Solution: Outlook (2007, 2010, 2013, O365) prompts me for credentials each time I open

One comment


When your IT administrators update their exchange server or you switch to a new DNS alias or up in the cloud windows adds these new Generic Credentials into the Credentials Vault of your user account.  When more than one exists for a single account Outlook gets confused and prompts you.


  1. Close Microsoft Office
  2. Windows 7 and before
    1. From the Windows Start button, select Control Panel
    2. Click User Accounts
    3. Click Credentials Manager
  3. Windows 8
    1. Start button
    2. Type in Windows Credentials Manager
    3. Select Settings on the left side
    4. Select  Windows Credentials Manager
  4. Windows 10
    1. Start Button
    2. Type in Credential Manager
    3. Select Windows Credentials
  5. In the Generic Credentials section (bottom)
    1. For local installs (not O365)
      1. You’re looking for credentials that begin MS.Outlook or something similar for your mail server (It will be obvious)
      2. For each credential that begins with MS.Outlook
        1. Click the details button drop down (circle with a downward arrow next to the Modified date)
        2. Click Remove
      3. Repeat steps for each credential that begins MS.Outlook
    2. O365
      1. You’re looking for MicrosoftOffice16_Data:SSPI:EMAIL@ADDRESS.COM
      2. This is your primary credentails this should be taken with great care upon removal as you will need to resync O365 again afterwards
  6. Close the Credentials Manager and Control Panel
  7. Launch Outlook
  8. You should be prompted for each account in Outlook
    1. You should only be prompted on this initial startup


Another fun tip to make outlook run better is to use the/CleanFreeBusy start up switch.

/cleanfreebusy Clears and regenerates free/busy information. This switch can only be used when you are able to connect to your Microsoft Exchange server. 2000, 2002/XP, 2003, 2007, 2010

The /CleanFreeBusy switch will reset all of your pending Outlook meeting invites.  This will clear any conflicts and again make Outlook faster.  This was deprecated for 2013.

For Office 2013, 2016, and O365 you use this:

Great Reference for Outlook Command Lines 

From a Post Mr.Brown

Make sure the time on all your servers is in sync. If the time on two of your domain controllers is off by more than 5 mins you will get this for some clients. It took me two days to narrow it down and once I fixed the time on one of my servers all the weirdness went away.

1 comments on “Solution: Outlook (2007, 2010, 2013, O365) prompts me for credentials each time I open”

  1. Older post, but it helped me when a lot of other methods failed. Thank you.

    Step 1: close Microsoft Office. This is key. My feeble brain told me that meant Outlook. It really means that session of One Note you always keep open to jot down notes. Once I had all of the Office programs closed, then the steps here worked for me. It was a frustrating week!


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