Blog: Outlook

I was working with a customer who reported that his Outlook searches for emails from only user only went back about a month. We did some testing and found that when he searched for emails from another person, they only went back one week. In both searches, I noticed that the number of items found was 250.

250 seemed like a very round number and would have been a huge coincidence that searches for two different people would result in the same number of results found. I did some investigating and found that there is a “feature” in Outlook to limit the search results to increase the speed of searches. Microsoft documentation: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2185146

The feature that enables limiting search results is “Improve search speed by limiting the number of results shown” and is enabled by default. In Outlook 2013 and 2016, this setting limits results to 250 items. In Outlook 2007 and 2010, this setting limits results to 200 items. When this option is unchecked, it will return all items found. Also, if you click “More” at the end of the search results, this setting will be ignored as the “More” button searches on the server and will only return the limited result set.


 

If Outlook says "This file cannot be previewed because there is no previewer installed for it" when you are trying to preview an attachment, this means that file type has no default program associated with it.  Try saving the attachment and then choose Open With... to associate a program.  After that, Outlook will use that program to preview attachment of that file type.

 

This demonstrates that previewing attachments is the same as opening them, so caution is advised.


 

Recently, a customer pointed out that Outlook had identified Nov 1, 2015 as U.S. Election Day when it is actually Nov 8, 2016. My Outlook calendar also showed Nov 1st.

Outlook uses a ".hol" file to import holidays into the calendar. Microsoft periodically updates this file to add more years, fix errors, etc.

It seems that the holidays do not always change on the calendar when Microsoft issues an updated .hol file. The holidays in my caledar were originally created in 2013 and had the error with Election Day.

In order to change the holidays, I performed the following steps:

  • In Outlook, click on "File", "Options", "Calendar"
  • Click the "Add Holidays..." button
  • Uncheck "United States", recheck "United States", click "OK"
  • Click "Yes" to the warning that US holidays are already installed and asking if you want to install them again.
  • Click "OK" on the "Outlook Options" window. 

This adds a new set of holidays to your calendar, but leaves the old set, resulting in duplicate holiday entries. To remove the old holidays:

  • Open your Outlook calendar
  • Click on the "View" menu in the ribbon
  • Click on the "Change View" button and select "List"
  • Click on the "View Settings" button
  • Click on the "Columns" button
  • In the left side of the window, choose "Created" and "Categories" and then click "Add ->" to move them to the right side of the screen.
  • Left click on the heading for the "Created" column to sort by the created date
  • Right click on the heading for the "Categories" column, select "Arrange By", and choose "Categories"
  • Scroll down to the "Holiday" category
  • Select all of the holiday entries that have a created date older than today
  • Delete the old holiday entries

 

Upon installing an Adobe update on a PC, it installed Chrome as the new default browser.  After the installation finished, Chrome was uninstalled.  Sometime later, the user found they couldn't click on any URL links in Outlook messages without getting an error message.  The solution is to either remove certain registry entries left behind by Chrome or reinstall Chrome. In this case, Chrome was reinstalled and IE was left as the default browser and everything began to work.

 

Users of Microsoft Office 2013 32-bit may experience the following behavior on an RDS server. Each time a user starts Outlook 2013, a window is briefly shown with the message: "Configuring Microsoft Office 64-bit Components 2013." The message appears for restricted users and administrators alike, but there's no apparent effect that Outlook is impaired in functionality. [more]

Solution: To resolve the issue, install the Windows Search Service role. As soon as this role is installed and its services running, the message will no longer appear. A reboot is not required.

Cause: The components it configures are necessary to link the search indexer to the Outlook's data stores (OTS and PST). Because the Search Service is not installed, this part of the configuration process of Outlook fails, and therefore it is re-attempted each time.

Notes: Both XenApp and RDS best practices suggest to disable the Windows Search Service. In fact, the Citrix PVS Target Device Optimizer disables the service when it is run on the server. After installing the service, you might consider setting the service to disabled. This does not cause the message above to reappear; however, when the service is disabled, Outlook will display a message, "The Windows Search Engine is currently disable. Outlook will not be able to provide fast search results using the Instant Search functionality unless this service is running. Do not show this message again."


 

Versions of Outlook prior to 2013 would allow you to create an HTML signature with references to local images (e.g., logo, etc.) that would be converted to embedded images when you sent the email message.  As of Outlook 2013, the links to the images are not converted so, if the image is not accessible to the recipient (such as in a URL or shared file on an internal network), the recipient will only see a broken link reference.

This can be remedied by using the Outlook editor to create the signature with images but the editor doesn't always give you the HTML you would prefer.  An alternative is to make the allowing registry entries to have Outlook embed images like it used to.

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Options\Mail
Value type: REG_DWORD
Value name; Send Pictures With Document
Value: 1

 

A user was getting the error message "Cannot open Outlook window" when starting Outlook.  Starting the program with the switch /resetnavpane fixed the problem.  The /resetnavpane switch clears and regenerates the Navigation Pane for the current profile.

 

While trying to SHARE a Calendar in Outlook a user received: “Calendar sharing is not available with the following entries because of permission settings on your network”.  [more]

If the user typed the recipient’s email address in or used the address from your cached addresses.  It will not work and you will get this error every time. 
What they need to do is click the “TO…” button and select the intended recipient(s) from the global address book. 


 

We recently helped a user who reported that some of her emails were blank in Outlook. She said it was mainly forwards and replies that were blank. After looking at her computer, I found that all plain text emails were “blank”, while all HTML emails showed the text correctly. The emails that were forwards and replies to her that were blank were from mobile devices, and therefore sent as plain text. After some digging, I found that she had set the plain text  font color to white. The messages appeared to be blank because the email was displaying white text on a white background.

To change this setting to File > Options > Mail > Stationery and Fonts. When you click the Font buttons, you can change the color of the font. Make sure the font color is not white or blank. [more]


 

This is an addendum to a previous post on searching in windows explorer.  You can also search in all sorts of places, not just the file system

Control panel - sort of an expanded fuzzy search and finds items related to your term.

Under Add/Remove programs, installed updates: You can search for a KB number to see if it’s installed.  You have to start with a word and it does not seem to use wildcards.  Also you cannot specify fields, like program:, version:, etc.[more]

Keep this in mind when you are scrolling through a long list of printers, list of gadgets, etc.

New gotcha:  Outlook:// links no longer work.  It looks like officially these are no longer supported.  It is still recognized by Outlook, so a simple workaround there is to just start up Outlook and pass it the URI.
 
This will still work for folders in your mailbox, outlook://Inbox will go to your inbox.  But this will not work for public folders.
There is a discussion here: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/outlook/thread/da5404a8-ce24-4795-9b25-794362301c75 that says the official word from Microsoft is "there is no solution".  It seems the problem is caused by the fact that Outlook can now access more than one Exchange server at a time, so the SMTP address of the user is now included in the path to the Public folders.  So it will work by including your e-mail address, like this:

outlook /recycle /select "outlook://Public Folders - john.smith@example.com/All Public Folders/Contacts"