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Outlook – see more with New Window

One important but hidden feature in Outlook will let you see more and faster.

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by Office for Mere Mortals

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Outlook has a lot of different aspects; email, calendar, contacts etc and we see many people switching between them, waiting for different views to load …. and they don’t have to.

If you click on a folder or navigation icon the window will switch to that view, often with a lag time as new data is loaded from the hard drive.

Instead of clicking, right-mouse click on the folder or icon and choose ‘Open in New Window’.

Outlook - Open in New Window from folder view image from Outlook – see more with New Window at

Outlook - Open in New Window from Navigation Pane image from Outlook – see more with New Window at

This will leave the current Outlook window available and open a new window with the folder displayed.

Do that a few times and you’ll have Outlook windows open for say Email, Calendar and Contacts plus any other commonly used Outlook views. You can also have windows open with the same folder but different views of that folder – for example Unread Emails in one window, a general compact view in another and a third for searches of email.

With multiple windows open you can see each window in your taskbar, for example in Windows XP you can click on the Outlook item to see what’s open and select that window.

Outlook - multiple windows open on taskbar image from Outlook – see more with New Window at

Switching between Outlook windows is faster because the view is opened already. If new information arrives (ie new email or calendar items) the window is updated in the background.

When you shut down Outlook normally, the open windows are saved and reopened automatically when you next start Outlook.

Alas, if Outlook exits abnormally (crashes) the window positions are lost and you have to reopen your Outlook windows when it next starts. Microsoft has consistently declined to put in a feature to explicitly save and restore a set of Outlook window positions.

Article posted: Thursday, 19 May 2011

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