Microsoft Outlook 2010's holiday file has some incorrect holidays listed, including incorrect dates for Easter Monday between 2013 and 2019. An updated holiday list is available from Outlook Tips.
Microsoft Outlook 2007's holiday list included dates through 2012. To add current holidays to Outlook 2007 and 2003, users will need to download an updated holiday file. I have a HOL file for Outlook 2007 and 2003 at Outlook Tips. Double click on the HOL file to open the Add Holidays dialog.
Additionally, Microsoft released an updated holiday list for Outlook 2007. This list is identical to the Outlook 2010 holidays (and to the Outlook-Tips file) and contains dates through 2020/2028. Unfortunately, it does a version check and only works with Outlook 2007 SP2 or SP3. This update contains a HOL file identical to the HOL file available on Outlook Tips. The Outlook Tips file is also easier to use: download then double click on the HOL. You do not need to go into Calendar Options to open the Add Holidays dialog.
For more information and links to updated holiday lists for older versions of Outlook, see Missing Holidays on our Outlook-Tips website.
Adding Holidays to Outlook
Microsoft Outlook has a built-in feature to add holidays from different countries and religions to your default Calendar folder. You can add holidays to your Calendar folder by following these steps:
- Choose File | Options | Calendar if using Outlook 2010 and newer; Choose Tools | Options if using Outlook 2007 and older, then click Calendar Options.
- On the Calendar Options dialog box, click Add Holidays.
- In the Add Holidays to Calendar dialog box, check the countries or religions whose holidays you want to add, then click OK.
Starting with Outlook 2002, the file is named Outlook.hol. If you are setting up a company-wide deployment of Outlook, you may want to edit this file in Notepad to add your own holidays, remove lists that you don't want users to import, or correct dates that Microsoft got wrong.
Unfortunately, this technique for importing Outlook.txt and Outlook.hol files has many limitations:
- Microsoft sometimes gets the dates wrong. See Known Errors.
- It doesn't create recurring items for holidays that occur on the same date every year. Instead, the user gets a single one-time event for each imported holiday.
- Each version of Outlook has had its own holiday list.
- You can add holidays only to your default Calendar folder, not to a public folder or non-default calendar. You'll need to drag the holidays from your default calendar to non-default calendars.
Below you'll find suggested workarounds for these and other holiday-related issues.
Additional Holiday Lists | Distributing Company Holidays | Importing to Public Folder
Removing Duplicate Holidays | More Information
Additional Holiday Lists
If you have Outlook 2007 or an earlier version, you'll need to import new holidays later years. You can either get a replacement for the Outlook.txt/Outlook.hol file or import from various additional sources of dates.
Updated Outlook.txt/Outlook.hol files:
- Missing Holidays -- has holidays through 2020/2028, for all versions of Outlook.
For other sources of dates you can add to Outlook, see Calendar Tools for Microsoft Outlook - Dates.
Distributing Company Holidays
The Transmit Holidays Form is a custom Outlook form that creates a special mail message containing appointment details from a folder that you specify. When the user receives the message, they can click a button to add all the appointments -- holidays, company meetings, etc. -- to their Calendar folder.
You can your own holiday files (*.HOL) using nothing more than Notepad. One benefit to distributing holidays in a HOL file is that users can simply double click on the HOL file to open the Add Holidays file and add them to Outlook.
When you create a HOL file, you need line above the dates containing the "location" and the number of items in the "location" group, in [location] 366 format. (The location name can be anything you like.) The dates are entered one per line in Subject,yyyy/mm/dd format.
Holiday name, yyyy/mm/dd
Holiday name, yyyy/mm/dd
Importing to Public Folder
You cannot add holidays directly to a public folder. Instead, add them to your default Calendar folder either by using the Add Holidays method or by importing from a file with the Import and Export Wizard. Then, move or copy the new holiday items to your public folder. The article To remove duplicate holidays from the Calendar folder in Microsoft Outlook describes how to distinguish the newly added items.
Removing Duplicate Holidays
While you can easily remove duplicate holidays without the use of a 3rd party tool, the following tools can be helpful if you have additional duplicate calendar items.
Duplicate Removal Tools are listed at Duplicate Remover Tools for Outlook's Calendar
- Missing Holidays (Outlook Tips)
Great post but how do I turn on the Holiday feature for all users? I have been directed to make this happen behind the scenes and have yet to find a GPO or REG key to do it. Guess I need to bust out the VBS skills.
I assume you mean 'how do you import the holidays for everyone' - you'll need to use a logon script.