Features removed from Outlook 2013

Last reviewed on October 1, 2014   —  28 comments

Below is a list of features removed or drastically changed in Outlook 2013. Some features, like Suggested Contacts, were disliked by a large number of users, others, like the To-Do Bar and Windows Search, were replaced by a less functional feature (Pinned Peeks) or removed completely.

/Cleanfreebusy switch and codeUsers can no longer start Outlook using the /cleanfreebusy switch and will receive this error message if they try to use the switch: "Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. The command line argument is not valid. Verify the switch you are using."
This switch was used to remove free/busy data from the Public Folder Free/Busy, which is no longer supported in Outlook 2013. (This is one of many reasons why Outlook 2013 won't work with Exchange 2003.
Activities tabThe Activities tab was replaced by the Outlook Social Connector and displays in the People pane. Contact Activities functionality was reduced in Outlook 2010.
AutoPreview unread messagesAutoPreview (3 line preview) was removed and replaced by Message Preview, which allows you to display one, two, or three lines in the message list. Look for the Message Preview button on the ribbon.
Calendar Publishing to Office.comIt's no longer possible to publish calendars to Office.com. You can publish calendars to other Web-DAV servers. Exchange Server users can use Exchange Calendar Publishing, while other users can use a service such as Hotmail or other Web-DAV servers to share calendars.
Color categories "quick click"Categories quick click button in the Compact message list was removed. Color categories are displayed in message list, next to the flag quick click, but you need to apply the categories using keyboard shortcuts, the Category command on the ribbon, or by right-clicking on the message. If you use the single line message list (common with the reading pane turned off or positioned on the bottom) the click click is available. Why was it removed from the Compact list? According to their data, it was used by less than 1% of users. (I'm shocked it was that low.)
Contact LinkingThe ability to link Outlook items to Outlook contacts using the Contacts button on a form or Options dialog was removed. Contact linking was used only to display information in the Contact's Activities tab, which was removed also.
Use the Outlook Social Connector and the New Person Card instead. See Show Contact Linking fields in Outlook 2013 to enable the showcontactfieldobsolete registry value using Group Policy.
Deliver Exchange mailboxes to PSTThe ability to have Exchange accounts delivered to PST files was removed. Users will need to use Rules to move mail from an Exchange mailbox to a PST. Why was this changed? Because delivering mail to a PST breaks Exchange mailbox functionality.
Dialup/VPN OptionsApplication level dial-up and VPN options were removed as these are available as part of the operating system. Outlook uses the Internet (or VPN) connection the computer is using.
Direct BookingDirect booking of calendar resources is not supported. Use the Exchange Availability service and free/busy for resource calendars. Resource mailboxes provide a better range of features and simplify resource mailbox management with server-side administration.
Exchange "offline" modeOffline mode is a legacy method for offline connections to Exchange Server. It was removed from Outlook 2013. Use Cached mode instead.
IMAP Sent and Delete user configurationThe ability to select a Sent or Deleted item folder in IMAP accounts (added in Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010) was removed from Outlook 2013. Instead, Outlook 2013 uses XLIST command to ask the IMAP server which folders to use. If an IMAP server doesn't support XLIST, Outlook puts sent and received items in the local data file. Use a rule or VBA to move items.
Import/Export to other file formatsImport/export of Outlook data to legacy file formats was removed from Outlook 2013. You are limited to using CSV or Outlook data file (pst).

The following legacy formats were removed from the Import/Export Wizard:
Internet Mail Account SettingsInternet Mail and Addresses
Outlook Express/Windows MailPersonal Address Book
Excel 97-2003Tab Separated Values (Windows)
Access 97-2003Tab Separated Values (DOS)
ACT! Contact ManagerComma Separated Values (DOS)
Lotus Organizer
JournalThe Journal was removed as a top-level module. This includes auto-journaling of Outlook items and Office documents. The Journal folder is available and you can create new journal items but the functionality is severely reduced. See Making the Journal work in Outlook 2013 for tips if you are still using the journal.
Meeting WorkspacesThe Meeting workspaces feature is not available in Outlook 2013. The command was removed from both the Quick Access Toolbar and the Ribbon. Why was it removed? Very few people used it.
Notes customizationNotes are available only in yellow color and the medium size. Notes can be resized on the screen and will retain that size; only the default note size is affected. As in previous versions, applying a color category to a note changes the note color, only the default colors of pink, green, blue etc were removed.
Outlook Links CollectionGone is the Links Collection object model and functionality was removed from the user interface.
Outlook Mobile Service (OMS)Support for the Outlook Mobile Service protocol, which is used for sending and receiving text messages from Outlook, was removed due to low usage.
Public Folder Free/BusyPublic Folder Free/Busy feature was replaced by the Exchange availability service. See Understanding the Availability Service for more information. This is one reason why Outlook 2013 does not work with Exchange 2003.
Search through Windows ShellIn Office 2013, Outlook items do not display in Windows searches (for example, searches from the Start Menu or Windows Explorer). You need to search within Outlook 2013. See Searching for Outlook items in Windows 8 for more information.
Suggested ContactsSuggested Contacts was introduced in Outlook 2010 to automatically keep track of everyone the user sends a message to, but who isn’t already in Outlook contacts.
In a clean Outlook 2013 installation, Suggested Contacts is no longer available, the folder is not created, and no suggested contact items are created. In an upgrade to Outlook 2013, this folder is visible, however no new suggested contact items are added to the folder and it can be deleted.
ToDo BarThe To-Do Bar was replaced by Pinned Peeks. No, it's not quite the same and has less functionality. Using the Calendar Peek in Outlook 2013
User Datagram Protocol (UDP)The UDP functionality that was provided by UDP is replaced with an asynchronous notification method. In earlier versions of Outlook the feature was used for new mail alert results and for folder updates.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

28 responses to “Features removed from Outlook 2013”

  1. Evaluate Solar

    RE: Color categories "quick click" - I found in Message List with Reading Pane on the right, "Categories" is hidden by default based on the size of the Message Pane. Enlarge/resize the Message List pane until "All" "Unread" commands are on the same line with the "Search Current Mailbox (Ctrl+E)" box and this leaves enough room on the second line for the additional columns. Your note about the Categories function being there when Reading Pane was on the bottom, led me to this solution. THANKS!

  2. Larry Vermeulen

    Seems we've lost the ability to save views in public folders. I prefer the list view for contacts and for my personal contacts I can select this and it will return to list view every time I open the folder. In public folders I have to change the view every time. It will not retain the view setting.

  3. Andrew Eisner (@aeisner)

    Hey Diane, I wonder if you're aware of any reason I can't connect to an older (2010) version of Exchange Server with an Outlook 2013 IMAP client. It's the darnedest thing. I connect fine using older versions of Outlook on different machines but can't even connect to the mail server at the company I work for that is not running the latest version of Exchange Server. Any ideas?

  4. Andrew Eisner (@aeisner)

    It times out with this error message - looks like a port issue doesn't it. But the same port and settings works on other machines with older versions of Outlook. Pretty mysterious.

    Log onto incoming mail server (IMAP): A secure connection to the server cannot be established.

  5. Steven Mosaic

    Yes please - I have an Exchange 2010 Server with an Outlook 2013 Client - same exact issue

    Have been looking for Macros or even 3rd party app to resolve this - any help would be greatly appreciated

  6. Liz

    Why do I no longer get email notifications on my taskbar like I did with Hotmail? I have researched how to fix that but I can't find anything in my new Outlook settings that will do it. Can you help?

  7. Malcolm Eaton

    Hello Diane. Do you know how to get Message Preview to only work with unread messages? AutoPreview for unread messages was one of my favorite tools.

  8. MR

    Same here, any luck with this?

  9. Dan Hotchkiss

    I'm using IMAP to connect with my own domain, hosted at Bluehost. I'm quite sure the ports are correct, and I can get it to work without SSL enabled. If it is a certificate problem as you suggest, what can be done about it?

  10. Dan Hotchkiss

    I set up an account in Outlook following your instructions and got new errors:

    Log onto incoming mail server (IMAP): A secure connection to the server cannot be established.
    Send test e-mail message: Your server does not support the connection encryption type you have specified. Try changing the encryption method. Contact your mail server administrator or Internet service provider (ISP) for additional assistance.

    My CPanel instructions say to use box603.bluehost.com for both in and out while using SSL. When I do that but turn SSL off, it works.

    Any further thoughts gratefully received!


  11. Abey

    Hi Diane, I had Outlook 2010 & Lync on my PC. When creating a new email, I could see who of my contacts was online. I have new installed Outlook 2013 with Lync, but cannot fin this feature on Outlook 2013. Do you perhaps know where it is "hidden"? Thanks

  12. Angie Castillo

    Hey Diane, thanks for listing these out. Every time Outlook changes I have to dig around to find the changes. I was using OMS in Outlook 2010 to send text messages (and I still think it's odd that Microsoft left the little gray box in the corner). It took me awhile to find a third-party that still sends text messages from Outlook. For anyone else that needs it, here's a link to Office SMS: http://redoxygen.com/outlook-mobile-2013/

  13. Deborah DeWig

    I am sooooo disappointed! I found the autopreview on unread messages to be extremely helpful! I can't believe this was removed!

  14. Sunny

    Is there no way to scroll through search results while in the Contacts folder and be able to see the "Notes" field for a contact, as your click on each individual search result?

  15. Carolyn

    I have Outlook 2013 with IMAP. I am setting up Contacts for the first time. I'd like to Categorize them, but there is no Category choice on the Tags menu, as referred to on the help screen.

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