Center For Practice Management, Email Management, Microsoft Office, Productivity

What To Expect from The New MS Outlook

Microsoft currently has support for multiple versions of Outlook, both professional and home versions – for Mac, PC, browser, subscription, stand-alone, and more. About a year ago the company started to announce that it would be consolidating “One Outlook” to a single version. Now subscribers to MS 365 who use installed Outlook have a preview of what the future holds. While it isn’t as significant as the move from toolbars to the Ribbon, the new Outlook is quite a departure from the old version. Read on to get a preview of the changes to come.

While there is no news about Outlook for Mac, MS 365 subscribers using Outlook for Windows may see a button to toggle to “Try the New Outlook” on the upper right side. You can toggle between the new Outlook for Windows and the old. Every time you leave the new view you will be asked for feedback. You should spend the time providing feedback if you do not like something or cannot find something.

What is New(ish)?

For users familiar with Outlook on the Web (the version of Outlook through Microsoft 365 accessed via a browser), the new Outlook for Windows looks very similar. For those Outlook users who primarily use the desktop installed Windows version, the interface is different and more streamlined. The new, spare look may be a welcome relief to some, or a frustrating experience since many of the power-user features are missing.

Some of the new features coming to the new Outlook for Windows include:

Pin Emails – this feature is already in the browser version. You can right click and pin a message to the top of your inbox.

Snooze – this feature also already appears in the browser version. You can schedule a time for a message to be re-delivered to your inbox.

Schedule Send – not really a new feature, however it is easier to find.

Categories – also, not new but upgraded. It is easier to see all items tagged with a category and easier to apply categories. The categories look a lot like labels in Gmail.

Undo Send – you can cancel an email message after you have selected Send. For up to 10 seconds. This differs from the earlier Recall feature, it is like the Undo button in Gmail.

Sweep – this feature is already in the browser version. It is based on Outlook rules. The most useful action includes moving all email to a particular folder after a period of time. For example, “for messages received from KatyClient, move all email older than 10 days to the KatyClient folder”.

Events from email – in the Calendar you can add events from your calendar automatically from email, including package deliveries, and flight/hotel/rental car reservations. You can automatically mark these events as “private” on your calendar.

Boards – in the Outlook calendar you can create Board views that include multiple overlayed calendars (including calendars from Planner, Teams, and SharePoint), as well as sticky notes, tasks from To Do, Collections from Edge, goals, files, links, contacts and locations. You can also add emails to a board. These are meant to be similar to a dashboard, to help you collect information and action items in one place.

Bookings – Microsoft Bookings is incorporated into the calendar more fully.

Storyline – Found under the “New mail” drop down menu, storyline is a “place to share experiences, milestones, propose ideas and discuss interests. Storylines appear in Outlook, Teams, Yammer, and Viva Connections.

Viva Engage – A button called Viva Engage appears on the far-left rail. Clicking on it takes you to Yammer, which is Microsoft’s version of Google Groups.

Meetings Recap – already in Outlook through the browser, you can quickly jump to recordings, notes, and transcripts for past Teams meeting in your Outlook calendar.

What is Different?

For those who spend most of their time in the Outlook software the new “streamlined” Ribbon will take some getting used to. Familiar tabs in the Ribbon like “File”, “Folder”, and “Send/Receive” are gone. The functionality is mostly now in a right click menu or embedded into a horizontal bar in an opened email. The “View” menu is extremely truncated.

Without the File menu, the ability to export email and contacts is evidently missing. Creating an Out of Office response is buried in Settings, with several other items formerly in the File tab in the Ribbon.

You can no longer add and remove fields with the field chooser. Rules have been dumbed down. You can no longer create custom formatting to make an email from a specific person stand out. You cannot customize the Ribbon.

Possibly the biggest blow to power users is the loss of Quick Parts and the Quick Access Toolbar. If you don’t know what those are you won’t miss them. If you do, you will probably toggle off the new Outlook and leave some feedback on the way out.


There are a lot of especially useful add-ins that extend the Outlook functionality and integrate with other products. There are two distinct types of add-ins. Some you may have gotten in newer versions of Outlook through the “Get Add-ins” button in the Ribbon (which now appear in individual emails in the … menu in individual emails). Those, mostly, will work in the new Outlook for Windows.

COM add-ins, older applications that have worked with Outlook for years by adding a new tab or button to the Ribbon, no longer work. For those using Acrobat’s “save to PDF” for emails and folder or the archival tool from the tab in the Ribbon know that is not currently functional. Nor is SimplyFile or other COM add-ons.


There has been no official word on when the new Outlook for Windows will be rolled out. A lot may change, based on user feedback, before the permanent switch. Microsoft has a checklist of the difference between the current Outlook versions. Be prepared for some change management, for yourself if you are a power user and your team. You can also join the Microsoft Community for Outlook for Windows to follow along for tips for dealing with the “new Outlook 2023”. With any luck, Microsoft will think better of rolling out this “lite” version, as it has done before.