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The missing first step of Word & Outlook email merge

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I set up an email merge using Word and Outlook 2010 this weekend and in my test run, my emails were sent from my personal email address not my business email address.

My first thought was to change the default account.  But that turned out to be only half-the-solution. We also have to change the default data file (.pst).

Here is the missing first step of email merge in Word and Outlook in ten micro-steps

  1. Choose the sender’s email address (which one of your email addresses do you want to use?).
  2. Open Outlook and go to File at the top left of your screen.
  3. Look down the list and at the bottom, select Info – it is near the top.
  4. Look in the big box and at the top is the email address that you are using (default or recent).
  5. Use the drop down list of accounts to choose the address to send from.
  6. Click on account settings and AGAIN on the information box that opens up (odd but that’s what you have to do).
  7. Look at the tabbed box that opens up – we will use the tabs for Email and Datafiles.
  8. Select the email address that you want to send from and then make it the Default.  The Default button is between the tab and the list of files.
  9. Look down to the bottom of the list and see which datafile (.pst) matches to the address that you have chosen.
  10. Go the the Datafiles tab.  Open it and make the datafile (.pst) that matches your new default email address.

When you return to the ordinary message view, your folder list should have re-ordered itself with the new default folder at the top.  I am not sure if you have to close Outlook and restart for just a change of defaults.  If your test still sends from the wrong email address, try closing and opening Outlook before you start looking for anything more complicated.

Remember: the first step in an email merge is not opening Word.  It is choosing which email address to send from and making the email address and its corresponding datafile (.pst) your default in Outlook.


Published in SOCIAL MEDIA & IT


  1. shosh shosh

    hello did anybody here??? reply please

  2. Valerie Valerie

    Thank you so much for posting this!! It worked perfectly.

  3. This was clear and dead simple. Thank you.

  4. Peter Peter

    Finally! Thank You!
    I am amazed at how these fundamental things seem to always be missing from Microsoft products. Unbelievable that it never dawned on any Microsoft developer that maybe someone might want to do an email merge from an email other than their default.

  5. Liz Liz

    Thank you soooo much! This is a fundamental part of doing my job / running my company so you have just made my life a whole lot easier by posting this – I can’t thank you enough!

    So simple – set the Data Files as default as well as the Email.

    Thank you!

  6. Susan Susan

    This is exactly what I’ve been searching for for the past 2 hours – thank you!
    However, I’m hitting a glitch at step ix. Under the Data Files tab, the location ends with .ost rather than .pst … is this something I can alter to make the above work?
    It’s a shared mailbox, and we use Word and Outlook 2010.
    Any suggestions?

  7. Tim Tim

    This is actually such a simple solution to a big problem for me!
    Thank you so much!

  8. Thanks for the info

  9. Gwen Gwen

    Thank you so much for this information. I just sent out 10 emails on behalf of my client — from my personal email address!! I immediately tried to recall all of them and hope that worked. Now I’ve changed my default email address and have sent a couple tests to myself. Sheesh, how could MS leave out this critical step?

  10. You can try this macro enabled sheet at
    Adds options for Cc,
    Bcc and variable attachments and Subject line to mail merge. also lets you select which account in outlook to use.

  11. Rob Davis Rob Davis

    For what’s it’s worth, I had the same issue with this. What fixed it for me was to delete the email account sync in Outlook and add again as new. Afterwards I was able to select the alternate shared email address as “default data file” which fixed the Microsoft Word Mail Merge Outlook issue so it would “send as” from the right email address.

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