Microsoft Outlook Guide – From Setup To Troubleshooting, We Got Your Back

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Outlook on computer and iphone (caption: Microsoft Outlook Guide)Microsoft Outlook is the email and calendar/scheduling component of Microsoft 365 – the comprehensive all-in-one cloud suite of Microsoft solutions that includes all of the companies’ stalwart offerings that have matured over the past few decades, from Word and Excel to Powerpoint and Outlook.

And the good news is, unlike in the past when you had to purchase each software individually, and then purchase again when they got updated, MS 365 is subscription-based so you always have the latest software available for a flat monthly fee. Prices start at $5/user/month.

Here we bring you a quick tutorial on how to get up and running with Outlook 365, and then some frequently asked questions from our readers. Of course, you’re also welcome to hit us up in the comments with any other questions you might have!

Article Overview

Microsoft Outlook Setup Tutorial

Looking to get started with Microsoft Outlook and sync it up with your business email? Check out this video from the folks at Technology for Teachers and Students which gives you an overview of Outlook as well as step-by-step setup instructions.

Microsoft Outlook FAQ

These are questions that pour in from our readers. Don’t see yours? Ask us in the comments!

What Happened To Outlook Express?

While there is no more software-based free version of Outlook (formerly called Outlook Express), there is still a free version of Outlook on Microsoft’s Live platform. It essentially gives you free, basic web-based email and calendar management.

Best Project Management SoftwareHow Can I Add Microsoft Teams To Outlook?

Microsoft Teams (which our experts review in our best project management tools comparison) includes an Outlook add-in with which you can create new Teams meetings, view, accept, and join meetings directly from within Outlook or the app.

How Can I Create A Signature?

Simply create a new email message, and then in the message menu browse to Signature > Signatures > Choose New. Type in the name you’d like to use for your signature, and in the “edit signature” section you can compose its look.

Box vs Hightail vs Dropbox, caption: Best Cloud Storage ReviewCan I Recover Permanently Deleted Emails?

When you delete an email in Outlook 365, it will go into your “deleted items” folder. From there, you can recover your deleted emails. However, if you’ve also deleted it from your “deleted items” folder, it’s gone. For this reason, we recommend storing valuable emails in a separate folder, and possibly backing them up locally on your PC, or another cloud service provider, as well.

How Can I Create A User-Friendly Hyperlink?

There are three ways to create “user-friendly” (i.e. readable) hyperlinks in Outlook.

  1. Highlight the text (or image) you want to link, then browse to the ribbon bar and click on “Insert” > “Link”
  2. Right-click the highlighted text or image and choose “Link” from the context menu that pops up.
  3. For the Outlook mobile app, highlight the text you want to link – that will automatically pop-up a menu from which you can choose “Add Link.”

What’s The Difference Between Outlook and Microsoft Exchange?

Outlook is client software, which is simply used to manage your email from an existing provider. In other words, you’ll need to already have an email address hosted elsewhere. If you’re looking to set up and host your business email, you’ll need an email hosting provider like Microsoft Exchange.

Receiving Multiple Copies Of The Same Email?

Seeing the same exact email two or three times instead of only once? There are a couple of things that could cause this, most notably Outlook may be set up to leave copies of your mail on the server. Outlook compares the headers of emails already on your computer with those on the server – if they differ, or have been corrupted for some reason, Outlook will download the email again.

The only foolproof method to prevent Outlook from re-downloading the same email is to tell it to stop leaving mail on the server:

  1. Open Outlook and browse to the File Tab > Account Settings > Account Settings
  2. Select your email account and click “Change” (you’ll want to look under “Type” and note the type of email account you have, POP3, IMAP, or HTTP, in case you need to further troubleshoot below)
  3. Click “More Settings” > “Advanced”
  4. Uncheck “Leave a copy of messages on the server”

If the option “Leave a copy of the message on the server” is missing from step 4 above, it may be because you’re not using a POP3 mail account. If you have an IMAP, or HTTP (a web-based email account such as Gmail, Live, Yahoo, etc.) account, mail isn’t stored locally on your computer, it remains on the mail server until you delete it.

Some other things to try if you’re still stuck:

  • If you’re using aliases for your email (forwarding to another address), make sure that the alias is not set up to check emails in a different profile than your Outlook mail profile.
  • Move all your inbox messages to a new folder.
  • Create a new Outlook mail profile.

My Calendar Is Stuck In List View, How Can I Get The Monthly View Back?

This has to be one of the most frustrating problems our readers encounter using Outlook’s Calendar. You love the monthly/day view, but it keeps resorting back to the list view.

According to our experts, this typically happens after you run a filter (such as find) on the calendar, following which you’re unable to get back to your monthly view. The solution is in the “view” menu, but its location is not all that intuitive. Browse to here to reset the view to the monthly view:

  • View » Arrange By » Current View » Day/Week/Month

Make “Month” the Default View

For those that would like to set the “month” view to be the default, follow these steps:

  • View » Change View » “Apply Current View to Other Calendar Folders” » Select Your Calendar » Click OK

Depending on the Outlook version you’re using, the names of the menu items may vary slightly. If you’re having trouble, please comment below with your particular version of Microsoft Outlook.

How Can I Change The Default Browser?

There are at least three ways to do this, the direct (and easy) way is by simply using the browser option in the settings. The more techie (and possibly more versatile) way is to associate actual file types (like email or web protocols) with a particular application. And lastly, you can configure your favorite web browser to act as the default for your applications.

1) Set Your Default Browser Using Settings

Follow this click progression: Start Menu > Settings > Apps > Default Apps > scroll down until you see “Web Browser” and click on Microsoft Edge (the default). Now, select the browser you’d like to use instead. You may be asked if you want to try Edge – click “Switch Anyway.” Voila!

2) Set Your Default Browser Using File Type Associations

Follow this click progression: Start Menu > Control Panel > Default Programs > and under “Choose the programs that Windows uses by default” click on “Associate a file type or protocol with a program.” Examples:

3) Set The Default Browser In The Browser Itself

A third way to accomplish setting your default browser for Outlook is within the browser itself (where you can permanently set this browser as your default across all your applications, not just Outlook).

Tired Of Spam Flooding Your Outlook Inbox?

Is your inbox getting flooded with junk mails that are obviously spam (and maybe some that are not so obvious)? The Outlook spam filter heads off some of the deluge, but if you’re still getting enough spam to hamper your productivity there may be a better way. Our experts illustrate two tried and true solutions to stopping spam.

Are you using Outlook via Microsoft 365 or are you still on an older standalone version?

About The Author:

Alex has been involved on the business side of the internet since the early 2000's. He holds both a Management Science degree from the University of California at San Diego as well as a Computer Science degree from NJIT.

We Rock Your Web had its roots back in 2004 as the tech blog for a web design and development company Alex founded that has grown and evolved into the parent company of We Rock Your Web.

While his foundation is rooted in web development, his expertise today lies in content and digital marketing, SEO, organic and paid search, analytics, and publishing. Alex is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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I looked at the list provided for “Associate a file type or protocol with a program” and “URL:HyperText Transfer Protocol” was not included in the listing. I have Windows 7.

Well, the problem still exists and the View is the way to go to get back to the original look of Outlook. I can’t believe Outlook has not figured this out yet. Thanks so much for this. It was so frustrating to try to figure out the solution.

I can’t find a VIEW button let alone any of the rest of the sequence.

screenshots would be SOOOOO helpful!

The advice above is all well & good but this issue (receiving multiple copies of emails – Not sure if we are sending in multiples!) has only just begun to occur. What´s more no settings have been changed although I have had updates for Windows 10! Could this be the cause & what would be the solution? System Restore?

I am running Win10 with Outlook 2010. I did the Edge install months ago, and recently uninstalled IE11 since I was not using it, and did not like how sometimes it was getting launched on embedded links. I also figured why have two web browsers installed from the same author. Sort of like having both 32 and 64 bit versions of Firefox installed. Anyways back to the issue, ever since doing that I am unable to open web links in emails inside Outlook 2010. I get that stupid error “This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.” This is my home computer, I am retired, and living alone. This all means that I am my “system administrator”. Contacting myself did nothing to alleviate the issue. I know what caused it, I just need to know how to tell Outlook 2010 to use a different web browser for embedded URLs. All the online fixes seem to require IE to be installed. I have Edge installed, why do I need IE11 as well? I can’t be the only person that has done this, for the same reason, I am simply not that unique. Other than reinstalling IE11 and putting up with it opening web links in my emails using IE11 instead of Edge, how can I get one Microsoft app to talk to another Microsoft app, without an outdated Microsoft app installed as well?

I am facing the same problem as I can using outlook as an email very well but whenever I am trying to getting the monthly calendar view back, it gives me a problem. nowdays it happens a lot ,so i need a permanent problem.

I made the change yesterday and unchecked the option for leaving the messages on the server. Today I am not receiving any emails to Outlook. Has this change affected my ability to receive emails??

I have the latest version of Outlook and I am getting the same email from the same person every 20-30 minutes. Please tell me how to resolve-what did I do? LOL

worked like a charm for firefox, thanks!

I want to change the “default browser” for Outlook (2010). Chrome is already my default browser and links in emails open in Chrome. But if I open an email itself, it opens in IE. (Move group of the ribbon on a message, More Move Actions –> View in Browser.. The tooltip claims that this will open in my default browser but opens in IE.)

And obviously, I don’t want to associate the .msg file type with Chrome…

Can you please tell me where to find what you’re telling me to select. Please be detailed as I am not all that computer savvy.: select “Associate a file type or protocol with a program” and associate “”URL:HyperText Transfer Protocol” with your web browser of choice. Repeat for file types

To launch links sent to your email with Google Chrome, try this. Click on Start at the bottom left corner of your monitor screen. Select Control Panel (right side of popup). Look for Default programs. Click on Associate a file type or protocol with a program. In the box, under Protocols, scroll down and look for HTTP. Click on it and select Google Chrome. Click Ok. Now select HTTPS, Click and select Google Chrome followed by Ok. Hope that works out for you.

Still does not address issue if for example you have chosen daily (Day) view in Calendar and you close Outlook it will default to last view chosen and not default Monthly Calendar View you set using this method.

Thanks! work’s great for win7

Happy we could help!

I don’t want to change my default browser on the whole, just for the links I click on in emails. Any way to do that? Thanks 🙂

Thank you! Same here. I’m not a tech newbie and for the life of me, I hate that when I click a link in email it goes to IE. I don’t use IE ever unless I’m checking views of sites in different browsers. I’m using Win 10.

Me too, but I have one browser configured for a proxy, and one without. I want the browser WITHOUT the proxy to be opened whenever I click a link in Outlook, and the browser WITH the proxy to be the default any other time.

Thanks, I got it to work for being the most non-computer person around!

Alex the “View » Change View » “Apply Current View to Other Calendar Folders” » Select Your Calendar » Click OK.” WORKED. I was always having my active sync calendar go to the column view but your fix cured it. Thanks so much!

You’re very welcome, so glad it worked for you, I know how frustrating this can be!

I just recently got the iPad Air and downloaded the outlook app. On my calendar I like looking at the whole month. It will only let me view in Agenda, Day, Week. My month tab is not even there.

I have this same problem specifically on my iPad, where I cannot locate a “View” function. The Month tab was once there, but has disappeared. Was any solution learned since this question was first posted? Haven’t located anything yet. Thanks!

In Win7, the Control Panel “Default Programs” is where you want to go. For me, however, “Set your default programs” was a bust because the programs listed there did not include most of the many non-MS programs I have installed, including Firefox.

Going into “Associate a file type…” I was able to associate .htm and .html to FF. In the same window, I scrolled down to Protocols, but could not change the association for FTP or HTTP because the Change Program dialog only displayed IE and did not have a button to browse for other programs. Anyone know a hack for this?

Awesome. In Win 7 just click the top link in “Default programs” and then go to “Chrome” and click on the “Set this program as default”

I am trying to block time on my executives calendar in the grid to block the time – it is an international flight – so leaves at 8:30pm and arrives the next day at 4:20am. It is going up to the top of the calendar and not just blocking the time, even though I don’t have all-day event checked. Is there a way I can change this to block the time in the grid?

I’m using MS Office 2007. After switching views, then switching back to the original, my Calendar’s All Day events display the times, although they are greyed out. (On my other computer, once you click All Day, the time choices disappear.) So now, all my all-day events in my calendar display as starting at 12:00am.
Help please?

I changed my defaults all to Chrome, but was still getting IE opening when clicking on a link from Office Depot. It was a mhtml file and it will not open in Chrome, as the file type is saved from IE. I changed it over to Chrome default for .mhtml and .mht but the page would not open at all. I had to switch it back to IE.

Just be careful when you are changing the default programs under “Associate a file type or protocol with a specific program” because some file types are specific to the browser. the .mhtml and .mht are the only ones I’ve found so far, but I’m sure there are more.

I recently updated my computer to Windows 10. When I did this Microsoft office outlook web access is only showing the day that you click on. How can I get the full calendar back like in outlook where I can see what’s scheduled for the full month?

Thanks for the help with this! You solved a challenge in 2 minutes that I couldn’t solve in 3 days. 🙂