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

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