Top 50 Most Popular Outlook Tips, Tricks and Tutorials

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Learn to use email better with these must-see Outlook tips.

Just Popular or Also Good?

The good, the bad, and the popular. Are there any correlations? Well, find out for yourself if the most popular tips, tutorials and techniques for Outlook are also some of the most helpful.

Of course, these are not the only Outlook tips, and they are not the only good tips for Outlook:

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Set Up an Out of Office Auto-Reply

While you are away from the computer, Outlook can automatically reply to incoming mail with a pre-written message telling senders when you’ll be able to reply individually.

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Create an Email Signature in Outlook

Set up a short piece of text containing essential contact information, a tag line or maybe an ad or quotation to be inserted in every email you send from Outlook.

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Graphic or Animation in Your Outlook Email Signature

Create a signature that appends to your emails in Outlook and make it a richer experience by adding graphics, animations and logos.

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Send an Email to Undisclosed Recipients

If you want to send an email to a group of people but keep their email addresses hidden, send it to "Undisclosed recipients" in Outlook.

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Prevent Outlook from Sending Winmail.dat Attachments

Ever see an email attachment with a winmail.dat extension and wonder what the heck it is?  Winmail.dat is a proprietary Windows format for attachments that leverages the dat file generic encoding. 

If your Outlook program is sending attachments as Winmail.dat, it could confuse and concern recipients. . Here's how to configure Outlook to make sure it does not send winmail.dat attachments to mail recipients.

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Insert an Inline Image in an Email

You can include your photos, sketches or other images in the body of your email messages instead of as attachments. They're called in-line images, and sometimes they're exactly what you need to express yourself.

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Access Windows Live Hotmail with Outlook

Use Microsoft Outlook to fetch and send email messages through your Windows Live Hotmail account easily and with all the power and flexibility of a real email client.

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Change the Default Email Font and Size

Is the font Outlook uses when you compose a message or read an email too wide, tall, small,big or blue? You can specify the precise font, style and color to use by default for emails in Outlook.

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Increase the Font Size While Reading Mail in Outlook

Is the tiny font in emails giving you headaches? Here's how to swiftly increase the size of the text in your email messages in Outlook.

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Add a Background Image to a Message

Want something a little fancier than a plain, white background? Give your emails a colorful and original background in Outlook.

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Add Blind Copy (Bcc) Recipients

Bcc - blind carbon copies - are the method that email applications use to send anonymous copies of the message to multiple recipients. This allows users to send emails to multiple recipients without showing their names or email addresses to everyone else the message is sent to.

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Sync Google and iPhone Calendars with Outlook

Have a Google or iPhone Calendar you want to sync with your Outlook client? You can set them up to sync with your Outlook calendar so all of your devices show the same events and appointments.

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Set Up a Distribution List in Outlook

Need to send mail to a list of people? Create your own mailing lists in Outlook and easily send messages to groups of people.

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Backup or Copy Your Outlook Mail, Contacts and Other Data

If all your email, contacts, and calendars are in Outlook, you'll want to create a backup of that information to make sure you don't lose it if your hard drive crashes or Outlook stops working. You can create backup copies of your Personal Folders (.pst) files, the files where all your information is saved, as easily as copying the file to a second location.

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Set the Default Account in Outlook

When you start a new message in Outlook, the default account is the one that automatically determines which default settings — the signature and From: address, for example — will be used. If you have multiple accounts connected to Outlook, you can set the default account to respond from

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Set the Default Message Format

You don't have to choose your favorite message format every time you create a new message. Here's how to make your favorite settings your default in Outlook.

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Automatically Cc: All Mail You Send

If you have an email account that you use to backup all your messages, or if you need to copy someone on every message you send, Outlook can automatically send a carbon copy (Cc:) of every message you compose to another email address.

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How to Increase the Outlook Attachment Size Limit

Ever try to send a message with an attachment and Outlook won't let you send it because the attachment exceeds some limit? You can adjust the Outlook attachment size limit to match that of your email server so emails don't bounce back as undeliverable. Making this change will help you avoid unnecessary Outlook errors, too.

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Export Your Outlook Contacts to a CSV File

Keep your contacts even if you leave Outlook behind. If you save your Outlook contacts as a CSV file, you can easily import them elsewhere.

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Import Contacts from Excel or a CSV File into Outlook

Is your extensive list of contacts or customers stored happily in a spreadsheet or database? It only takes a few steps to import those contact into Outlook. Then you can use those contacts to build the basis for a mailing list, for example.

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Set Up an All Mail Folder

The search capabilities in Outlook make it easy to find a message when you need it. Creating an All Mail folder for all your messages makes it even easier. 

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Schedule Emails in Outlook

Ever wish you could set up an email to send at a specific time in the future? Maybe you want to send yourself a reminder in a couple of months, or you want to send a really nice email message to a friend on a special date. You can tell Outlook to deliver a message on or after a certain date.

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View the Complete Message Source

Stop Outlook from throwing away the evidence. Here's how to make Outlook retain the original message source when it retrieves emails from the internet.

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How to Edit a Received Message in Outlook

Does a message need a more descriptive Subject, do you want to annotate the body or make any other change? Outlook makes editing received emails easy.

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Forward an Email as an Attachment

Need to send someone a message you've received, but simply forwarding the message truncates some of the information you need to include (i.e. header information)? Forward an email in-full and in the state in which you received it as an EML attachment in Outlook.

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Separate Email Recipients With Commas

Wondering why Outlook cannot resolve a contact's name in an email to more than one recipient? It may be the way Outlook interprets commas. You can use commas to separate multiple email recipients in a message. 

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Quickly Find All Mail from a Specific Sender

Unless you have permanently deleted a message, Outlook has all the messages from a particular sender stored in a folder. You can use this technique to quickly find them for reference.

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Delete an Address from the Outlook Auto-Complete List

Has Outlook remembered an email address you mistyped, or do you want to get rid of an outdated name? Here's how to clear unwanted entries from the auto-complete list that appears when you type in the To: field.

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Restore an Outlook PST File for Mail, Contacts, Data

Did you get a new hard drive or computer and wish you had all the Outlook data that was stored on the previous machine? Recover messages, your address book, calendar, and other essential Outlook data from a backup copy.

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Automatically Filter One Sender's Mail to a Specific Folder

If you receive emails from a specific sender that you need to file away for future reference, you can set up Outlook to send those messages to a specific folder as soon as they are received. Starting with a message, easily set up an Outlook filter to automatically move all of sender's future emails to a particular folder.

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Permanently Delete a Message

Want to permanently delete a message forever in Outlook but not empty the "Deleted Items" folder? You can, but be sure to learn how to recover deleted Outlook emails first!

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Search Inside a Message

Want to find something in a long, unwieldy email? Here's how to search the text in a message in Outlook.

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Save Multiple Attachments at Once

If you've received an email with multiple attachments, you can save them all without having to do it individually. Instead, save all files attached to an email to a folder at once.

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Change the Way Unread Messages are Highlighted

Unread messages, please stand up. Here's how to highlight unread mail in Outlook using special fonts, colors, and more.

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Make Replies to Emails Go to Another Address in Outlook

Want to send messages from one address but receive replies at another? Here's how to set your default Reply-To: address for an email account in Outlook.

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Import Your Outlook Contacts into the Mac OS X Mail Address Book

Moving from Windows to a Mac? The OS X Address Book application can import Outlook contacts for use in Mac OS X Mail.

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Use Contact Categories as Distribution Lists in Outlook

If you're good about categorizing your contacts, you can turn your Outlook contacts into elegant, flexible and stable mailing lists by using categories instead of distribution lists.

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Attach a File in Outlook

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Purge Deleted Messages

When you delete an email in Outlook, it is merely grayed out with a line through it? To permanently erase it, purge the messages marked for deletion in the IMAP folder. It's easy.

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Send an Email with Any From: Address

To unsubscribe, you need to send an email with an old email address you stopped using years ago in the From: line? Here's how to send an email from any address in Outlook.

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Move Email Messages Quickly in Outlook

Use keyboard shortcuts to quickly move emails. Here's how to set up shortcuts for filing mail in Outlook.

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Turn Off the Outlook Reading Pane

Do you prefer not to have messages open automatically? Do you like the flow of a preview pane-free message list? Here are two ways to disable Outlook's reading pane — for all folders, and by default.

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Change the Font Size of the Outlook Message List

Do you reach for a magnifying glass in despair when you look at the message list in Outlook, where everything is tiny and barely a character legible? Here's how to change the font style and size of the list of messages in Outlook to suit your fashion and needs.

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Access an AOL Email Account with Outlook

Use your AOL email accounts with all the power of Outlook. Here's how to set up AOL screen name as IMAP email accounts in Outlook.

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Hide Strikethrough Messages Marked for Deletion

If you neither desire to purge deleted messages from your IMAP inbox constantly in Outlook nor like to see all those messages that should be gone, here's how to hide the messages marked for deletion from view.

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See Total Inbox Message Count in Outlook

Want to know not how many unread messages you have but how many in toto? Here's how to set up Outlook to show you total folder message counts.

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Make Outlook Your Default Email Program

Ever clicked an email address on a web site only to have the wrong email account open up? Here's how to automatically use Outlook for all your email tasks.

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Always Send Plain Text to Certain Addresses in Outlook

Compose your emails with style and rich formatting in Outlook and make sure that people who prefer or need a plain text version, get it automatically.

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How to Forward Multiple Emails Individually in Outlook

To forward a bunch of emails individually yet automatically in Outlook, you need a folder and a rule. Follow these instructions to set up the folder and rule for automatically forwarding multiple emails individually.

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Access Your Free Yahoo! Mail with Outlook

Your Yahoo! Mail account is not made for the web alone. Here's how to download mail from a free Yahoo! Mail address into Outlook. And how to send through Yahoo! Mail, too.