Let’s today talk about all the default commands or functions you can find at the top of Outlook ‘Mail’, called ribbon. We are talking about the main tab, called ‘Home.’ This post discusses all the functions and options you can find here. These are most commonly and frequently performed tasks when dealing with emails in Outlook.
Note that you can also customize the ribbon and add or remove whatever commands you want from it. More on that at the end.
Home Tab in Outlook
The ‘Home’ tab looks like this:
Below are the commands you will find inside the home tab (at the top ribbon when you are on Outlook ‘Mail’).
This is to create a new email message from scratch without using any template or anything. When you click here, you will be taken to a new composing window where you can specify the recipients, subject, text message, attach any files, and more.
This command is to create a new item including a new mail. When you click on it, a dropdown menu will open up showing all the new items you can create, such as: appointment, meeting, contact, task, new data file, even new skype meeting, and more.
Clicking on more items will give you more advanced new items to create including a post in the current folder, a new contact group, a task request, and more.
This is for the TeamViewer users. It’s added into Outlook by default. Clicking here will take you to TeamViewer, if it is installed, where it will prompt you login and password for your TeamViewer account and then Outlook opens a new window, similar to creating a new email, except it will be as an appointment. Here you have to specify to whom do you want to send this TeamViewer meeting request, subject for meeting, start and end time, and other details. This will sent to the recipients as a new email but with the TeamViewer link and the meeting ID, using which they can join the meeting.
Next, we have a set of commands grouped under “delete.” This is where most common options related to deleting content can be found.
Most of them are self-explanatory.
clicking this will delete the email that you have selected, but will also delete any future emails of the same conversation. If anyone else sends an email for that conversation, Outlook will automatically move it to deleted folders.
This “clean-up” option will delete any redundant messages from the selected conversion, folder, and/or sub-folders. The option to clean up from either only the selected conversion or from the entire selected folder shows up when click the drop-down menu.
Clicking “Junk” will open a dropdown menu where you can mark an email as junk and also block the sender. The other options are to specify that you do never to block this sender, or any sender from the domain, or the entire group or mailing list. This is like adding a contact to a whitelist so you never miss any email from them.
Delete and Archive:
The next two commands in the “delete” group are delete and archive, which will delete the email completely and archive it into the “archive” folder respectively.
Next group of commands is “respond,” where you can find the commands to reply to an email, forward an email, and more.
These are pretty much self-explanatory as well. Remember, you must select the correct email from the list of emails in the pane below and then click on one of these options. All these commands work on whatever you have selected below.
One of the lesser known features of Outlook in this group is creating a new email with the selected email attached with it. Outlook attaches the email as *.msg file that the recipients can open as a separate file in their own Outlook. This is almost same as forwarding, except you do not forward the mail itself but the file which contains the contents of that mail.
Next group of commands is called “Quick Steps” where the default quick steps (pre-built in Outlook) and the custom quick steps can be found. Quick steps are sort of like the shortcuts for a set of multiple commands, making it quicker to perform certain operation that otherwise takes longer. For instance, one of the default quick-step is to reply and delete, where Outlook will automatically open a new “reply” window and also delete the original one at the same time. You can also create your own quick-step by clicking on “Create New” and then choosing the actions you want.
Next group of commands in Outlook Home tab is for “move.” Click on the “move” option after selecting the email below and then choose from the options depending on where you want to move that mail.
This group also contains the “rules” command. Rules are like quicksteps but automatic. You can create rules by specifying the criteria and then the actions to perform if the criteria is met. If you directly click the create rule after selecting an email, Outlook will automatically create a new rule with the conditions of the selected email. It will automatically pick the subject, sender, recipient and sender as the condition of the rule. You can go to “Manage Rules and alerts” if you want to create a new rule from scratch.
Next group of commands is pretty simple. It contains two options: flag an email as read or unread or flag an email for follow-up.
Next is “find” in the home tab of Outlook.
You can search for people, open address-book, but more importantly, this is where you will also find the filters for the emails. Use the default/built-in filters to filter out the emails or you can also create a new filter according to your needs. Remember that this is not the kind of “filter” that detects the incoming mails and then perform a set of actions on them. Those are called “rules” in Outlook. This particular “filter” option is just to easily find the emails you were looking for by filtering out the ones that you don’t need. For instance, if you are looking for emails with attachments, you can hide all the other emails that don’t’ have any attachments. But by doing so, the emails without attachments are not deleted or moved or modified in any way. This is just temporary.
This is a rather new option in the ‘Home’ tab that reads the selected email, which is helpful if you can’t read or see.
Send and Receive:
This is the command for sending and receiving all the items in all the folders for the selected email account added in Outlook. In other words, this is to synchronize the data from local to server and from server to local. This happens automatically by Outlook if you are online, but sometimes manually clicking the “send and receive” will make it happen quicker than usual, in case the syncing had not begun automatically. Once you click on it, Outlook will connect to the servers and will start the process of syncing data. You can see the progress bar as well with the details and the time remaining to finish it.
How to Customize Top Home Tab in The Ribbon
Sometimes, there is an operation that you might need to perform regularly but is not available on the home tab. You can add that command manually inside the home tab.
Simply right-click on the empty space and select “Customize the ribbon.” Or you can also go to File à Options à Customize Ribbon
Click the dropdown menu where it says “Choose Commands from” to select the type of commands you want to add to the Home tab.
You can also select “All Commands” to see all the possible commands you can add, but it can be slightly difficult to find the one you need. So, better is to select the category where you are likely to find the command.
Custom commands needs to be added to a custom group in the Home Tab. So, first, select “Home (Mail)” and click “New Group” on the right. Give the group a name.
On the left, select the command you want to add and then click on “Add” between the left and right panes. The selected command will be added to your Home Tab inside the new group.
You can select the group on the right and then click “Remove” to remove it from the ribbon.
If you made a mistake, you can click on ‘Reset’ below to reset everything back to original.
There is also import/export feature available. You can export your own customizations of the ribbon and then import it later get the same custom commands back. This is for the user who likes to work in a very unique style and have changed the default layout of the Home tab (or other tabs in the ribbon). Import/export simply means saving your own customized ribbon for using it later. It gets exported in .exportedUI file format.
We hope the post above has helped you in making sense of what a “home” tab in Outlook “Mail” is, what all Outlook commands it contains, and how you can customize it to your own liking.