Outlook 2013 deprecated features and components

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As much as we love adding new features to Outlook, for the maintainability of our product we sometimes need to remove those that are out of date and aren’t utilized by a large number of users.  This allows us to focus on improving the Outlook features that most of you, our customers, rely on.

The following are some features that we’ve removed from Outlook 2013, and we want to make sure you are aware so there aren’t any surprises when you go to use or deploy the new version. 

Exchange “Classic Offline” Mode

In Outlook 2013, we will no longer support “Classic Offline” Mode for Microsoft Exchange accounts.  Users in this configuration will be upgraded to Cached Mode when they install Outlook 2013.  For the vast majority of users this will mean no change to your Outlook experience.  Details of Cached Mode in Outlook can be found here:

“Deliver to PST” for Exchange accounts

Exchange accounts will no longer be able to have their delivery location be a PST file (rather an .OST).  Users in this configuration will be upgraded to Cached Mode (with an .OST file) when they install 2013. See the previous article for details about cached mode. 

Calendar Publishing to (PubCal)

Users will no longer be able to publish calendars publicly to using Outlook 2013, and the calendar sharing service will be shutting down for older versions of Outlook as well.  We will publish a follow-up blog post detailing the timeline for the service changes, as well as ways to get the same feature set using Exchange or

VPN and Dialup Settings

VPN and dialup preferences are no longer independently configurable in Outlook.  These options were previously located on the Send/Receive tab in Outlook 2010.  As a workaround, affected users are encouraged to set these options system wide in the Windows Control Panel. 

Outlook search via the Windows Shell

Outlook 2013 will no longer surface search results for mail and calendar items in Windows Explorer (or via the start menu).  Users can still utilize all of Outlook’s search functionality from within the app itself. 


The Journal as a top-level module no longer exists in Outlook 2013.  Journal entries can still be accessed via the Journal folder in the Folder List module.   Also, the ability to ‘auto-journal’ your Outlook actions is gone in 2013. 

Import/Export to Legacy Applications

Outlook has traditionally supported importing and exporting data to and from many different file formats.  Many of the formats Outlook has supported are outdated and are no longer in mainstream use.  Outlook will continue to support comma-separated-value (.csv) files as well as .PST files, but other file formats are no longer supported.

 This list includes:

–          ACT! Contact manager files

–          Word 97-2003 (.doc)

–          Excel 97-2003 (.xls)

–          Outlook Express archives

Legacy Contact Linking/Activities Tab

The Contact Activities Tab is removed from Outlook 2013.  This previously provided a way to “link” contacts with other Outlook items, and have them all roll-up in the Activities Tab.  The Outlook Social Connector (introduced in Outlook 2010) replaces much of this functionality in a faster, more user friendly fashion. 

–Justin Mahood, Outlook Program Manager

  1. hindermath

    Sounds good, to eleminate no longer needed functions out of Outlook :-).

  2. Jakub Anderwald

    You have also removed the ability to view upcoming events on the ToDo bar. In 2013, it shows only the "peak" of today events – not the ones that are coming in the next days.

    I don’t believe that removing one of the most useful featues (see all the comments on other blogs about this entry) is the way to go. And especially hiding the fact itself by not posting in this list is not.


      yeah this was a very nice feature, I really miss it!

      Also the ability to change the Sent and Deleted Items folder for IMAP Mailboxes is removed, which was very nice too.

  3. Ok. Appreciate the update. Looking forward to the general availability of Outlook 2013!!

  4. I dont believe what I just read : you disabled the search via Windows Explorer !
    One of the advantage to use Microsoft products is integration. Windows Search is suppose to allow me to search data from all applications on Windows, why to you break this ?
    Do Outlook 2013 still use WIndows Search engine to index things ? If yes why on earth did you remove the search from Explorer ?

  5. Eric Legault

    I agree with Jakub! However, To-Do bar butchering and color/theming issues aside, it’s a polished, stable product. I’m somewhat surprised with the outcry of removing Outlook data from Windows Search. I never found this useful, but I see how others might. I look for files in Windows Explorer, and e-mails in Outlook.

  6. Martin12345

    Does this mean that if I upgrade to Office 2013, I can never open all of the .doc files that I created? Sure, I may not care about saving a new .doc file, but I have loads of old files that I would like to be able to re-open, e.g. an old tax record, my will, and so on. That’s a bad regression in functionality, and doesn’t fill me with confidence that anything I write in Word today will still be readable in 10 year from now.

  7. I’m afraid that I’ve looked for this information, but I can’t find any answers. Can someone explain to me what and how the "Working Elsewhere" tag is used for in the Calendar? When I’m "Working Elsewhere", does it show me as unavailable for scheduling? What was the thought process behind this new category?

  8. Christian Greiner

    I can not believe that you disable the search via Windows! It is the best (and only!) way to find all the stuff I need! This is absolut ridiculous!

  9. @Macygin I imagine this is used to indicate that you are working, but not in the office. Out Of Office is generally interpreted to mean that you are away and unavailable. Working Elsewhere could mean that you are not physically in the office, but available for calls. If this is the intent, then it’s a feature I have been hoping for.

  10. The weather is very annoying. It uses Bing weather and the forecast is completely wrong

  11. can someone tell me why outlook 2013 creates automatically a todo "application/list" when i create a second calendar in and synchronize it via EAS? so outlook 2013 creates the calendar and renamed it to "calendarname [1]", and when i go to folders i see that outlook creates a todo list with the same name of the calendar, but without the [1].. why did outlook that?? can i change this behaviour?

  12. Removing desktop integrated email search? What are you thinking Microsoft? Desktop search is great solution that performs very well for locating documents and emails in one place and now you are taking it away. I have emails and documents going back to the mid 90’s that I regularly search for with ease. Now you are going to make me search in 2 different places to accomplish the same task. I can’t imagine the twisted logic behind this. Maybe there is a good reason but you have not presented it so I just assume it is another twisted decision made by someone that does not actually use the product.

    • Goodjob66

      I agree this is a HUGE step backwards. In a business context I regulalry need to search across emails and documents. . For years now the move has been towards aggregated search results from Mutiple repositories in order to improve productivity and decision making. Taking this away will be the fundamental reason as to why I will not upgrade until I have to.

      Additionally, for unknown reasons, Ive found that Outlook 2010 search (which seems a little flakey) is less responsive than Windows Explorer Search.

  13. please fix problems like: synchronize contact groups from from with outlook 2013 and fix the todo bar calendar to highlight days on which are events and please! add the ability to show all upcoming events in the todo bar! (or create a selection window where the users can decide which calendar dates they want so see in the todo bar and the counting of elements to shown. this would be very nice! 🙂

  14. "Outlook Express archives" – do you mean .mht (.mhtml, .eml) files? Just a few days ago I had to export one of my email messages to .mht file in order to print it (had issues printing it directly). Also I think .mht (Mime HTML) is the best document format ever! I save web pages into it from IE since 1998, and have many thousands of .mht files on my hard drive. And, btw, support for saving and opening of .mht files is one of the main reasons I’m not going to switch from IE to another web browser! 🙂 If Microsoft were any smarter, they should have used and pushed .mht as a universal document format, instead of wasting time on .xps. It would easily thrash .pdf and others! 🙂

  15. Littera Scripta

    Very unhappy about termination of "deliver to PST" option. In my corporation (and I’m sure many others) the OST network file size limits are set aggressively small, at least for high intensity email users. I’ve used PST files since MS Mail.

    This will cause me not to upgrade to Outlook 2013, though, until a 3rd party comes up with an add-in to remedy this design fault.

  16. gpunktschmitz

    for what reason did you drop journaling? this was my most used feature in outlook (besides reading emails) …
    is there any alternative for journaling users?
    sad moment for me …

    • MSOutlookLover1704

      Same here….. 🙁

  17. how can i use the other accounts in in outlook 2013 for sending email?
    in i created a other account for sending email, but i can this email only use in the web application, but i want this to use in outlook 2013. but how??

  18. MSOutlookLover1704

    but I love the journal…………

  19. MSOutlookLover1704

    i also like to see email messages when I search via the start menu!

  20. Paulo McManus

    Are stuff like this being taught in Microsoft office training? I’ve seen a website, click here and i wonder if this is needed. Our company uses Outlook and i want to make sure that i know everything about it since i am just new to this and i am an email avid user.

  21. Stargazer

    Windows 8 lost the start menu as "users didn’t user it" and so do some Office features. Usability seems to be overrated by most users.

  22. It seems that drag & drop an email on a specific date in the calendar does not work any more too.

  23. IT Monkey

    Most deprecated feature: usability. I tried it for about a month and finally had to uninstall it.

    You can no longer make changes to meetings in the To Do bar on the right. Cannot drag/drop meetings to a day to create them. Can no longer connect to a meeting workspace in SharePoint. New mail notification has no features, you used to be able to quickly delete a message that popped up if you wanted, but now you can just open or close the message. "Working elsewhere" is a great idea, but does not work with ActiveSync, the meeting will just not be synced, so a great idea that will need to be disabled.

    Can no longer change the location of IMAP trash which causes mail to go to an unknown location in GMail.

    And the "color" schemes? Really? 3 shades of gray, when did gray become a primary color? Was everyone reading 50 Shades of Gray and loved it so much they put it into the products, it is terrible to look at your screen for any amount of time.

    There are more problems, but since I removed it, that is all I can think of right now.

  24. Nitz Walsh

    Truly can’t fathom the decision to remove mail and calendar items from desktop search. Really, what is the logic here? Sometimes if you’re looking for a file the only place you would have it would be as an attachment.

    Just because Windows8 takes a giant step backwards in search usability doesn’t mean the Office team needs to follow suit.

  25. Errr. Why kill off Outlook Express importing? It is still alive [well for another 15 months]. So if someone just got Windows 7 or 8 and wanted to use Outlook, they can’t import Outlook Express mail. That’s dumb [well, Apple has done it for a while actually.]
    Now someone has to install Outlook 2010, 2007 or 2003 as a trial just to import their mail, remove the old Office/Outlook and install Outlook 2013.

  26. krisdmaudlin

    extended feature of outlook 2013 are better comparison to previous version , and the cached mode feature are great and awesome.
    Printer Configuration

  27. How about giving us back the ability to hide message headers in the preview pane. This was removed from OL 2010 with no explanation. The kb article which explains that the checkbox no longer works specifically states that this feature is useful to those of us with limited screen real estate. It’s actually useful to pretty much everyone. I know a lot of users who had to reinstall 2007 since there’s no workaround.

  28. Brian Barnett

    What is the timeframe for calendar publishing to be available in Outlook 2013?

  29. bobbiesue

    I just installed office professional plus 2013 today, because my pro plus 2010 outlook decidied it didn’t want to send mail. Now with the new for the life of me I can’t figure out how to create a group. All my contacts are there, but the create a group icon never allows me to select it. any help??

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