Using the Calendar Peek in Outlook 2013

Last reviewed on January 26, 2015   —  98 comments

As of an Outlook 2013 October 2013 hotfix, the Calendar Peek includes appointments for up to the next 7 days. It will be included in a future Cumulative update or you can install it separately from Description of the Outlook 2013 hotfix package (Outlook-x-none.msp; Outlookintl-<Language-Code>.msp): October 16, 2013. Note: Office 2013 Home Premium subscribers and some business subscribers will need to wait for the automatic update.

View up to the next 5 appointmentsUsing Peeks is easy: click on Mail to open the Mail module. Hover over Calendar, People, or Tasks word to see a flyout or double click to open their navigation module. (If you use the Compact view, you'll see icons under the navigation pane, not the words.)

Click on the pushpin in the upper right to pin that peek open on Outlook's right edge.

Click or right-click on the three dots to open the Notes module, Shortcuts, or the Folder list and to access Navigation options.

You select today's date in the calendar peek to see all day events and upcoming appointments for 'today' and up to the next 7 days.

Select any other date in the calendar to see all day events and appointments due that day.

right click to see optionsRight click on a word to see options:
Open in New Window
Pin the peek
Show the peek
Options (opens the Options dialog)

All Day events are gray on the Peek; they do not use the color category color.

Compare Peek and the To-Do Bar

The Calendar peek is limited compared to the To-do Bar:

  1. It shows only the selected day's appointments and upcoming appointments for the next 7 days. You cannot limit the number of upcoming events. (Update required to see up to 7 days of appointments.)
  2. You can see only one navigation calendar at a time
  3. The navigation calendar doesn't support dragging messages to create appointments on a specific date.
  4. Dragging a message and hovering over the word "Calendar" will not open the calendar navigation pane. (You can drop the message on the calendar name or button to create a new appointment on the default calendar.)
  5. You cannot interact with the appointments in the peek or pinned peek by right clicking on the appointment.
  6. All day events are gray; they do not display on the peek using the category color.

You can drag to the word "Calendar" (seen in the screenshot) to open a new appointment with 'now' as the default time and date. Right-click & drag a message to "Calendar" and you'll see options to create new appointments as text, shortcut, attachments etc.

Pinning the peek to replicate the To-do Bar (which we've had for the last two versions) is a multistep process. You need to pin each peek individually (and unpin individually) and once pinned, it applies to the current folder type only. For example, if you pin the calendar open when viewing the Inbox, it's open in all mail folders but not shown when you view the tasks folder.

Need to look over the next 3 months? In Outlook 2007 you can drag the edge of the to-Do Bar inward and see multiple navigation calendars.

view multiple months in Outlook 2007

Do this with a pinned peek in Outlook 2013 and you'll still see just one month.

Outlook 2013 shows only one month

Tools

Outlook 2013 Add-In (To-Do Bar)

This To-Bar Bar add-in adds extended appointment calendar to see events for several upcoming days, and enhanced new email notification system to delete/flag incoming emails.

Outlook Todo Pane

A To-Do Bar for Outlook 2013. Displays multiple calendars and several days of appointments. Select a date in the To-do bar calendar to see the upcoming appointments beginning that day. Drag and drop to create appointments. Display appointments from multiple calendars.

SlickSchedule for Outlook 2013

SlickSchedule replaces the functionality missing from Outlook 2013 to create new appointments by dragging messages to a date in the To-Do Bar calendar. Click a button in the ribbon and SlickSchedule will create an appointment from an email.

About Diane Poremsky

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 Outlook forums by Slipstick.com.

98 responses to “Using the Calendar Peek in Outlook 2013”

  1. Ben VanOsch

    Prior to Outlook 2013, I could preview the next x number of calendar events regardless of what day they occur. In 2013, I can only preview the current days events in my To Do Calendar. Is there a setting I am overlooking?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      No, you aren't overlooking anything. Microsoft decided we only needed to see 'today'. Make sure you send a frown on it - it will increase the chances that they'll relent.

  2. Ben D¨var

    Incredible how much worse they've made Outlook 2013 compared to 2010 with the To-Do bar. Seems really stupid to remove nice features already in there which people have gotten used used to.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Yeah, they really broke the functionality of the to-Do bar... and call it progress. :(

  3. kgibbs

    I believe MS is pushing users requiring CMR tracking towards their online services by removing any functionality supporting such. However, most users only require very basic CMR type tracking and will now be forced to use more costly and complex systems or do without. If so, this is very selfish and only possible by monopolizing the market.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      MS is releasing a version of BCM for Outlook 2013 - should be out within the next 2 - 6 weeks.

  4. h2ofun

    Okay, what is BCM? I also went back to office 2010 because of this "improvement" to the to do list. Is there a fix coming?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      BCM = Business Contact Manager

      I don't expect a fix to the peek, but I'd love if it they proved me wrong. It's really awful.

  5. h2ofunh2ofun

    I have always been a fan of MS and have upgraded to their new OS and office stuff always. But I have tried windows 8 and office 2013 but guess what, I am back on windows 7 and office 2010. Feels weird to have not upgraded but for the first time it really feels MS has really lost touch with their customer needs. All they would have had to do with windows 8 is leave the options for the desktop users, like the start button, gadgets, and image backup. Yes, I got all of these to work on windows 8 but ... And this new peek feature for office 2013 is just the dumbest thing I have ever seen. Oh well, wonder what they will do with windows 9 and office 2016.

  6. Laura

    I am thinking of upgrading to office 2013.....do you think it's worth it or just a waste?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      It has some great features and it;s worth it to me, but only you can decide if its worth it to you. I recommend using the trial before buying so you can decide for yourself.

  7. jeanne

    :-) I am an old time outlook user and really miss the functionality of the to-do list on office 2013. I used the list of things to do over the next several days to plan ahead without having to click on each day or flip over to my calendar. What a waste! I am actually thinking of dumping 2013 for an older version!!!

  8. Jonathan Lloyd

    Hi
    I Have just gone back to Outlook 2010. Good Job I did not need to shell out as I brought Office 2010 back in November. So the upgrade was free. The Todo Bar fiasco and the look and feel of 2013 made it worse than useless for me. Hopefully they will sort this and I can go back to it.
    I have sent them a email about this....No response as yet.

  9. Steve Cotton

    Diane:

    Where exactly should I lodge my frown feedback?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Do you see the smile button in Outlook? I'm not sure if its still enabled for everyone, but if it is, you need to have the option enabled to send feedback in Trust Center > Privacy Options to see it.

  10. Gianni

    The only workaround I found was opening outlook twice, in this way on one task you can display the incoming mails, on the other task you can show the calendar. You need a big screen, I know. The good thing is that, with this method, it is possible to drag and drop a whole email from the first office into the calendar of the second opened office, replicating somehow what we were used to do with outlook 2007. Ciao.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      On dragging - you can drag to Calendar 'button' in the Navigation bar - but it won't switch to the calendar navigation pane, so you are stuck using the default calendar. (You could use Move to folder, if you want it on another calendar.)

  11. itgirl

    MS has to have something new to test on for the MOUS certification so therefore they delete, relocate, rename things people are used to using -- at least that's my theory whenever things change from one Office version to the next.

  12. Jose Luis

    In the meantime, this Codeplex add-in can help while Microsoft decides to bring this so much needed feature back...

  13. Jose Luis

    Sorry, I forgot the actual link in the previous post :-)

    http://outlook2013addin.codeplex.com/

    HTH

  14. Bill Dubie (@billdubie)

    Not familiar w/Codeplex. How do you install the add-in?
    Thanks!

    1. Diane Poremsky

      I don't know if there is an easier way, but I downloaded the zip and copied it to My Documents then unzipped and double clicked on Outlook2013TodoAddIn.vsto. If you get a security error, you need to right click on each and choose Properties, then Unblock.

  15. Rick Garvin

    This AddIn works great, Diane! Thanks so much for offering to the user community. I just recently returned both a laptop and desktop that arrived with Win8 (WinHate) because I simply couldn't find anything. No widgets, no taskbar, no POP email support in my old friend Outlook (Look OUT)!!! I reordered both machines with Win7 and migrated all my old WinXP and Outlook 2003 stuff in fairly short order. It's nice to see folks like you picking up where MS left off (or left out in this case).

    So, now, can you do anything about removing the (redundant) HUGE FONT EMAIL HEADER from the Outlook 2013 Reading Pane? Used to have an option to hide email header from the Reading Pane - but, alas, no more!

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Sadly, no, I don't have a fix for the huge header. I'm hoping Microsoft fixes it - they got a lot of feedback on it.

  16. Tim

    I've got a Win 8 Pro machine and I'm getting a certificate error when trying to install this add-on, any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Diane Poremsky

      There is probably a better way... but I right clicked on each file and chose Properties, then Unblock. I probably should have unblocked the zip and re-extracted it. Maybe moved it out of downloads too.

  17. Nezza

    About Calendars, there is a program that was able to print off several different calendars in Outlook 2007/2010 platform. Is there something out there that can do the same for a 2013 platform?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Calendar Printing Assistant has not been released for Outlook 2013 (not sure if it will be either) - that leaves one of the commercial apps or copying everything to a new calendar folder then delete the folder after printing.

  18. IrenaM

    I have always printed my calendar in the default month-view to draw in. For that, I used the Hi-Med-Low detail view option. I can't find it in the new 2013 Outlook. Is it there at all? Or is it another feature that was taken out for "optimization"? :[

    1. Diane Poremsky

      It was removed - apparently not many people used it and it caused a lot of confusion from people who accidently enabled it. Sorry.

    2. Diane Poremsky

      It's odd that it is not listed on the discontinued list - I'll check and see if there is a way to enable it.

    3. IrenaM

      I kind of solved the problem by printing my blank google calendar, but it's not the same. oh well. Thank you for your advice. I'll probably come up with more questions as our IT dept. discontinued supporting the old Outlook.

  19. Fiona Waterfield

    Hi Diane,
    Is there any way to get the peek to stop? When I'm looking at my calendar and randomly hovering over my appointments, I'm fed up with the box that springs up and gets in the way.
    I've searched everywhere but can't find a way to stop it. Any advice would be great!
    Thanks!

    1. Diane Poremsky

      The individual appointment peeks? No, they can't be disabled. I'll check and see if they can be configured with a longer delay.

  20. Derek

    I downloaded your add-in for Outlook 2013 but Outlook won't let me add it because of a missing certificate:

    System.Security.SecurityException: Customized functionality in this application will not work because the certificate used to sign the deployment manifest for Outlook2013TodoAddIn or its location is not trusted. Contact your administrator for further assistance.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      I right clicked on each file and chose Properties, then Unblock. I probably should have unblocked the zip and re-extracted it. Maybe moved it out of downloads too.

      As an FYI, a future update will change the behavior of the peek to show the next xx appointments, like the To-do bar in outlook 2010.

  21. Derek

    I don't have an Unblock option on Properties either on the zip ir the individual files.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Not at the bottom of Properties > General tab?

  22. derek

    No - I think this is not a Windows security alert but rather an Outlook one once the installer is running

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Can you post a screenshot somewhere?

  23. derek

    will do early next week as I'm away atm

  24. Paul Shaddick

    I downloaded the 32‑bit version of the Microsoft Hotfix referenced in the link at the top (KB2825677), but when I apply it I get the message "There are no products affected buy this package installed on this system". I definitely have 32‑bit Outlook 2013 installed through an Office 365 subscription. Am I missing something?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Home Premium and the business subscriptions will automatically update - the hotfix will be added to an upcoming monthly update - possibly as early as November, but it may be as late as Feb.

  25. Robert

    What about those of us using Home and Business edition? I get the same error as Paul, but I am not a 365 subscriber.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      The retail versions are automatically updated. The next update will be pushed out in few weeks and will include this hotfix. I don't have an exact date - but these updates are often released during the last week or two of the month, so I think its safe to say it will be awhile yet.

  26. Alex \o/

    So, today I noticed that my installation of Outlook 2013 (32-bit) running on Windows 7 (64-bit) got updated with the fix to show future appointments in the peek, but my installation of Outlook 2013 (32-bit) running on Windows 7 (32-bit) didn't. Microsoft Update shows no updates available for my 32-bit system, and when I try to install the hotfix manually, I get the same error as in the comments above ("There are no products affected buy this package installed on this system").

    Is there any explanation/fix for this? I have Office Professional Plus 2013.

  27. Karl Pajak

    Yes Peek is awful, how do you turn it off?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Unfortunately, you can turn off the little windows that popup when you hover over them. You can close the peeks if they are open on the right of the outlook window.

  28. Karl Pajak

    If the Turn on Feedback is greyed out how do you enable it?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      You can't enable it if it is grayed out. Sorry.

  29. Karl Pajak

    Regarding a BCM 2013. I am not upgrading to BCM 2013 from 2010. I have 2013 and want to install a BCM 2013. I've never used a BCM but after reading what you've said and looking at an online video or two it seems like it could be a useful tool. I was able to find the Upgrade 2010 to 2013 version. Where do I get the 2013 non-upgrade version, or is that what I"m looking for?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      You want the full file - its about 368 mb to download. It's called a compatibility pack and is described as an upgrade, but the file contains all of the bits you need to install it.

  30. Dave Campbell

    Okay, I now see a week worth of stuff. I sure wish they would put back in what is in 2010 and that is what ever fills up the column.

  31. Sue V.

    I see now that I am the only one who 'liked' seeing only 1 day of appts at a time on my calendar peek. I liked seeing just today and then I can click on each day to view or go to calendar to view the week.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      lol. Apparently, yes, you were the only one who liked it. I wanted the next nn appointments, not all for the next 7 days. It annoyed me that i couldn't see a couple of tomorrow's upcoming appointments at the end of today, but i don't need to see everything for the next week.

  32. Josh

    Is there a workaround to get dates with appts to be bold on the calendar? Looking at a pale, maximum whitespace calendar doesn't do me much good when I am trying to figure out any appts or reminders I need to go back to.

    How could they cripple Outlook 2013 so bad.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      No, sorry, at this time you can't get bold dated in the navigation calendar. I don't recall if the addins do bolded dates, but that would be the only way. :(

  33. JohnMiller

    Peek's a great feature - but is there any way of changing the calendar it peeks at? (other than the default calendar set up by Outlook)

    1. Diane Poremsky

      No, not at this time. Sorry.

  34. JohnMiller

    Thanks for your prompt (and regretful!) response, Diane. And thanks generally for all your helpful advice about using Outlook usefully.

  35. Michael Strauss

    Diane,

    I use iCloud as my calendar - is there a way to change the calendar which peeks to this one instead of the Personal Folders calendar?

    Michael

    1. Diane Poremsky

      No. Some builds of iCloud will allow you to set it as the default data file in some Outlook builds, but none worked with Outlook 2013 when i last checked.

  36. Jane Terren

    I used to use Windows Live and loved all of that except the photo emailing system. I upgraded to Outlook 2013 and pinned the calendar but not all of the information on the calendar (I also use iCloud) comes up on the pinned version. Birthdays and some recurring events appear but nothing else. Makes it all but useless for me. I am hoping I have missed something as the Office info says" You don’t have to switch to Calendar to see your upcoming appointments and meetings. Pin the Calendar peek to any view in Outlook". I really appreciate your replying to everyone. You are a great Windows resource thank you.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Unfortunately, the icloud sucked all of your appointments into the cloud (as it should) but the pinned calendar only displays appointments from the default calendar, which the icloud isn't (and can't be set as default either.) There isn't a really good option - short of keeping duplicates of all appointments.

  37. Jane Terren

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. I really appreciate it!

  38. Aria Watson

    I want to add a new item in To-do bar list and followed steps from http://email.iyogi.com/outlook/outlook-2013-to-do-bar-appointments.html site. But its not working for me. Is there other way for add new item in Outlook 2013?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Do you see the New task row? If not, right click on the fiield names and choose View Settings, Other Settings and enable in-cell editing. Quickie video showing the steps: http://www.screencast.com/t/0Lff9DNW (no sound, hubby would kill me for waking him up :))

  39. metarogue

    Hi, I noticed in the screenshot in the article, you have multiple calendar appointments showing in the peek. How do you do this? I can't figure it out for the life of me.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      It's one calendar - only appointments on the default calendar show up - but they are categorized and the colors show. also, if you only see today's appointments, you are missing updates. Run Windows update and install the office updates.

  40. Jenna Smith

    Hi, I'm trying to figure out why my category colors aren't showing up on my task bar calendar? Any thoughts?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      What version of Outlook? What type of email account? Have you tried restarting Outlook with the cleanviews switch? It will wipe out any custom views you are using though.

  41. Jontine

    When I view an e-mail in Outlook 2013, there is a bar at the bottom of the screen showing a to-do item from my calendar on the left and icons of the message addressees on the right. There is also an up-arrow to expand the People Pane. When I click this the pane opens and a full list of to-do items appears under selectable categories such as "All", "What's New", "Mail", "Attachments" and "Meetings". The problem is that the items are in reverse order - the latest one is at the top and is the only one showing when the pane is minimised. I would like the order to be reversed so that the next item is at the top and the only one displayed when minimised. How can I achieve this - if at all?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Sorry, that is not possible. The people pane sorts by newest first and can't be changed.

    2. Jontine

      Just to be sure, the expanded People Pane list shows 11 calendar items. The first is dated 30 June 2014 and the last is dated 16 June 2014. The rest are in chronological order between those 2 dates. When the pane is minimised only the 30 Jun 2014 item is shown. From what you say, there is no way that the most urgent item (ie, today's) can be the shown. Is this corrrect?

    3. Diane Poremsky

      Correct, it only shows the last (upcoming) item when the pane is minimized. The To-Dp Bar calendar will show today's events.

  42. Jenna Smith

    I'm using 2013. We just upgraded to it last week and the colors were there before, and now they are just a dark grey. I only have one item on my calendar where the color appears. I have customized a lot of stuff so I don't know if I want to do a cleanview switch?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      so one item has category color? If it's a category and not out of office color, then its not the view. It sounds more like the color categories were not upgraded. Are the categories listed in the Category picker?

  43. Jenna

    Yes, only one occurrence has the color that shows. The category picker is listed and all of my calendar items have colors/categories. When we first upgraded, all of the colors were showing in the to do calendar. A day or so later I noticed they were gone. It was very strange. Is there some kind of setting I may be played with unknowingly?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      So the colors are on the appointments if you open them?

  44. Jenna

    Correct. I think I may have figured it out...it seems that appointments that are 24 hours aren't showing the category color. The ones that aren't 24 hours do show the color. Does that seem right?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      /this is Outlook 2013, correct? They should all show the color category, but I'll look into it.

  45. Jenna

    Yes, it's outlook 2013. Thank you!

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Outlook should show all of the category colors, regardless of being an all day event.

    2. Steve

      The only way I could get the color to show for an all day event was to change it from All Day to my 8-5 work hours.

  46. Nik

    When I get to work and reopen Outlook, my calendar is no longer docked; I have to dock my peek each day. Can you tell me if this is how Outlook works for everyone...or if my wonderfully delightful corporate IT people have locked down a setting?

    1. Nik

      ^- Outlook 2013, btw

    2. Diane Poremsky

      It should be persistent. They could have it locked down or Outlook is just being dumb. Sometimes it won't save settings, especially if you let Windows close it. If you close Outlook right after docking it, it is docked when you reopen Outlook?

    3. Nikki

      If I close out of Outlook after docking, then immediately reopen it, the docked calendar is still docked. When I close out of Outlook and log out of Windows (7), the calendar is not docked when I log back in and open Outlook.

    4. Diane Poremsky

      It sounds like it's a policy of some sort. Do other changes, in either outlook or other programs, stick?

    5. Nikki

      I'm not sure about other programs...but at least now I know what to look at. Thanks for the help! Off to call support... :)

  47. Jenna

    Is there a certain setting I need? None of my all day events are showing colors. Only appointments that have times listed show the colors on the to do bar.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      AFAIK, that is by design. (I might have said otherwise previously over the last couple of weeks, but that was wrong. Sorry.)

  48. cs

    Calendar Peek - sucks. Need to be able to disable it or delay it FOREVER!
    BAD choices on various changes to the entire Office 2013 suite.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      The only workaround I know of is to remove the buttons from the navigation bar - if you have a big monitor, use the full folder bar with the folder names above the status bar (less likely to roll over them) or remove the buttons from compact view - you can add the navigation module buttons to the ribbon or use keyboard shortcuts - Ctrl+ 1, 2, or 3.

    2. Karl Pajak

      I agree, however, let's face it NONE of the 2010/13 Office tools are any where near as good as the 2003 versions!

  49. Sean

    sucks - I don't even see any appointments in the peek, but click on a day, it brings up the calendar and I see all my appointments right there -- many within the 7 day limit.

    1. Sean

      I only have one calendar selected. It isn't the one that says "This computer only", it's the only one I have selected. But neither say default calendar.

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