Adding Holidays into Outlook

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Put Easter and other public holidays back into Outlook

If you check your Outlook calendar for the coming weekend, you might not see Easter Monday marked for Monday 21 April, Good Friday marked for Friday 18 April 2014. Or maybe US Thanksgiving on 27 Nov 2014 isn’t listed?

Why? Doesn’t Outlook come with public holidays automatically loaded? Not necessarily.

You need to update the holidays list manually, here’s how.

Outlook 2013/Outlook 2010 go to Options | Calendar and click Add Holidays

Outlook%20holidays%201 - Adding Holidays into Outlook

Outlook 2007 go to Tools | Options | Calendar Options and click Add Holidays.

Outlook%20holidays%202 - Adding Holidays into Outlook

From there it’s the same for all versions, there’s a list of countries that have holiday data

Outlook%20holidays%203 - Adding Holidays into Outlook

Check the box next to any country you want holidays displayed for. You might to load holidays for countries you have personal or business dealings with. Click OK when you’re finished.

You might see a message like this, even though you don’t have holidays loaded:

  • Outlook%20holidays%204 - Adding Holidays into Outlook

You really don’t have much choice but to choose Yes (‘No’ won’t load any holidays).   What would be good is the option to choose the year/s for new holidays.  That simple option would prevent many of the duplicate holiday problems that arise from the current ‘all or nothing’ approach.

After the holidays are loaded, go to your calendar to see the results. Here’s the coming Easter weekend with the different holidays marked for US, UK and Australia.

Outlook%20holidays%205 - Adding Holidays into Outlook

Outlook 2013 will load holiday information for 2012 to 2022. The data is supplied with Outlook and may not include later changes made by governments for special occasions.

A deluge of emails from people about ‘our’ definition of Easter, so here’s a clarification.

  • Easter has different proclaimed holidays in different countries, see below.

    • Also note the calendar image above where Good Friday is a holiday in Oz and UK but not US while Easter Day/Sunday is listed as a holiday in all three countries.

  • does not presume to define when and how people celebrate religious days. We were following the holidays supplied by Microsoft and they are presumably using government proclaimed holidays.

    • But we did have a typo in saying ‘Easter Day’ instead of ‘Easter Monday’ – mea culpa – corrected above.

  • We always like getting feedback from readers but, like anyone, dislike the kind of abusive and swearing emails our staff have endured on this topic. Peter has personally replied to the polite emails.

Easter has government proclaimed holidays which vary around the world:

Good Friday – is a major public holiday in many countries including the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Easter Sunday aka Easter Day– of course, also an important day in the Christian calendar

Easter Monday – a public holiday in some countries.

As we noted above, holidays vary between countries, so Outlook’s ability to add them for different places is useful for anyone dealing with people around the world.

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