HowTo

General

Backup and Restore all Outlook data

This guide is all about backing up and restoring your Outlook Data. It describes various methods and explains which method is best to be used in which scenarios.

Backup and Restore Outlook Business Contact Manager

This guide provides several methods for how you can backup and restore your Outlook BCM data and how to migrate/transfer your BCM database to the same or a newer version of BCM located on a new computer. In addition, you’ll find instructions to perform a disaster recovery when all you have left is the mdf- and ldf-files.

Clear the Most Recently Used lists

For certain actions, Outlook holds a list of most recently used items (MRU lists) so you have quicker access to them. In some cases you might want to clear this MRU list.

Closing Outlook via a (scheduled) script

For some actions, such as a backup process, Outlook needs to be closed. If these actions are performed in an automated way, you’ll need to close Outlook programmatically in advance. The script examples in this guide can either be ran as a standalone vbs-script, be scheduled or be part of a larger script such as logon or logoff scripts.

Configure Outlook.com (Hotmail), Gmail, Yahoo or AOL

See how you can configure Outlook with an Outlook.com (Hotmail), Gmail, Yahoo! or AOL account. The account settings are given for each possible account type and clarified with screenshots.

Delete a stuck Read Receipt

Seeing messages being sent or are you getting sending errors without something in the Outbox? This could be a stuck Read Receipt and can be deleted via Microsoft’s free support tool MFCMAPI.

Files and Settings guide for Outlook

If you are in IT support or just are interested to find out which files Outlook uses and where it stores its settings; this is the guide for you.

How to use Outlook command line switches

Command line switches can control Outlook start-up behavior for troubleshooting purposes and automation. This guide contains an overview of available command line switches per Outlook version and how they can be used.

Instant Search query commands reference

If your Outlook data is indexed by Windows Search, you’ll not only get lightening fast search results within Outlook but also outside of Outlook such as the search fields in Windows Explorer and the Start Menu. For this, many search operator and fields are available. This is a reference guide to these operators and fields and how to use them.

Keyboard shortcuts

Outlook has many keyboard shortcuts which allows you to execute commands
without using your mouse. By using keyboard shortcuts, you can achieve repetitive tasks more quickly.

Live Tiles for Outlook on Windows 8

Learn how to show Outlook data on the Live Tiles in Windows 8. For instance, show your upcoming appointments on the new Start Screen or Lock Screen.

Outlook Anywhere: Fast vs. Slow network connection over HTTP or TCP/IP

Outlook Anywhere allows you to connect to Exchange even from outside of the corporate network via so-called "Microsoft Exchange Proxy Settings". Here you’ll find options for slow and fast network connections but what does Outlook consider fast or slow and when does it actually matter? This guide takes a closer look at these questions and shows you how to control it.

Remove the Outlook icon from your desktop

Get your Desktop clean by removing the Outlook icon from you Desktop.

Restore Deleted Items from an Outlook PST-file

Deleted a message and even cleared you’re Deleted Items folder? See how you can still try to get your message back via this recovery method.

Setting Permissions on a Mailbox

Make sure your colleagues only get the permissions you want them to have and delegate your mail properly for when you are out of the office.

Signing your own macros with SelfCert.exe

Sign your own macros with SelfCert.exe so there is no more need to lower your security settings to get rid of VBA macro security prompts.

What do the Outlook icons mean?

You probably already know the closed envelope, the open envelop, marked as forwarded, marked as replied and if you are in an Exchange organization the Out of Office icon probably looks familiar as well but do you know the rest? See the full overview of Outlook icons!

Installing

Deploy Outlook mail profile settings via GPO or script

This guide provides a script which you can use to deploy mail profile account settings contained in a prf-file. This script can be used as a (Group Policy) logon script and also checks if the mail profile already exists or not.

Downgrading Outlook and backwards compatibility

Planning to downgrade to a previous version of Outlook or want to be able to open your pst-file in a previous version of Outlook? This guide provides solutions to various problems you may encounter when trying to downgrade Outlook or when you need to remain compatible with previous versions of Outlook.

Migrate from Outlook Express or Windows (Live) Mail to Outlook

Migrating from Outlook Express, Windows Mail or Windows Live Mail to Microsoft Office Outlook is a relatively easy process but there are a few things you should be aware of. In addition to mail, this guide will also discuss how you can migrate your contacts and calendar.

Upgrading to Outlook 2010

Planning to upgrade to Outlook 2010? This guide contains a lot of preparation and other information to ensure a smooth transition.

Upgrading to Outlook 2013

Planning to upgrade to Outlook 2013? This guide contains a lot of preparation and other information to ensure a smooth transition.

Configuring

Create a button for a macro

Macros are often used to achieve a goal in Outlook more quickly. However, the option to execute a macro isn’t always easily accessible. Learn how to create a button for your macro to make the macro even more productive.

Create your own fully customized Toolbar

Place all your favourite options on a Toolbar and sort them the way you want it for easy access.

Creating a permanent New Mail Desktop Alert

Do you like the New Mail Desktop Alert but hate the fact that it only stays for up to 30 seconds or only for the Inbox folder? With a small modification, you can make it stay up to 50 days or make it display for when mail is being delivered to another folder as well.

Enabling/Disabling Cached Exchange Mode through the Registry

Check or change the status of Cached Exchange Mode by changing a registry key.

Fonts, sizes and color settings of the Outlook interface

If you don’t like the way Outlook looks like by default, you might want to find out how you can change the fonts types, sizes and colors in Outlook to suit your taste better.

Making the Outlook 2013 interface less white and bright

There is no point denying it; Outlook 2013 is white, VERY white and for some, this can lead to problems. This guide goes through the available options of making the interface less white and also give it a more “classic” look and feel.

Navigation Pane Tips & Tricks

With the enhancements of the Navigation Pane also came quite a lot of options but not all of them are really easy to notice or to work with right from the start.

Open link from Outlook in new window

Make sure that when you click a hyperlink it gets opened in a new Internet Explorer window.

Setting Outlook Group Policies

When you are in an Active Directory network environment you can set Outlook policies to enforce settings on your users. If you are a home user you might want to set policies on what your children can and cannot do in Outlook.

E-mail Management

Allow Automatic Forwarding/Replying to the Internet

In an Exchange environment you might encounter that your automatic forward/reply rules and Out of Office Assistant aren’t working. They probably are working but are forwarded/replying to a message from the Internet. This is disabled as a secure default on the Exchange server. This article explains how Exchange Administrators can change this behaviour via the Exchange Management Console (EMC) or Exchange PowerShell commands (EMS).

Applying message rules to the Junk E-mail folder

When you’ve created a rule to directly delete the most obvious spam messages, rather than letting them go to the Junk E-mail folder, you might have noticed that this method isn’t always successful. With the VBA macro from this guide, you can execute all your anti-Junk E-mail rules against your Junk E-mail folder with a single click.

Categorize Sent Items

This guide contains a macro you can use to easily set or never forget to set categories on your outgoing messages. In addition it includes information about how to strip or leave the assigned categories for the recipient.

Christmas Time!

It doesn’t matter if you are sending real Christmas cards or electronic ones, Outlook can be useful to manage either. This guide includes some tips and references to help you prepare.

Color Code Your E-mails

Organize your mail by color coding them automatically when a message arrives.

Color Code Your E-mails Advanced

Already master the basics of color coding? Get even more organized by color coding based on specific message properties.

Count Selected Items macro

With this macro you can quickly find out how many items you have selected as unlike Windows Explorer, Outlook does not reveal this in the Status Bar.

Export folder names to a file

Want to export your list of folder names to a file? This guide provides 2 methods to do that; via a VBScript file that can run outside of Outlook (quickest method) and by using a macro.

Gmail IMAP – Solving the [Gmail] separation

Don’t like the additional [Gmail] folder structure when you configure your Gmail mailbox as an IMAP account in Outlook? This guide contains instructions how to do so and how it will affect your Gmail experience.

Hide, move or delete an Outlook folder via MFCMAPI

Under certain circumstances, you might need to use MFCMAPI to hide, move or delete a folder. These usually involve Outlook’s default folders such as Inbox, Suggested Contacts, RSS Feeds or News Feed folder. As MFCMAPI is an advanced tool, this guide provides step-by-step instructions to safely perform these actions.

Locking your Views against accidental changes

The LockViews macro allows you to easily set the LockUserChanges property of a view which is only accessible via code. Setting this property will protect your custom view against accidental changes or the need for you to recreate it when you want to make a one-time change.

Moving an IMAP pst-file or Hotmail ost-file

Changing the location of the pst-file for an IMAP account or the ost-file for a Hotmail account is a bit more troublesome than moving a regular pst-file. Especially with a relatively small and expensive SSD drive, its default location might not be preferred. Learn how to move it either via a Registry value or by means of a Symbolic Link.

Open Message in Internet Browser

Outlook 2007 uses Word as the HTML rendering engine which could end up in a malformed display of the email message. Use a simple script to render the message in an Internet browser of your choice by a click of a button.

Recover deleted pst-files via Previous Versions

Do you get the error that your pst-file is missing or that it can’t be fixed by the Inbox Repair Tool? If your last backup is from months ago, the Previous Versions feature of Windows might be able to rescue your precious data without the need for an expensive recovery tool.

Rename the default folders

Need to change or reset the names of the default Outlook folders? Even though the “Rename Folder” option for these folders is disabled, you can still rename them in the following way.

Save e-mail messages as pdf-file

Looking for a way to save a message directly as a pdf-file? The VBA macro from this guide adds this option to Outlook without the need to install anything besides also having Word 2007 or Word 2010 installed.

Save Embedded Pictures in Their Original Format

Do you only have the option to save an included picture or animation as a bmp-file?

Schedule a Recurring E-mail

If you are sending the same e-mails on a recurring basis like daily, weekly, monthly etc… to send for instance a reminder or an update report as attachment you may want to automate that. Outlook doesn’t natively have this feature but with some code or add-in it can be done.

Send/Receive errors

There are many reasons why sending or receiving a message could fail. This guide provides solutions to solve your send/receive errors with Outlook.

Separate mail coming from multiple POP3 accounts

This guide introduces several techniques which you can use to sort your email based on the account you have received it with. While this guide is mainly focused on separating mails received from different accounts, the techniques can be used to sort mail based on other criteria as well.

Show sender’s e-mail address as a column in message view

Learn how you can add a column which display’s the sender’s email addresses to your message list view so you will not only see the sender’s name.

Sorting Outgoing E-mails

Sort your outgoing e-mails into folders without creating duplicates.

Tips For Cleaning Up Your Mailbox

Keep your Mailbox clean and up to speed!

Using Outlook.com with your own domain or current email address

Using an Outlook.com account is a great alternative for your current POP3 or IMAP account if you want to sync your emails, contacts and calendar items with multiple devices such as your desktop, laptop, netbook, tablet or smartphone. It behaves a lot like a personal (hosted) Exchange or Office 365 account but for free. You can set it up with an @outlook.com address, your own domain but also with an address you already have from another provider like Gmail.

E-mail Composing

Add Instant Messaging links to your Signature

You can include special links to your signature which will allow the receiver of the message to directly add to or contact you via an Instant Messaging client such as Windows Live Messenger or Skype.

Adding header text or a top-banner to all outgoing mail

Adding a banner at the top of your message isn’t as easy as adding a signature at the bottom. This guide provides several approaches how to add a top banner with the available Outlook features but also includes a VBA macro solution to fully automate adding the banner to your outgoing emails in a non-intrusive way.

Adding Sound and Scrolling Text (workaround)

Workaround for adding sound and scrolling text to your messages after applying Windows XP SP2.

Adding Sound to Your E-mail

Making Birthday or Holiday cards? Find out how you can add sound or moving text or a video or…

Always Reply in HTML

The macro in this guide will let you reply in the HTML format as easy as pressing a “Reply in HTML” button. This reply will also directly include your HTML signature so there is no need to re-insert that afterwards.

Creating, using and managing Signatures

Creating the signature you want with for example a company logo in it can be quite of a hassle. Learn both the basics and advanced examples on creating a signature in Outlook.

Edit the HTML Source Code while composing a Message

Editing the HTML source code has been made very easy in Outlook Express but not in Microsoft Office Outlook.

Mail Merge

Learn how to send many personalized emails in one go by doing a mail merge.

Send As a Delegate or a Distribution Group by default

Do you need to Send As or On Behalf Of another mailbox or distribution group more often than from your own mailbox address? This guide guide instructs how you can set a different default From address.

Send as PDF with original

You can send your current Office document (Word, Excel or PowerPoint) directly as an attachment of a new email. You can also choose to send it as a pdf-file. However, in some cases it is convenient to send both which is cumbersome to do. With this macro, we create a button that automates this task and creates a new mail message with the current document attached in both its orignal format and as pdf-file.

Send Word Document As Email

This code has been written for Word and Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 and mimics the mail document in-line feature to allow you to use additional features in Outlook when sending a document in-line.

Setting up a Corporate Signature

Are you in a corporate environment and want to control the signatures of the users or add a disclaimer to all outgoing emails? This guide discusses various Outlook and Exchange level solutions which you can use to standardize signatures and to use information stored in Active Directory to construct them.

Working with message templates

Outlook offers several methods to work with message templates to be more productive in any situation. This guide discusses the various methods and some tips to get you started with.

Contacts

Create a Contact Group from selected Contacts

When you create a new Contact Group (also known as a Distribution List), Outlook doesn’t offer you much flexibility when it comes to finding and selecting contacts via the “Add Members” dialog. This macro allows you to directly create or update a Contact Group from the selected contacts in your Contacts folder.

Display the member count of a Contact Group

In Outlook, there is no direct way to find out how many members have been added to a Contact Group (also known as Distribution Lists in Outlook 2007 and previous). By using a macro, you can get the member count with a single click.

Export Contacts to Excel

Easily export all the contact information that you need to Excel without needing to go through the Export wizard and mapping columns. This method also allows you to export more than just the standard columns.

Map It customizations and driving directions

Learn how to customize the Map It function for Contacts. With these tweaks you can change the mapping from Bing Maps to Goolge Maps or any other mapping service. You can also modify it to have it act like a route planner and get driving directions to the contact as well.

Reviving the Contact Activities feature in Outlook 2013

Contact Activities was one of the lesser known and used functionality of Outlook and has been removed in Outlook 2013. This guide shows you how to revive the feature with the use of a VBA macro.

Standardize Contacts’ Full Name and File As format

What does you Contacts folder and Address Book look like? Do all names show up in the same format? Chances are they aren’t which will affect the sorting order and how fast you can find a contact in your Contacts folder or Address Book. The macro in this guide allows you to quickly quickly standardize the naming convention of all your Contacts to a format of your choice.

Update general info for multiple contacts

See how you can use use views to easily update general info for multiple contacts at once such as the Business Address for when a company relocates.

Updating the Offline Address Book in Exchange and Outlook

Are you troubleshooting an Offline Address Book issue? Knowing how the timings work in Outlook and Exchange and how to trigger a manual update and download of the OAB-files can help you solve it more quickly. Also, when a lot of user mutations take place, increasing the OAB update frequency makes sure that the OAB on the Outlook clients are quicker up-to-date.

Calendar

Creating a new appointment based on an existing one

This guide contains a macro with which you can use an exisiting appointment as a template to create a new appointment. You can configure which properties should be copied to this new appointment. The result similar to the feature of creating a new contact from the same company.

Driving directions for meeting locations

This guide contains a macro for creating a Map It function for Appointment and Meetings similar to the Map It function for Contacts. With this macro the Location field is used to get directions in your favorite on-line route planner.

Printing a yearly calendar with Holidays and Birthdays

Outlook itself doesn’t contain a Yearly Calendar Style to print your calendar but you can use the Calendar Printing Assistant for this instead. This guide provides instructions on how to print a yearly calendar with key dates such as Holidays and Birthdays and also contains exclusive templates to improve the printing output.

Record gas mileage for Appointments, Meetings, Contacts and Tasks

Even though Outlook has a field to record mileage for various items, aside from the Tasks item, it is nearly impossible to fill it out quickly. With this macro you can now quickly log and retrieve your mileage for a selected or opened Appointment/Meeting, Contact item or Task.

Reporting time spent on Meeting, Task and Journal items

While Outlook is great at planning and registering all your activities, it is not that great when it comes to reporting about those activities. This guide contains several methods to create such reports.

Shift multiple Appointments to a different time

There can be various reasons why you might need to move multiple appointments or meetings at once while maintaining their mutual offset such as a sudden change of schedule, a sync gone wrong, time zone changes or DST madness. The macro in this guide makes it more easy to change all these appointments or meetings at once.