Outlook: Create, Change, Customize a View and Ribbon

Each Microsoft Outlook folder, such as Inbox and Calendar, displays its items in a layout called a view.

Microsoft’s Online Information for View Customization

Below is a list of tips and tweaks you can make including: add buttons like Purge and Check Email, modify delivery options to help with the speed of email, change the default actions for deleting messages and the default location for your sent mail.

Changing the top menu “ribbon” to add buttons like check email and purge

Microsoft’s Online Help for Ribbon Customization

To add a “check email” button:

1. Go to the File menu: Options: Customize Ribbon
2. On the left column, change Choose commands to: All commands
3. Scroll down to the bottom and select “Update Folder”
4. On the right column: Main tabs
5. Select Home (Mail)
6. Click New Group down below
7. A New Group is created in the column, select it, then hit the up triangle on the right so that it is at the top (just below Home (Mail))
8. Click the Add button in the middle, Update Folder should show up under New Group
9. Optional – click Rename and change the display name from Update Folder to Check Email
10. Click OK
You’ll see a Check Email button on the far left of your ribbon now, it looks like a folder with two green arrows. Click it anytime you want.

To add a “purge email” button:
Do the same as above but choose Purge from the left hand column in step 3.

Changing email behavior for deleted items

When deleting a message it can either be moved to another folder like Trash (Eudora did this) or it can be marked for deletion and stay in the inbox.

To change the default delete action:
1. File menu:Info
2. Click Account Settings, then Account Settings below that
3. Choose the E-mail tab, then select your account and click Change
4. When the new window opens, click More Settings
5. Click the Deleted Items tab
6. OIT recommends selecting “Mark items for deletion but do not move them automatically.” This puts a line through your deleted email, but does not delete it permanently until you choose Purge.

Another option is to Move deleted items to a folder (like Trash). This is how the old Eudora used to work. Then messages are not deleted until you empty that folder.

Changing where sent mail is saved

With Outlook you can choose which you prefer.
Follow the instructions for changing Deleted items behavior above, except choose the Sent Items tab.
You can choose to save sent mail on a folder on the server (if you choose this, select the “Sent Items” folder). Or you can choose to save mail on the computer.

Changing whether you see From or To in the Sent Items folder

If you change where your sent email is saved you may find that the view defaults to “From”, which is not useful, since YOU are the one who sent all that email. What you want is the “To”.

1. Select your Sent Items folder. Right click on the From column and select “Field Chooser”.
2. Scroll down until you see To. Select and drag the To up to the column header until you see two red arrows indicating were the column will be located. Let go of the button to insert.
3. You may also want to put the “Sent” field into the column headers (to replace Received).
4. Then right click the “From” header again and select “Remove this column”. You can do the same for the Received column.

Turn off unnecessary add-ins

Outlook Add-Ins can be installed by other programs like iTunes. They can slow the program down and even delay receiving and sending email. There is no harm in turning all Add-Ins off.

1. File Menu, Options, Add-ins
2. At the bottom select “manage com add-ins” and hit Go
3. Uncheck every item listed, then click OK

Change the delivery behavior

Outlook 2013 and 2010 attempts to download and index all attachments automatically. This is unnecessary and may slow down the delivery of email. The attachments will be indexed when you access them instead.

1. Open Outlook.
2. Click the Send/Receive tab.
3. Click Send/Receive Groups and select Define Send/Receive Groups.
4. Select All Accounts and click Edit.
5. Change the radio button to “Download headers for subscribed folders”.
6. Click OK.
7. Click Close.


Outlook Processes

Outlook will occasionally run in the background, even after you quit the application.  When you re-open Outlook to check your mail you may end up seeing two or three copies of emails and find that sent email is getting stuck in the Outbox (not actually being sent) as well as other issues. It is possible to manually kill the background instance (do ctrl-alt-del, processes, end any outlook.exe), but the problem can also be solved in these two ways:

Disable Add-ins (programs like iTunes will add an Outlook add-in)

Outlook 2003
Tools: Options: Other: Advanced Options:
Add-in Manager
Com Add-ins

Outlook 2007
Tools: Trust Center: Select Add-ins (on the left)
At the bottom of the window will be Manage: Com Add-ins. Click the Go button.
Uncheck the non-Microsoft and non-Meeting Maker ones (like iTunes)

Outlook 2010
File: Options: Add-ins
At the bottom of the window will be Manage: Com Add-ins. Click the Go button.
Uncheck everything (like iTunes), then OK

Create a new Outlook shortcut that checks for existing processes

Navigate to Program Files: Microsoft Office: Office ## – Make a shortcut of Outlook.exe and put it on the desktop
Right click, properties and verify that it contains /recycle in the command line.