Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Turn OFF the reading pane in Outlook

One of my users recently asked me a very odd question - How to turn off the Reading Pane in Outlook.

He told me that when viewing Public Folders, if he turned off the Reading Pane in one folder, when going to the next, it would automatically turned on. This issue was causing him lots of frustration.

I found that the answer to this question is not inside Outlook but in how Outlook is started. In simple terms, outlook needed to be started with the /nopreview flag.

Follow these steps to create a shortcut on your desktop to start Outlook with the Reading Pane turned off.

1. Right Click on your desktop and then select New and then Shortcut
2. In the window that comes up, browse to where Outlook.exe is stored on your computer
(Default location for Outlook 2007 is C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\Outlook.exe)
3. Once you have located Outlook.exe, in the path that is displayed, append "/nopreview" (without any quotes) to it.

So taking Outlook 2007 as an example, the location of the item will be
 "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\OUTLOOK.EXE" /nopreview

4. Click next and enter a name for this shortcut (Outlook reading pane off)

That is all that is required. Now if you need to start Outlook and not have to keep on turning off the reading pane, just start Outlook using the new shortcut that you have just created on the desktop.

I found the above at 

You can visit for a complete list of command line switches for Outlook 2007

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Upgrade to iOS 5 is causing a faster drain of the battery

After contemplating for a week, I finally decided to upgrade my iPhone 3Gs from 4.2.3 to iOS 5.0. After a very uneventful 20 minutes(I mean this in a nice way), my iPhone was upgraded to the newer and flashier iOS 5.0. There are alot of features bundled in this upgrade (200+) though I did notice that now my iPhone seems to be a bit sluggish compared to the previous iOS.

Another thing I noticed was that my phone's battery kept on draining out faster than before. Where previously I would charge my iPhone once a day, I was now doing it twice a day! The only reason I could put to this behaviour was the recent upgrade to iOS 5. Searching on the internet, I found lots of users having similar issues. The difference though, was that they were using the new iPhone 4S while I was using iPhone 3Gs. However, saying that, they both were running iOS 5. Bingo!

Some websites reported that the degraded battery life on iPhone 4S was due to a bug in the way Location Services was checking and setting the Time Zone. The bug resulted in Location Services doing this task abit too often, which resulted in the higher battery drain. Turning off the automatic setting of Time Zone in Location Services was a fix that many recommended.

I decided to give the same fix a go on my iPhone. The steps are listed below.
1. Open up Settings in your iPhone
2. Locate Location Services and then tap it to open it
3. Navigate to the end of the screen till you see System Services. Tap this to open it
4. In the screen that shows now, turn off Setting Time Zone by sliding the button beside it to OFF.
(for good measure, I turned off Location-Based iAds as well)

Doing the above restored my iPhone to the similar (if not same) battery life that I had before the upgrade.

The fix above should work for any iPhone running iOS 5.

Hope this brings relief to others that had batteries running empty sooner than expected.