Sharing an e-mail account

Q My wife and I have a joint e-mail account. Can we set up Outlook Express in each environment so that no matter which of us downloads the mail, we can both read it?

- Andy Scott

A It's easy to set up Outlook Express so that two people can share the same mailbox - provided that one of you has not yet launched the program in his or her environment.

The first time you launch it, the app brings up a Browse for Folder dialogue box in which you tell it where to store your mail. Simply select Windows\Profiles\otherperson\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook Express. Of course, when you set up your mail account, you must use the same information - e-mail address, ISP, and so on - as your partner.

If both of you have already run Outlook Express, you'll have to edit the Registry. Back up the Registry by copying your user.dat and system.dat files from C:\Windows to another folder. Then select Start-Run, enter regedit, and press .

Once you're inside the Registry Editor, press , enter yourname\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook Express, and press .

When the search finds that string, press and change your name in the string to that of the person you're sharing the account with.

After you close RegEdit and reboot, your version of Outlook Express will use your partner's mailbox.

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