Reading Newsgroups (NNTP) in Outlook

Last reviewed on December 30, 2013

News Flash! Outlook does not have a news reader. It uses Outlook Express in a news-only mode to display newsgroups. You can add a News button to your toolbar to make it easier to bring up – but this is just a shortcut to OE, with a /newsonly switch to hide the Mail module.

If you really want newsgroups in Outlook, there are add-ins below which will add an NNTP transport to Outlook. These are best used with a small number of newsgroups or news servers as they can negatively effect Outlook performance. You should use a Unicode PST with these add-ins, so that you don’t have problems with data loss due to an oversized PST.

My preference? Outlook for e-mail, Outlook Express (or Vista’s Mail/News reader) for news groups. They both offer much better View capability – such as showing only threads I’m posting in and marking my posts and replies to my posts as watched, so I can find them easier.

Missing Go News | News Only Switches | Outlook Add-ins

Missing Go, News Command

If you previously added the Go News Command to the menu bar and it disappeared or you can’t find it in Tools, Customize, Commands (under Go category) follow these steps to fix it:

  1. Go to the Programs tab in Control Panel, Internet Options (or if Internet Explorer is open, it’s Tools, Internet Options menu)
  2. Change the default newsreader to Outlook Express. If OE prompts you to make it your default newsreader the next time you launch it, click the “Don’t ask me again” box and then click the No button.

You may need to reset Outlook’s menu or toolbar using Tools, Customize.

Using the News Only Switches

You can create your own desktop or Quick Launch shortcuts using either of the following switches to load only the news module:

“C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\msimn.exe” /newsonly
“C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\msimn.exe” /outnews

Vista Mail:
“C:\Program Files\Windows Mail\WinMail.exe” /newsonly
“C:\Program Files\Windows Mail\WinMail.exe” /outnews

If the use of any switch brings up a ‘Do you want to make this your default news reader?’ dialog, choose No and check the box to never show again.

To create a shortcut:
Right click on your desktop and choose New Shortcut. Browse for msimn.exe and add the switch at the end or copy one of the command lines above and paste it into the dialog.

Either switch loads Outlook Express with news capability only, while /outnews also changes the title bar to read “Outlook Newsreader”. There is no difference in how either one acts.

You can add the shortcut to your Outlook Bar or Shortcut pane by dragging it from the desktop to Outlook.

Tools in the Spotlight

NNTP for Outlook

Fully-functional NNTP transport for the MAPI subsystem. Use it with Outlook 2000 (Corporate/Workgroup mode) and Outlook 2002/2003/2007 to read and post to UseNet servers. Provides support of MIME, RTF and HTML. Features include dial-up support and an articles cache to optimize the downloading from several accounts. Version 1.5. Supports Outlook 2007.

Tools

NewsLook

COM Add-in for Outlook 2002/2003. Requires CDO and NET Framework.

NNTP NewsGator Posting Plugin

The NNTP plugin for NewsGator provides the functionality to post messages to UseNet. It is tightly integrated with NewsGator and you can now easily manage, post, and reply to newsgroups all from one application. (Free, donations accepted.)

More Information

Newsgroups in Outlook (Outlook-tips.net)

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.

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