Tips and tricks for Outlook 2016

If you use Outlook 2016 regularly, there is no doubt you know your way around the application. But perhaps you've wondered if there's a better, or faster way of doing something. These following tips and tricks may help you learn about some hidden features, techniques, and timesavers in Outlook for Windows.

Start Outlook with Run command

  1. After your computer started up, press Windows + R.
  2. Type outlook and press the Enter key.
  3. Wait for Outlook to start.

Where to find your attachments

  1. Recently worked on something? Don't search for it — it's likely already on the Attach File menu.
  2. Open Outlook.
  3. Press Ctrl + N to create a new message.
  4. On the ribbon, click Message.
  5. Select Attach File.

Your recent saved files and attachments should be displayed there.

When to Delete and when to Archive messages

The Delete and Archive feature are similar, here is when to use which.

  Delete Archive
How it works Clicking the Delete button will get rid of the message Clicking the Archive button will keep the message
Why is it good It’s the good old Delete button! Put plainly, it zaps away your message and eventually it will get deleted for good (Well, unless you undo or recover it) It’s a one-click way to keep a message. No need to carefully file it into a folder or subfolder. One click, or tap, files it away for safekeeping
It moves messages to... The Deleted Items folder, which you probably empty (or removed automatically) from time to time The Archive folder. It's just another folder to keep messages
Does it reduce mailbox size? Using the Delete button will eventually reduce the size of your overall mailbox, when the Deleted Items folder gets emptied No. It keeps things, it doesn’t remove them or shrink your mailbox in any way.

Quickly turn a message into a meeting

  1. Open a message that needs to be turned into a meeting.
  2. Press this combination: Ctrl + Alt + R.
  3. The message will turn into a meeting invitation with attendees. Set your Location, the Start time, and End time. Then click Send and your meeting is all set up.

Jump around Outlook with ease

Sometimes you need to be in your calendar, and then quickly switch back to mail. Here are some shortcut keys that can help you do that.

In Outlook 2016:

  • Press Ctrl + 1 takes you to Mail.
  • Press Ctrl + 2 takes you to Calendar.
  • Press Ctrl + 3 takes you to People.
  • Press Ctrl + 4 takes you to Tasks.

Fast shortcuts for search

For when you need to find someone's message really fast, try these:

  1. In Outlook, press Ctrl + E.
  2. Your cursor automatically jumps to the Search box:
  • Type a name (i.e. John) to find all messages containing the word "John"
  • Type "from:name" (i.e. from:John) into the search box to find emails from John
  • Type "from:name received:this week" (i.e. from:John received:this week) to find email from John that was received this week
  • Type "from:name hasattachments:yes" (i.e. from:John hasattachments:yes) to find email from John that includes attachments

Change the Outlook colors

When you first install Outlook, it may appear too bright for you or you may not like it at all. Here's how to pick a different color theme.

  1. Open Outlook for Windows.
  2. Click File.
  3. Select Option.
  4. On the right, look for Office Theme.
  5. Choose another theme.
  6. Click OK and you're done.

NOTE: Please note that if you change your Office Theme, it will change all of your Office app colors — from Outlook, to Word, to Excel, and so on.