Using Command line switches in Outlook

By standss Friday, January 28th, 2011

When you’re having problems with Outlook you may be told to start Outlook using a specific command line switch (the most common switch is probably the “safe” switch). 

To do this:

  • Close Outlook
  • At the Start menu, Select Run
  • Enter Outlook /switch. The screenshot below shows how you enter it, using the /safe switch as an example.

Run Command box

* Then click OK to start Outlook.

Occasionally you’ll need to use the full path to Outlook, then the command line looks like this:

If you are using Outlook 2010:
“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\OUTLOOK.EXE” /switch

If you are using Outlook 2007:
“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\OUTLOOK.EXE” /switch

If you are using Outlook 2003
“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\OUTLOOK.EXE” /switch

Notes:

Before using a command line switch, you need to close Outlook and verify it’s closed in Task Manager’s Processes tab.

Paths that include spaces between words must be enclosed in quotation marks (“) and are case sensitive.

If you use Vista or Windows 7, you can type the command line in the Start Search field on the Start menu or type Run to open the Run dialog. The Windows key+R will also open the Run dialog in Windows XP, Vista, and Win7.

If you want to create desktop shortcuts using a switch, you’ll need the full path,  such as to open Outlook to a specific folder:

If you are using Outlook 2010:
“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\OUTLOOK.EXE” /select outlook:calendar

If you are using Outlook 2007:
“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\OUTLOOK.EXE” /select outlook:calendar

If you are using Outlook 2003
“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\OUTLOOK.EXE” /select outlook:calendar

Listed below are some of the more useful switches for beginners:

/cleanreminders
Clears and regenerates reminders.

/cleanviews
Restores default views. Use with care as all custom views you created are lost.

/nopollmail
Starts Outlook without checking mail at startup.

/nopreview
Starts Outlook with the Reading Pane or Preview pane off (and removes the option from the View menu for Outlook 2002 and older).

/profile profilename
Loads the specified profile. If your profile name contains a space, enclose the profile name in quotation marks.

Using the default profile name Outlook uses when you use the wizard to create a profile:

outlook /profile Outlook
Create desktop shortcuts to load a specific profile (such as when two users share the same Windows logon) – use the following command line in the shortcut, replacing my name with your profile name:

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Outlook.exe” /profile “Sanjay Singh”

/profiles
Opens the Choose Profile dialog box regardless of the Options setting on the Tools menu.

/recycle
Starts Outlook using an existing Outlook window, if one exists. Can be used in combination with /explorer or /folder. The Outlook shortcut in the Quick Launch bar uses the /recycle switch.

The following can be useful when troubleshooting problems in Outlook:

/safe
Starts Outlook without extensions, Reading Pane, or toolbar customization. Works with all versions.

/safe:1
Starts Outlook with the Reading Pane off. Outlook 2003 only.

/safe:2
Starts Outlook without checking mail at startup. Outlook 2003 only.

/safe:3
Starts Outlook with extensions turned off, but listed in the Add-In Manager. Outlook 2003 only.

/safe:4
Starts Outlook without loading Outcmd.dat (customized toolbars) and *.fav file. Outlook 2003 only.

Categories : Outlook Shortcuts, Windows Tip

One thought on “Using Command line switches in Outlook

  1. Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

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