How to configure Outlook for two users on a single Windows account


Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2021 64 bit
Email Account
In the past, my wife and I have each had our own Windows account on our PC. In each Windows account therefore, Outlook has a single profile with a single email account. However, we have begun to question whether we really need two Windows accounts and are considering having just one Windows account that both of us can use. The question then is how do we configure Outlook?

Do we configure a single profile with two email accounts? Or do we each have our own profile containing a single email account? What are the pros and cons of each option?

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
The pros and cons are the same as before:
Pro: Your mail is kept separate.
Con: You need to switch profiles - switching outlook profiles is a bit faster than windows profiles.

The last few versions of Outlook make it easier to have multiple accounts in the profile and jeep them separate - accounts have their own data files and own signatures, which are assigned to the account.

I'm not sure if I would use separate outlook profiles or one if I had to share a computer with hubby. He'd probably complain about all my email - and if we used separate profiles, would complain if I didn't switch back to his profile when I got up. I think I will stick with separate computers. <g> Or read my mail on an ipad.


Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2021 64 bit
Email Account
... I think I will stick with separate computers. <g> Or read my mail on an ipad.
Thank you for your reply. I'm afraid that we don't have the luxury of separate computers. My wife and I are both retired individuals and we don't need access to emails all day or even every day. So we can quite happily share the same physical computer.

There doesn't appear to be a good reason why we shouldn't share the same Windows account. All of our personal data is on the D: disk and is accessed through File Explorer. Even our .pst files are on the D: disk. We don't keep any personal data on the C: disk.

It seems to me that our best option on a shared Windows account would be to have separate Outlook profiles, each with a single email account. That way, if I am working on my emails, I won't see any sign of my wife's emails, folders, contacts, and so on. And, vice versa.

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Yeah, I agree, if you don't have separate devices, one windows profile is often easier. I have a lot of retired clients and they are fairly evenly split between separate devices or shared windows account. Very few have separate windows accounts.

If you are in the habit of closing outlook after check for new mail, you can use outlook shortcuts to open your profiles- make new windows shortcuts with outlook.exe /profile "profile name" - you'll each have your own shortcut.

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