage Provider 

• Delete keys beginning with the letter “S” 

• Go to the Security menu, and select Authorize Access 

• Click Add, and add the current user. Choose Full Control for authorized access. 

• Click Delete, and delete the key itself  

• Restart computer 

Note re Windows Vista systems not saving passwords with Office 2000 and 2002 (Office XP):

The exact same symptoms can occur with Windows Vista - but for a different reason.  With the introduction of Windows Vista, Microsoft removed the "Protected Storage Subsystem" used by Office 2000 and 2002 to store passwords.  This results in exactly the same problem - however the fix above DOES NOT resolve the issue. 

Office 2000 and 2002/XP are NOT supported by Microsoft on Windows Vista and the most obvious issue is that Outlook cannot save mail server passwords.  There is no workaround for this, requiring users to upgrade to Office 2003 or later to restore correct operation.