HowTo Guides


About the Outlook PST-File

Pst-files, unless you are using an Exchange or Hotmail account, Outlook cannot live without them. This guide contains basic but also more advanced and additional background information about the pst-file and how you can handle them.

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 scenario.

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) PowerShell 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 PowerShell or vbs-script, be scheduled or be part of a larger script such as logon or logoff scripts.

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.

Export Outlook Notes to OneNote

Learn how to quickly export your Outlook Notes to OneNote. This guide contains instructions how to use the the Print to OneNote feature to export your Notes. It also contains a macro which allows you to export in a more direct way via the me@onenote service.

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.

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. migration changes; What do I need to know and do?

Microsoft is migrating all mailboxes to the Office 365 Exchange Online mail servers. This will give you a much better synching experience in Outlook but unfortunately may require you to re-add the account to Outlook and make some additional changes once your mailbox has been moved over.

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.

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!

Where do I find…?

Changed Outlook version and can now no longer find your favorite feature? Or have you heard of a feature but don’t know where to find it in Outlook? This guide will help you on your way.

Windows 10 (22H2 / October 2022 Update or earlier) and Outlook

Thinking about upgrading your computer to Windows 10 or are you using Outlook on a Windows 10 computer already? This guide contains not only upgrade preparation and troubleshooting steps but also various tips about the changes that you could encounter involving Outlook after upgrading to Windows 10 or applying a major update for Windows 10.

Windows 7 and Outlook

Thinking about upgrading your computer to Windows 7 or are you using Outlook on a Windows 7 computer already? This guide contains not only upgrade preparation and troubleshooting steps but also various tips about the changes that you could encounter involving Outlook after upgrading to Windows 7.

Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Outlook

Thinking about upgrading your computer to Windows 8 or are you using Outlook on a Windows 8 computer already? This guide contains not only upgrade preparation and troubleshooting steps but also various tips about the changes that you could encounter involving Outlook after upgrading to Windows 8.


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.

Downloading Outlook 2013 from Office 365 after March 1, 2017

As of March 1, 2017, you can no longer download Office 2013 via the Office 365 portal. When you still need it, you can download it via a direct link or the Office Deployment Tool. Security updates will still be provided until April 10, 2018.

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

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

Slipstream Office 2007 setup with SP3

When you slipstream Service Pack 3 with your Office 2007 installer, Office 2007 will be directly installed at Service Pack 3 level saving you the trouble of applying it afterwards.

Slipstream Office 2010 setup with SP2

When you slipstream Service Pack 2 with your Office 2010 installer, Office 2010 will be directly installed at Service Pack 2 level saving you the trouble of applying it afterwards. You can also modify the installation to already accept the EULA and fill out your Product Key.

Slipstream Office 2013 setup with SP1

When you slipstream Service Pack 1 with your Office 2013 installer, Office 2013 will be directly installed at Service Pack 1 level saving you the trouble of applying it afterwards. You can also modify the installation to already accept the EULA and fill out your Product Key.

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.

Upgrading to Outlook 2016

Planning to upgrade to Outlook 2016? This guide contains a lot of preparation and other information to ensure a smooth transition.

Windows 11 (2023) and Outlook; An easy upgrade?

Thinking about upgrading your computer to Windows 11 or are you using Outlook on a Windows 11 computer already? This guide contains not only upgrade preparation and troubleshooting steps but also various tips about the changes that you could encounter involving Outlook on Windows 11.


15 Folder Pane Tips & Tricks

The Folder Pane contains a couple of options and other “secrets” to fit it to your style and work with it more efficiently.

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.

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.

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.

Outlook can’t connect to Gmail: Password incorrect

When configuring your Gmail account in Outlook (or other mail clients such as Thunderbird and Mail apps on (older) smartphones), you may run into continuous password prompts or sync errors. This is because Google has turned off Basic Authentication for all accounts and only lets you authenticate via the OAuth 2.0 standard.

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.

Common Tasks

Adding/Recreating a Mail Profile

Need additional mail profiles or need to recreate it? While a single mail profile can contain multiple mail accounts and different account types, in some cases it might be recommended or required to create an additional mail profile or to recreate the current one.

Unblock Attachments

By default Outlook blocks certain attachment types which are known to be used to spread viruses. However, they can also used for valid reasons and you know that the attachment is secure. Follow the instructions from this guide to see how you can still access them when needed.

Using images in Signatures

This FAQ article is completely devoted to answer questions heard most often when using images in a signature.

Using the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe)

The Inbox Repair Tool is your first-aid-kit when it comes down to corruptions in your Outlook’s data storage file (pst-file). This guide walks you through the repair process of recovering your data with scanpst.exe.

E-mail Management

Allow or prevent Automatic Forwarding/Replying to the Internet

In an Exchange environment you might encounter that your automatic forward/reply rules and Automatic Replies (Out of Office) aren’t working. They probably are working but are forwarded/replying to a message from the Internet. This is disabled as a secure default at Exchange level. This article explains how Exchange Administrators can change this behavior via the Exchange Admin Center (ECP), 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.

Count Selected Items macro

With this macro you can quickly find out how many items you have selected as unlike File 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.

Importing eml-files into Outlook

Still have some eml-files lying around from Outlook Express, Windows (Live) Mail, Thunderbird or any other mail client that you want to import into Outlook? This guides contains instructions and 2 scripts to import eml-files into an Outlook folder of your choice.

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 the ost-file of an Exchange, or IMAP account

Changing the location of the ost-file of an Exchange, or IMAP 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 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 of a mailbox

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.

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/Combine 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.

Using with your own domain or current email address

Using an 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 address, your own domain but also with an address you already have from another provider like Gmail.

E-mail Composing

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.

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.

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.

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.


AutoArchive not Working

Time to clean up mailbox again but only to find that AutoArchive isn’t working? Learn where to look and even better; How to fix it!

Cannot delete a message

This article contains several easy solutions for when an error message pop-ups each time when you try to delete a message.

Event ID 27: Calendar property is missing or empty

After applying Office 2010 Service Pack 2 or one of the last updates that were released for Service Pack 1, you may see multiple Event ID 27 warnings in the Application Log of the Event Viewer with the description: Calendar Folder Property is missing.

Images resize and become unsharp upon sending

Quite a common issue when it comes to inserting pictures in an e-mail (or as part of a signature) is that the picture becomes blurry/fuzzy/unsharp/ and changes in size. Learn how to solve this issue.

Message stuck in Outbox

Got a message stuck in your Outbox and blocks sending or receiving other emails? Here a 5 easy methods to get rid of it.

Password not remembered

Does Outlook keep asking you for the password to connect to the server even when you’ve selected the “Remember password” check box?

Quick Steps not saving or not showing addresses

When you create a Quick Step in Outlook 2010 which contains an address, it could be that the Quick Step cannot be saved (Finish/Save button doesn’t respond) or your address list shows empty when trying to select an address from the Address Book.


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 (sometimes also known as Distribution Lists). 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 for Contacts

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.


PowerPoint tips: perfect presentations

PowerPoint is the most popular tool for giving presentations. It’s ideal for everything from sales talks to academic lectures. The program makes compiling and running a presentation easy, but there are still pitfalls that can trip up even the best presenter.

Report Office Store Web Add-ins (apps) usage in your organization

Do you need an overview of which Outlook Store apps are being used in your Exchange organization or Office 365 tenant? With a PowerShell one-liner and the Excel PivotTable and PivotChart feature, you can quickly create a nice looking report with an interactive table and chart.