Ghost IMAP accounts in sidebar from unsuccessful setup outlook 365

Copper Contributor

I had to set up a new email for a person yesterday and they use outlook 365 and we had a heck of a time, we were able to set it up on a phone and their laptop that has office 2019 on it.  However, their connected outlook 365 kept on failing.  Now there are like 20+ of these ghost accounts on the left sidebar and no way to get rid of them because they don't show in managed accounts or in mail accounts.  There is no right-click option to remove them either.  We tried getting rid of their OST files but when we restarted the PC and relaunched they all came back the ost files.  


Any idea on how to get rid of these accounts not connected to anything that is sitting there on the left-hand side.  Also, the server admin provided a work around that sometimes office 365 doesn't like IMAP setups and we had to go through the new mail setup but not through the new account setup and it set right up with no issues.  



2 Replies
Had the same thing happen when trying to re-setup a pop account to imap. The Outlook account setup wizard is faulty. By the time I realized what was happening I had 8 of them. Wizard would make it look like it was successful, even sending the test message, but no account was even setup in Outlook. Finally read that it's a setup wizard issue and to use Manage profiles to setup manually. Still like to get rid of the ghost duplicates that can do nothing and can't be deleted
Not sure if you ever got the ghost accounts removed as it's been some time, but I figured out a solution. Close outlook. Open the registry to Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\Profiles
Select your profile and backup that profile by exporting before doing anything. Look at every sub key. There will be many due to the 20+ ghost accounts. Within each key look for the entry in the right side that has 001f6700, Doubleclick on the value and scroll down looking at the text on the right side, looking for the name of the email account and the corresponding ost file. They should be numbered sequentially, i.e. emailaccount.ost, emailaccount(1).ost, etc. One of them is going to be the legitimate account and left alone. In my case it was (10).ost. Check before you start in Outlook for yours. There are going to be 2 sub keys associated with every ghost account. Write them down as you go.
When you're ready to delete them open C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook. Your Outlook ost data files will be there including the ghost accounts. Delete both sub keys and the corresponding ost file. Open Outlook and they will be gone. I tested it out on one and was successful and carried on with the other 8. That's what worked for me with no issue, but it's tedious work. This was a Win11 machine.