OutlookTools: Free tool taps into Microsoft Outlook's advanced settings

Many Microsoft Outlook options are semi-hidden or only available through command-line switches, so it's not surprising that so few users and administrators make use of them. OutlookTools 2.0 is a free utility that exposes these hidden Microsoft Outlook settings and makes them easy to change.

Many Microsoft Outlook options are semi-hidden or only available through command-line switches, so it's not surprising that so few users and administrators make use of them.

OutlookTools 2.0 is a free utility that exposes these hidden Microsoft Outlook settings and makes them easy to change.

The program works with Microsoft Outlook 2000 through Outlook 2007, and runs on Windows 2000 and up. Earlier versions of Windows and Microsoft Outlook are also supported, but only in a limited fashion.

When installed and run (it requires the NET 2.0 Framework), OutlookTools presents you with an interface with five tabs:

  1. General lets you set the paths to Microsoft Outlook itself, its data files, and the temporary folder it uses to open attachments. From this tab, you can also quickly access Microsoft Outlook account settings (normally accessed through the Control Panel); run the ScanPst and ScanOst utilities; and change a few minor global Microsoft Outlook options, such as opening all email in plaintext mode or minimizing Microsoft Outlook to the tray.
  2. Startup Switches allows you to start Microsoft Outlook with one of a number of command-line switches (such as safe or cleanfreebusy). If you want to know what any of the switches does, simply hover the mouse over it for a dialog box that explains its function.
  3. Clear MRU lets you erase the Most Recently Used lists for a number of common Microsoft Outlook functions, such as the "Find" pane or the "Move To Folder" history list.
  4. New Mail Alert allows you to change the details about the desktop "New Mail Alert" balloon.
  5. Blocked Attachments lets you unblock attachments to messages that are normally declared unsafe and blocked by default.

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter.

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This was first published in October 2006

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