Two ways to try New Outlook

There are two ways to try New Outlook — either as a Office 365 Insider on the beta track or direct download (Intel and ARM based devices). Here’s how to do it and the hidden ‘gotchas’.

Beware the New Outlook because it’s VERY crippled. Only Microsoft hosted commercial or education mailboxes are supported – no Outlook.com yet. Don’t even think about ‘foreign’ mailboxes like Gmail, Yahoo or ISP’s. And there’s no offline caching, so you’ll need a good and reliable Internet connection.

The future of New Outlook is likely to be cross-platform with the same all working on both Windows and Mac and maybe even Linux variants too? For the moment it’s Windows only (Windows 11 and probably Windows 10 with Edge).

No version detail, no option to check for updates.  All app updating is done in the background.  An ‘update available’ notification might briefly appear but then it’s gone.

Office 365 Insider

Go to File | Account | Office Insider and choose the Beta Channel. See Is it safe to join Office Insiders?

This changes all the Office software on that computer to the Insiders versions, not just Outlook. Even then, there’s no guarantee you’ll be offered the “New Outlook” because it’s being gradually rolled out. See Why new Office features don’t appear

Try the New Outlook

If and when the Microsoft gods smile upon you, a “Try the New Outlook” option will appear in top-right of Outlook desktop.

Turn that on, then wait while the New Outlook app is downloaded. Keep in mind this isn’t just a revision of the existing Outlook software, New Outlook is a totally separate app.

Insiders are only offered New Outlook as an alternative to Outlook desktop with the ability to switch between the two. There’s no way to run both ‘side by side’ on the same computer — as there should be because New Outlook is so crippled it’s no proper alternative.

Direct Download

New Outlook is still available (as we type this) unofficially but from Microsoft direct. At the moment, New Outlook will only connect to a single Microsoft 365 hosted work or school account.  Access for Outlook.com users will come later.

Download the installer from here (for Windows 64-bit only).

There’s also an ARM 64-bit version here.

This is supposedly an unofficial release.  Microsoft could stop access to the beta app if they wanted to, but haven’t.  It looks like a deliberate leak and a clever tactic.  However access might be cut-off at any time.

The advantage of this option is that it can run on the same computer as regular Outlook desktop software.

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