Microsoft revamps features for Outlook for Mac 15

Outlook 15Microsoft released Outlook for Mac 15, departing from its history of bundling the application with its Office for Mac suite. Also new was that the release was targeted exclusively at Office 365 customers and not made available as a standalone product. It required activation via online subscription and offered no method for entering a serial number for perpetual use of the product.

The application was referenced in Office Blogs simply as “Outlook for Mac”. It was not referenced as Outlook 2015, avoiding any hint about the name of the next version of Office for Mac—presumably “Office for Mac 2015”. The only versioning Microsoft has provided is “15.3” as shown in Outlook’s About Outlook menu.

While the application includes some major under the hood changes, the interface is practically the same as its Outlook 2011 predecessor. It boasts little new functionality. New functionality that was added was almost exclusively for Office 365 customers. Some long-standing features were actually removed too.

Update: Outlook 15 requires OS X 10.9.4 or later.

Update: In addition to Office 365, Outlook 15 supports POP, IMAP and Exchange Server 2010 SP2 or higher.

What’s new?

Visibly, not much was new apart from cosmetic changes such as an overall color change to Microsoft’s signature blue and white, font changes, updates to icons and a few user interface tweaks. Its backend support, though has greatly changed.

Update: Outlook now has pre-emptive threading using Apple’s Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) threading model introduced in OS X 10.7. GCD puts the responsibility of managing threads on the operating system rather than with the application. The application is faster and more responsive because the OS X operating system performs more efficiently on single-processor machines and the application can utilized multi-processor hardware.

Update: Outlook 15 was designed to work independently of Outlook 2011. It’s a self-contained application that shares no code or common files with its predecessor. For the purposes of testing and aclimating to the new version, end-users can run both Outlook 15 and Outlook 2011 side-by-side at the same time.

Following are some of the new features in Outlook 15.


Outlook now requires online activation via an Office 365 subscriber account. Initial launch of the newly installed application welcomes the current user and displays information about faster search. It then walks through several screens for connecting to an Office 365 account.

Outlook 15 Welcome Outlook 15 Search Outlook 15 Sign In Outlook 15 Account Name Outlook 15 Sign In Complete

Activation does not apply to all users on a computer. Each user must run the activation process under his own OS X user account, however, multiple activations on one computer count only as one activation.


“Profile” is Outlook’s new name for “identity” used by Outlook 2011 and Microsoft Entourage. Microsoft use to store identities, folders containing the user’s mail data and other Office data, within the home folder’s Documents folder. Outlook’s profile is stored in the home folder’s Library folder. The specific path to the profile is:

~/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook/Outlook 15 Profiles/Main Profile

Update: Important to note is Outlook is now is sandboxed according to Apple’s sandboxing guidelines. The new path reflects this change.

With Outlook 2011 and Entourage, a user could manage his identity by holding the Option key as he launched the application. That feature no longer exists. Instead, Microsoft has buried its Outlook Profile utility inside Outlook’s app bundle”

/Applications/Microsoft Profile

Outlook Profile Manager


Most notable about Outlook is Microsoft now stores the indexing database in a SQLite database rather than a proprietary format. A SQLite database is a self-contained database requiring no server backend and its source code is public domain. Individual mail messages, attachments and other Outlook data are still stored in a folder hierarchy, which is indexed by the database for faster retrieval. Microsoft claims the new database format provides better overall performance.

Missing from the Outlook Profile tool is any method for repairing the database. Microsoft no longer makes this a feature of Outlook for Mac. When Outlook detects the SQLite database needs repair, it will prompt the user.

Also missing is the Microsoft Database Daemon process that ran in the background. The daemon was responsible for much of the process in Outlook 2011 and Entourage. Outlook no longer includes a background process. That also means Outlook Reminders has no method for displaying alerts for upcoming events or other reminders when Outlook is not running. The application must be running for those to work.


Office 365 includes a new feature called Apps, which are cross-platform widgets that work not only in a web browser but supporting mail clients like Outlook. Apps extend functionality based on the content of a message. They can display an inline Bing map, integrate with contact management systems such as SAP and Google contacts or even track package shipments.

Apps are added to an Office 365 account online and then appear in Outlook. To add or remove apps, click the Manage Apps button at the top of a message body in Outlook.

Manage Apps

This opens a window to Office 365. Log in to the account and click the plus sign ( + ) to add apps from the Office Store or using a URL provided by a third party vendor.

Add / Remove apps

When a message contains data an app recognizes, Outlook will display buttons above it and offer the user choices.

Actionable Items app


Outlook still doesn’t include an automatic archive feature to move messages of a certain age to an archive folder. However, Exchange and Office 365 include a server-side feature to do this. An administrator must enable archiving and set the rules. Once set, a weekly process runs to move messages to an online archive location, preserving the folder hierarchy of the archived messages.

Online archives act like a separate mail account where only headers are downloaded to display the senders and receivers of messages along with the subject line. Once a message is selected, Outlook downloads the message body and displays it. This keeps old messages on the server and off the computer but readily accessible so long as the Mac is online.

Outlook automatically connects to the Online Archive folder. To access it, just scroll to the “Online Archive – Account Name” folder in the account list in the left navigation pane.

Online Archive


Apart from appearance changes, the calendar does include one new feature, which is local weather at the top right corner of the window. By default, it relies on OS X’s Date & Time settings to determine the local city, but the user can manually choose to display weather for a specific city.

Calendar weather

What’s changed?

That’s what’s new. What’s different about Outlook 15 and what features are changed?


Outlook sports Microsoft’s blue and white color scheme used across current Outlook products including Outlook Web App (OWA) for Exchange and Office 365 and, Microsoft’s free email service. Compare Outlook, OWA and

Outlook 15 Blue & White OWA Blue & White Blue & White

The message list also sees a slight makeover, placing emphasis on people rather than subject and includes a single-line message preview for messages already downloaded. Compare a message list item in Outlook 15 with Outlook 2011:

Outlook 15 message list item

Outlook 15 message list item


Outlook 2011 message list item


Categories aren’t new to Outlook but syncing category names and colors to Exchange and Office 365 is new. Choose Message > Categories > Edit Categories in Outlook and Exchange categories now appear as a separate list.

Exchange Categories

That list in Outlook corresponds to categories displayed in OWA or other compatible Exchange or Office 365 mail clients.

Exchange and Office 365 Categories


Outlook 2011 had a basic method for sorting messages within the same thread by subject and grouping them together as Conversations. While this worked well for the most part, it had unexpected consequences such as grouping unrelated messages together when they had the same or no subject line.

Outlook now uses conversation and message ID mail headers to group messages. This displays related messages together and has the potential to display related messages across multiple folders. Mailing lists that don’t include these headers in their messages stand to be very difficult to follow in Outlook. When sorting by Conversation, Outlook will simply display messages by timestamp without sorting because it will see every message as an individual conversation.

Update: Exchange push

Like Entourage 2008 and Outlook 2011, Outlook 15 connects to Exchange using the Exchange Web Services (EWS) protocol. One disadvantage with the protocol was Microsoft had to program the applications to check for new messages about every minute. Because of this, end-users often noticed a delay between the time they received a message on a mobile device and on the desktop. They perceived this as Entourage or Outlooking being “slow”.

Exchange 2013 and Office 365 end-users benefit from “push” notifications with Outlook 15. Outlook 15 should now notify end-users as soon as new messages arrive on the server.


Outlook utilizes OS X’s Notifications feature to display banner alerts for incoming mail. Similar to Outlook 2011, notifications only display when the application is in the background.


To review recent notifications, open the Notification Center by clicking its icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

Notification Center


Internally, Microsoft has used its Send-a-Smile tool to enable testers of its products to quickly send feedback about its products. In Outlook 15 it has moved the Help > Send Feedback tool, which use to direct a user to a web page, to a smiley face in the upper right corner of the application’s main window where he can choose either “Tell Us What You Like…” or “Tell Us What Can Be Better…”


The tool then opens a simple feedback window that includes a screenshot of the current application window. The user can enter his comment and optionally include the screenshot and his email address when sending the report.

Feedback window


Like Categories, signatures are not new to Outlook but Microsoft added a couple highly requested features. Signatures now change as the user changes the sending account in the From drop down menu of a mail message and the user can set independent signatures for new messages and replies/forwards.

To create a signature and assign it to an account, choose Outlook > Preferences > Signatures. Create the signatures in the top portion of the window and then assign signatures to accounts in the bottom portion of the window.

Edit signatures

Choose a different account in the From drop down menu of a new mail message and the signature changes to the signature of the second account.

Old signature  New signature

What’s gone?

Some features are now gone from Outlook 15. Certain features were deprecated while others may have been omitted due to development constraints. Microsoft has made no announcements about missing features or whether they will be returning in future builds.

AppleScript menu

The AppleScript menu no longer appears to the right of the Help menu. AppleScript support is not missing from the application, however, it now has no way of enabling a user to invoke scripts without leaving the application and double-clicking the scripts or running the AppleScript Editor or using a third party tool.

Update: Because of Outlook’s new sandboxed architecture, some AppleScripts may no longer work as expected. For example, an AppleScript called by a rule in Outlook to copy the text of a message can open Microsoft Word (an non-sandboxed application) and paste the content, however, it cannot call TextEdit (a sandboxed application) and paste the content there.

Also, Outlook 15 does not include Automator actions.


Outlook 15 only supports importing from Outlook 2011, an Outlook 2011 archive (.olm file) or Windows personal folder (PST). It no longer supports importing or upgrading from Microsoft Entourage and no longer supports importing a text file for contacts.

The ability to export to an Outlook archive file is completely gone. Dragging and dropping a mail folder from the Outlook window into the Finder, though, does still export that folder and its contents to a .mbox archive file. This is a one-way operation as of version 15.3 with no way to then return that .mbox archive to Outlook.

Junk E-mail Protection

Microsoft has removed junk e-mail protection from the product leaving only a Safe Senders and Blocked Senders list for in-application junk protection. It recommends junk e-mail protection be handled at the server level.

Update: Junk E-mail Protection is turned off only for Exchange 2013 and Office 365 accounts. It still functions for POP, IMAP and Exchange 2010 and lower.

My Day

The stand-alone task manager application that debuted in Entourage 2008 and continued in Outlook 2011 is not included.


Schedules controlled the timing for Send/Receive functions as well as routine maintenance such as emptying Deleted Items folders at specified times of the day or sending all waiting mail when Outlook was quit.

Microsoft moved schedules for POP accounts to within the individual account settings themselves.


With schedules moved into individual accounts, the Send/Receive command no longer enables the user to Send/Receive for just one account. Invoking the command is now all or nothing.

Sync Services

Apple deprecated Sync Services around OS X 10.7 and removed it completely in OS X 10.9. Microsoft did not include support for legacy OS customers.

What now?

Outlook 15’s release was a surprise, especially with customers awaiting an overdue full Office for Mac suite. Microsoft was also clearly targeting its Exchange and Office 365 audience by including features that work only with these products lines.

Another surprise was Microsoft’s announcement on its Office Blogs site that it would release a public beta of its next Office for Mac suite in the first half of 2015. That’s something it has done with products for Windows but never with any of its Mac products. And it explicitly stated the final release of the next version would be sold as both a subscription and perpetual license.

This version of Outlook seems to be testing the waters for future software releases and may be indicative of Microsoft’s approach that its Office 365 subscribers, who are its more profitable customers, will be the first to receive anything new. It’s dangling a carrot to entice more customers to its online platform.

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67 comments to Microsoft revamps features for Outlook for Mac 15

  • Robert F

    They continue to thumb their nose at OSX users by eliminating useful functions, not unifying with their Windows version, and assuming that people will still buy their products. And they’re right, lots of people need Outlook to hook into their corporate Exchange servers. Lily Tomlin’s take on pre-divestiture AT&T seems fitting: “We don’t care, we don’t have to. We’re the phone company.”

  • Mario C

    Thank you for the report, William.

    I’m surprised at some of the things that were omitted from this release, but perhaps its because it’s still early.

    I was looking forward to some sort of built-in archiving function that leaves the archive loaded (as in Windows edition). However, IT setting an online archive schedule may be good enough. We won’t be able to test this until the public beta period since we’re not Office 365 subscribers.

    A side-by-side view of multiple calendars (as in the Windows edition) would also be nice. The weather reading is useless.

    • Mario, I’m visiting with the Office developers this week and can’t say anything publicly about future releases. But I’m very happy with the direction Microsoft is taking with Office for Mac going forward.

  • John Welch

    The OS X Scripts menu should still work with Outlook, so I don’t think you’d actually need to run them in Script Editor, a third party tool, or running them as applications.

    • Thanks for adding that, John!

      For anyone who’s interested in being able to select AppleScripts from a menu while in Outlook 15:

      1. Open the Script Editor application found in /Applications/Utilities.
      2. Choose Script Editor > Preferences > General.
      3. Enable Show Script Menu In Menu Bar.
      4. In the Finder choose Go > Go To Folder.
      5. Enter ~/Library/Scripts and press the Go button.
      6. Create a new folder named “Applications”.
      7. Inside the “Applications” folder create a new folder named “Microsoft Outlook”.
      8. Place any AppleScripts for Microsoft Outlook in this folder. They should appear in the OS X Scripts menu immediately.
      • JPM


        Thank you for the AppleScripts info. Questions – can I get my shortcut keys working again? If so, how?


        • Neal

          I got keyboard shortcuts working by downloading FastScripts

          Put your scripts in “~/Library/Scripts/Microsoft Outlook” and assign shortcuts thru FastScripts preferences (up to 10 for free).

          • Neal

            Sorry, that folder is wrong – it creates a global shortcut.

            While in Outlook, go to FastScripts>FastScripts>Create Microsoft Outlook Scripts Folder. It will open a Finder window where you should put your scripts.

          • Which worked swimmingly once I got the regular scripts toolbar icon to show me the Microsoft Outlook Scripts (only visible when Outlook is the focused application). Then I was able to go over to FastScripts and see the ~/Library/Scripts/Applications/Microsoft Outlook scripts and my go to inbox script where I could finally restore my beloved cmd+shift+I

            thanks for the clue trail!

      • Joe

        William, have been using (and loving) Rainer Burgstaller’s great Apple Script for moving a link to the physical email while creating a task for Omnifocus, so this change affects me greatly.

        Tried the steps that you are talking about above and still can’t find access to the script in OL 15…was I supposed to move the file or the actual script?

        • Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with Rainer’s script. I did test my instructions and they’re working for me, so all I can suggest is you re-read them and try again. Once you have everything in place you’ll have a folder structure like this:

          Macintosh HD > Users > your user account > Library > Scripts > Applications > Microsoft Outlook > your AppleScript.

          Don’t forget to enable the script menu item using the Script Editor application. It will appear in the menu bar somewhere right of Outlook’s Help menu.

      • LitServ

        Thanks for your review of Outlook:mac 15 (2016 / 365). I wished I had read your review before I have subscribed to Office 365 (Outlook 15).

        In Outlook 2011 I used an AppleScript to store a reply in the same folder as the original email is stored while sending the reply (instead of storing the reply in the sent folder).

        I tried your instructions to get back the Applescript working in Outlook 2016 as well, but it didn’t work.

  • Larry McJunkin

    Does anyone know if the new version of Outlook for Mac 2015 will sync to my iCloud contacts in my Apple Address Book? Not the contacts listed there as “On My Mac”…but the iCloud ones.

    Also, will it sync with my Google Calendar and Gmail? If not, it’s useless to me. I have the paid subscription to Office 365, but if these things won’t ever work, then I wonder why I’m bothering to give my money to Microsoft.

    • No, unfortunately Outlook 15 still doesn’t support CalDAV and CardDAV, which it would need to sync calendars and contacts with Gmail and iCloud. Microsoft has been quiet about these features, but after years of vocal complaints and requests from customers I’m comfortable saying it’s clearly focussing on Exchange with no intent of adding these protocols. That’s my two cents not something Microsoft has ever stated.

  • Drago

    Thanks for the great summary!
    One question I wanted to ask – what versions of Exchange Server work with Outlook for Mac 2015. The reason I ask is that Outlook for Mac 2011 connected to my work Exchange server, however this version does not.

  • nesoccermom

    Any insight on how to change color schemes? The bright white is obnoxious – the black and white screen with one strip of blue is beyond UX nightmare. I have not found anything out there other than dimming my settings – which doesn’t work in all of my other applications. I have submitted feedback but any hacks, thoughts or general sympathy is greatly appreciated.


    • You might try System Preferences > Displays > Adjust brightness.

      If you are on Yosemite, System Preferences > Accessibility > Display has settings you can adjust as well.

  • Too bad they are ditching support for Exchange 2007. There are still a lot of us out there.

  • Mike

    Great article! As you pointed out, Outlook for Mac 2015 still doesn’t support CalDAV and CardDAV. Strike 1. Any idea if it handles winmail.dat files (which, by the way, are caused by Outlook!)?

    • The sender needs to change their settings or you will need to get a third party app to open. Check out “Klammer” on Mac App Store $5.99 or use Josh Jacob’s TNEF’s Enough

      More info:

      How do I prevent receiving winmail.dat attachments?

      The sender using Outlook for Widows must make the changes plus you also need to delete your Auto Complete cache file.

      Multiple locations within Outlook for Windows and Exchange can enable Rich Text settings, making eliminating this problem difficult.
      • The Rich Text setting may be specified in the Outlook for Windows contact record for the recipient.
      • Outlook also has a default setting, which may be enabled for Rich Text, that will apply to all newly created contact records.
      • An Exchange server, if used, may impose this as a default or impose this as an initial default setting.

      To verify that a recipient’s contact record is not set to send Rich Text messages, open the contact record form the address book, double-click the E-mail address or right-click the E-mail address and select Outlook Properties… Set the Internet Format to either Let Outlook decide the best sending format or Send Plain Text only. This must be done for each contact record.

      To set Outlook 2010′s default mail format, select Options from the File tab, select the Mail tab and select HTML or Plain Text from the Compose messages drop-down menu.

      To set Outlook 2007 and earlier default mail formats, select Options from the Tools menu, select the Mail Format tab and select HTML or Plain Text from the Compose in this message format drop-down menu.

      • Mike

        Hi Diane,
        Thank you so much for your quick response! I do understand that there are settings that can be changed. But to me, that is a work-around. If third-party apps exist which can open winmail.dat attachments, why can’t Microsoft build that right in to Outlook? And for that matter, why can’t Apple build it in to To me, asking a sender to change their settings just does not seem like an acceptable solution. I think my mail client should just accept the attachment. I was really hoping that the next version of Outlook for Mac would handle this issue. Oh well!

  • Simon

    Thanks for the summary – good article.

    Incredibly frustrating that they haven’t, and it seems aren’t ever likely to, include CalDav and CardDav support. We only use Macs, iPads and iPhones in my consultancy practice and are mobile much of the time. This essentially means that we can’t use Outlook (although we would love to coming from corporate, MS driven backgrounds in previous roles) as we need all devices to synch. What are MS trying to acieve with this? Do they really think this will drive Mac users to convert to PCs? Or is it just doing the minimum it needs to for Mac users given our relatively small slice of the market?

  • KS

    This is the most comprehensive article about the new version of Outlook for Mac. I greatly appreciated your article.

    The best thing about your article is I kind of get a closure about my uneasy feeling of swinging between different apps and platforms. CalDAV and CardDAV, I gave up hopes. Offline archiving, I will probably keep using Windows version for that. It is also very encouraging that the performance enhancement of the new version would give me a boost in performance of current work. Still the best and reliable email client for both online and offline.

    I am looking forward to following your future articles. Deeply appreciated.

  • Julie S

    Do you know if they are bringing back the outbox? I have several too large files stuck in 2011 and not even the apple script fix has been able to remove them. I spent an hour on the phone with microsoft and paid a fee and they were unable to repair the problem.

    Thanks-this was helpful although unless there is an outbox I’m not sure I want to upgrade or just migrate away from outlook completely.

    • Apple Mail does not have an Outbox either however it is visible in the Finder where Outlook’s Outbox is not visible. A new feature in Yosemite Mail is the ability to send large attachments over 5GB via iCloud drive. Mail sends a link to download the attachment when it’s too large.

      If IMAP or Exchange, delete the account then add it back. This should clear any stuck messages in the Outbox. If POP you would be better off in Apple Mail.

  • Marc

    On a MacBook Pro Core i7 2.6GHz / 8Go

    After 10 minutes, the fans are too noisy. The Microsoft Outlook process is always up to 130% activity…
    Am i the only one with this problem ?

    • Open the Activity Monitor in Applications/Utilities. Sort on CPU column. Look for mdworker32. This is the process for Outlook Spotlight indexing. It’s possible the extra activity is Spotlight indexing your new Profile.

      • Marc

        Hello Diane,
        thank you for your reply.

        No, the mdworker32 is normal (less than 0,5%). The process is named : Microsoft Outlook (134% !)…
        I use Mac OS 10.10 (French language).


        • KS

          I am having the same problem. Since I did the fresh install of Yosemite recently, my Macbook Air is constantly at high gear with Spotlight indexing and Outlook v15. I am using OWA in the daytime and let Outlook v15 do their work at night. Hopefully, this too shall pass soon.

  • Hery R.

    Dear William,

    Thank you for sharing all these information.

    I had to move to a new computer. Backup and restore the folder where the profile is stored worked very well.
    After a new install of Outlook 15, I pasted the folder into the new drive and everything was here.

    So, export function is gone but we can “easily” do it manually.

    I could use a time machine backup but my network was too slow.

    Many thanks again

  • Bob M

    Thanks for the great article. Is there a way with Outlook for Mac 15 to do mailing labels and/mail merge from contacts?

  • Hillary

    Would really like to have side by side calendar options. In the works?

  • nacreous

    Teasing us with supposed shared calendar support. I can select them but I can’t open the shared calendars my Windows Outlook 2013 colleagues can because of some need to share the parent calender/folder. Rubbish.

    Import from Outlook 2011 didn’t bring in my smart folders/filters, so what’s the point? It doesn’t take long to download a few gig again from the server. Wish I could just import my signatures easily, but again stuck with the pathetic editor. At least there are more options for when to use signatures.

    It looks like an incremental step, with some time wasted on rubbish like showing the weather instead of useful features.

  • Mardvagen

    Also, the archiving feature online – Can I not just create folders outside of the the Inbox, Sent, Drafts, Deleted section and move mail into there?

    Cheers M

  • Michele

    Thank you for the excellent and comprehensive article.

    I am a 365 home user running on Macbook pro with latest OS X Yosemite and after a lot of hassle with deleting processes and identities I was finally able to install Outlook 2015 after having used Outlook 2011. Incredible how complicated of an upgrade they could make it for normal users. Besides a few useful things – showing the weather is actually ridiculous and making fun out of users.

    I am taken aback about MS not wanting to include CalDAV support. We are all mobile with iphones and an up to date calendar when travelling is THE most important thing. What is the reason? technical or business?

    Does anyone know about a work-around? Do I have to get Exchange? as a one man show it makes no sense. Or simply forget about Outlook calendar and move to iCal?

    I have already spent hours and as a freelance independent consultant this is very frustrating.


  • Shane

    William, I have a possible correction in your requirements. When a user I support tried to run the installer on OS X 10.8.x the installer generated an error stating OS X 10.9.3 or later is required.

  • Tom

    Does anyone know if the to do list feature that exists on Windows for many years is / will be available on Outlook 2015?

  • Harsha

    I see an issue using the ‘On [DATE], “[NAME]” wrote:’ option. The date-time isn’t the same as the one in the received mail. Rather, it applied the local time zone again..
    So, a mail received at 11:23 AM IST, when replied to gets quoted as 6:23 AM IST.

    Is this a known issue that is impacting other users as well? Does anyone have any workarounds?


    Harsha Lakshmikanth

  • Is there a way to complete disable the Junk E-mail function?

    I have a imap account with SSL and on the server is running a spam filter.
    So i don’t want outlook to decide what is spam or no spam.

    In outlook 2011 for mac i had it disabled but now with this new version i can’t…

    Anybody the same issue?
    Can’t find anything on the internet.

    b.t.w. Excuses for my english 🙂 i am dutch 🙂

  • Eloy Ramirez

    Thanks for the excellent article. 🙂

    One thing I miss is schedules. Any way to set a some kind of rule to auto delete Deleted Items?

    • Some of the Schedules functionality has moved to each account’s settings. IMAP accounts are currently the only accounts that can automatically empty Deleted Items.

      Choose Outlook menu > Preferences > your IMAP account > Advanced > Folders. In the Trash settings, change the drop down menu from Never to one of the available options:

      • One Day Old
      • One Week Old
      • One Month Old
      • From All Dates
  • Christian

    I have an other feature which is gone… “requesting a read reciept” is not possible. Would expect this feature under options while writing a new mail. But nothing there… althoug in Version 15.6…

  • I was thrilled to see that Microsoft released an updated version of Outlook for Mac! We just switched to Office 365 Pro at work too, so I just had to pop in and download the client. However, after installing and opening up a new draft I find that it’s still impossible to add a flag/follow-up to an email before sending it. I use this all the time on my PC and I just can’t understand why this is STILL missing from the Mac version. There even is a menu for adding a flag (although nothing visual tells you that you’ve added a flag) but as soon as you send the email, the flag is gone.

    Am I missing some setup thingy, or am I stuck with the incredibly awkward opening sent box and adding flags after sending the emails everytime I send something?

    Haven’t really fiddled around too much with the rest, but this is big enough for me to keep my parallels installation and running the PC-version.



  • Dan Fox

    Was hoping someone might have a recommendation of a bridging software to allow me to sync my iCloud calendar with my Mac outlook 15?
    Appreciate any help!


  • Keith A

    Will the 2015 version allow the user to assign tasks?

  • Sam Dunham

    I installed the version of Outlook 2015 that comes with the preview edition of MS Office Mac a couple of weeks ago and thought I’d add a couple of things here. One, if you’re running Exchange 2010, you’ll need to be on SP3. Once I updated my client’s server, I was able to connect to it with no issues. The software itself now requires at least OS X 10.10 (I tried installing it on my 1st generation MacBook running Snow Leopard and the 10.10 requirement flash up in a box).

    Still no CalDAV support, and as has been mentioned in other comments, at this point, I’m not expecting it. Although MS’s stance on interoperability seems to be changing at a rapid pace.

    Thus far, 2015 is VASTLY faster than 2011. It’s like night and day. I connected to a mailbox with over 15,000 messages and it fully populated the mailbox locally in under half an hour. This would have taken three times that long in 2011. Also, gone are the “Updating Local” BS that 2011 routinely ran into when syncing. Unfortunately, there are still random Calendar update errors (Couldn’t update calendar entry blah blah blah). Those don’t seem as plentiful, but I may have just been lucky.

    For Mac users in an Exchange environment, this looks to be a good upgrade. I wish MS would crack things open a bit more, however.

  • Stan Kramer

    Do you know of a workaround for syncing Google or OS X calendar with Outlook?

  • Mark Lee

    Is there a way to move the data files and downloaded attachments to another drive. My boot drive has run out of space.

    Thanks in advance for any help.


    • So far, that feature is not implemented in Outlook 2016 for Mac and I don’t see it requested yet on I suggest going there, posting your request and then campaign for friends, co-workers and anyone else to vote it up.

  • mark

    I will only use the new Outlook 15 when it becomes possible to flag an email for follow-up BEFORE sending it. This was mentioned by Clarence Willard in a posting above. Its the one feature I really use and want… surprised they didnt include this in Outlook 15.

  • Is there a Calendar SnapShot feature for Outlook 15 for Mac like there is with the Windows version? I can’t find it.

  • Craig Telke

    Great article. Unfortunately, CalDav was the only feature I was looking for and I can’t wait any longer. Appreciate any recomendations on exporting out of Outlook 2011 and what to move to (obviously I will try choice of ical, apple mail.

  • Liz M.

    Is there anyway to collapse the categories in “People” so that I can easily click on the category and see all of my “Sellers” “Buyers” “Lawyers” etc? If not, I have hundreds of contacts to scroll throuh.

    • Not sure this is what you’re needing…

      While in People view, choose Contact menu > Categorize > Edit Categories. Select your account on the left. On the right you can check or uncheck categories to display in the Navigation pane. That’s the pane you see at the left of every Main Window that shows your accounts with address books beneath them. You want to enable those categories you want to view quickly. Close the Categories window.

      You should see your enabled categories appear to the left while in People view. To view just “Sellers”, uncheck all other categories. You will see only contacts marked with the “Sellers” category.

  • Is there anyway to change the colour of unread emails with this new version? I can’t seem to find it and the blue default is driving me a bit nuts. Thanks heaps.

    • Highlight color is controlled by OS X not Outlook. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences > General and change the Highlight Color here.

      Unfortunately, this does not affect text or the unread status color. You’ll need to send Microsoft feedback using the Smile icon in the upper right corner of the window.