Microsoft is working on a new Outlook for Windows app, that will replace the built-in Mail app in Windows 10 and 11, and replace the Outlook desktop app. Outlook for Windows is still in preview, meaning that not all features are available yet. But it’s a good time to test it out.
The new Outlook app is basically a web-based version. The look and feel come close to the Outlook Online version and it’s packed with new features.
In this article
In this article, we are going to take a look at the new Outlook for Windows app, what are the main differences, and some of the new import features.
Get started with the New Outlook for Windows
The new Outlook for Windows app is currently only available for Windows Insiders. This is a program that allows you to test new versions of Windows and Microsoft Office. Everyone can subscribe to the program. But keep in mind, when you install a beta version of Windows, you can’t roll back. You can subscribe here for the insider program.
Other requirements to try out the new version are:
- Atleast Windows 10 Version 1809 (Build 17763)
- Internet connection (at this time)
- Microsoft work or school account, personal Microsoft account, or Gmail account
TipWhen subscribing to the Insider program you can choose different channels. The Release Preview channal is the most stable channel and the best choice if you want to test new version before they are generally available.
When you are a Microsoft Insider, then you will see the Try the new Outlook toggle in the top-right corner of the Outlook or Mail app. Good to know, is that you can always switch back to the classic Outlook version using the same toggle. This way you can try out the new features, and in case you are missing important features, easily switch back when needed.
The new version of Outlook will download after you have switched the toggle. It takes only a minute to download it after which the migration wizard will start. Outlook will import most settings from the classic Outlook version. All the settings will also automatically sync to Outlook Online after the import.
You can find a complete list of settings that are imported here at Microsoft. During my test, I noticed that for example the quick steps were not imported, even though they are listed.
After the settings are imported, you will able to try out the new Outlook for Windows app.
Let’s take a look at some of the new features in the new Outlook for Windows app. The new features can also be found in Outlook Online, so they are not entirely new.
Pinning emails is really a great feature. When you go through your mailbox in the morning there are always a couple of emails that you will need to work on later. You can flag them, but flagged emails get out of sight when receiving new emails.
The pin feature allows you to pin an email to the top of the inbox. Perfect for those emails that you really not should forget. You can pin the email by right-clicking on them, or by clicking on the pin icon.
The snooze email function is also a great feature when you need to set a reminder for an email. The snooze function basically removes the email from your inbox and lets it re-appear at the top of your inbox at the set time.
Email that you snooze is actually moved to the folder Snoozed in your mailbox. You can move emails from the Snoozed folder back to your inbox when you want to pick up an email earlier than set.
Join Teams Meeting
The new version allows you to easily join Teams or Skype meetings directly from within Outlook. Simply click on the meeting notification above the ribbon and click Join to attend the meeting.
Synchronization with Outlook Online
All your settings are now synchronized with Outlook Online. This makes switching between the two versions a lot easier. Rules that you create can be used in both versions and email signatures are also synced between the two for example.
Find and attach documents easily
You are probably familiar with the @mention feature that we can use these days to quickly add someone to the conversation. New is that we now also can use this method to quickly add documents to an email conversion.
The files need to be stored in the cloud to be able to add them easily. Simply type @ followed by a part of the file name to find and add the file.
If you like to work with task lists, then the new My Day feature is a great option. It allows you to easily drag and drop emails to your task list, which is based on Microsoft To Do. The My Day calendar view combines upcoming events with tasks that you have for today in one overview.
Google Account Integration
Gmail accounts can now seamlessly be added to Outlook. No more need to switch between two mail programs, plus you can now easily access your Google calendars in Outlook.
Just like in Outlook Online, you can now cancel a message for up to 10 seconds after you have hit the send button. You can enable this feature in Outlook under Settings > Mail > Compose and Reply.
Read more about the Deley Send and Undo Send features in this article.
Keeping your inbox clean helps to stay on track. Finding the email that you need becomes easier and you won’t get distracted by old emails that you already have handled. The new Sweep feature allows you to easily clean up old emails. It allows you to move the messages from the selected sender(s) with the following options:
- Move all messages from the inbox folder
- Move all messages from the inbox folder any future messages
- Always keep the latest message and move the reset from the inbox folder
- Always move messages older than 10 days from the inbox folder
The interface of the new Outlook app has of course changed significantly. But besides the look and feel, there are some other noteworthy changes:
- Density can now be set to 3 levels: Roomy, Cozy, and Compact.
- Microsoft Loop components are now integrated.
- The list view of the inbox now places the first line of the body next to the subject (when you turn the reading pane off or set it to the bottom)
- Reminders of important emails that need follow up
- Track packages and view upcoming flight details
Missing Features and Important Changes
A lot of features and settings have been moved in the new Outlook app for Windows. The reason for it is that it now is more in line with the web version, Outlook Online. Let’s take a look at some important changes that I noticed during the test. Keep in mind, the new app is still in preview, so a lot can change before it’s released into production.
One of the most noteworthy changes is the shared mailboxes. Shared mailboxes are pretty comen in work environments, so you want to be able to access them easily. Now if you had a shared mailbox in the classic Outlook app, then you might have noticed that the shared mailbox isn’t listed anymore below your inbox in the new app.
To open the shared mailbox, you will now have to look in the “subfolder” Shared with me. Here you will find all the mailboxes that are shared with you. At the moment, you can’t pin a folder or shared mailbox to your favorites. This makes it a bit hard to keep an eye on any new email in the shared mailbox folder.
No PST File support
At the moment, PST files or export to PST is not supported. This can be a deal breaker for some at the moment. Good to know is that PST file support is planned for the new version.
No Support for COM/VSTO Add-in
Microsoft is not planning to support COM and VSTO Add-ins at the moment. These types of add-ins are often used in corporate environments. Microsoft encourages developers to switch over to Web Add-in based on OfficeJS. The lack of support for COM and VSTO add-ins can really hold back the adoption in corporate environments.
Other missing features
As mentioned, the app is still in development. Some features are missing at the moment, but are planned or being developed right now. Below is a short list of the most important features that are missing at the moment and their known status:
- Multi-account support – Is being developed right now.
- Offline access – In development. Currently, you can only use the new Outlook App with an Internet connection
- POP Support – Microsoft is investigating if they are going to add POP support
- Search Folder –
In developmentReleased Oct 2023
- Folder reordering – In development
- Send/receive now – Unkown. Internet connection is required now, so the feature is not really needed at the moment. Might come back with offline support?
- Downloading attachments – You can’t choose the folder anymore. Downloaded attachments are stored in your downloads folder
- Find related message – Right-clicking on an email and finding related messages is not possible.
- Recall email – You can’t recall an email anymore. This feature is somewhat replaced by the undo send feature.
Disable the New Outlook for your Tenant
The new Outlook version is a big change compared to the classic Outlook desktop. The preview version might work well for some, well others may still be missing important features that they really need for their daily work.
If your users are part of the Office insider channel, then they can enable the new Outlook App. You can prevent this with the following PowerShell command:
# Connect to Exchange Online first Connect-ExchangeOnline # Disable the new Outlook app for all users: Get-CASMailbox | Set-CASMailbox -OneWinNativeOutlookEnabled $false # Or for a single user: Set-CASMailbox -identity [email protected] -OneWinNativeOutlookEnabled $false
I have been using the new Outlook for Windows app now for more than a week and I quite like it. Yes, some features are still missing and I won’t roll it out in a production environment yet. But I like the brushed-up interface and the new features.
I tried to cover the most important changes in this article. There are a lot more features and functions missing compared to the classic Outlook. Let me know in the comments below what features you are missing or really like in the new Outlook app.