Boost your productivity with the new Full Screen view feature in Outlook for Mac

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Editor’s note 1/14/2016:  
Post was updated to provide additional information about the Split view.

Boost your productivity with the new Full Screen view feature in Outlook for Mac

We are happy to announce that Outlook for Mac now officially supports Full Screen view for OS X Yosemite and above. Ever since we released Outlook 2016 for Mac, native Full Screen view has been one of the most requested features at the Outlook for Mac UserVoice forum. Over the past few months, we received valuable feedback from usability studies and we’re excited to deliver a Full Screen view experience to help you manage multiple email messages more easily.

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of this feature.

Immerse yourself in Outlook for Mac when managing your email messages

The inbox is your home for managing email messages and meeting invitations. By switching to Full Screen view, you can focus on incoming email messages in a distraction-free environment.

Full Screen view feature in Outlook for Mac 1

To switch to Full Screen view, simply click the Outlook for mac icon 1 button at the top left of your Outlook screen or use keyboard shortcut keys Ctrl +  + F.

Full Screen view feature in Outlook for Mac 2

Easy window management with the Tab bar

When you want to perform a task, such as replying to an email thread or composing a new message, a new window is displayed in focus view, so you can concentrate on the task at hand.

Full Screen view feature in Outlook for Mac 3

If you need to go back to the inbox when working on the message, simply click outside the focus window to minimize the message and gain access to the inbox. A tab with the subject of the minimized message appears at the bottom of the screen to allow you to access the message quickly. The Tab bar at the bottom allows you to navigate among the minimized messages.

Full Screen view feature in Outlook for Mac 4

Side-by-side view of two messages in focus view

In Full Screen view, you can also view two messages side-by-side so that you can easily copy and paste content from one message to another. To do so, open one message window in focus view and then bring up any message minimized on the Tab bar. In the current design, we show you at most two message windows in focus view to avoid clutter.

Full Screen view feature in Outlook for Mac 5

Boost productivity further by running Outlook in Split View

With native support for Full Screen view, Outlook as a Split View app for OS X El Capitan just works! You no longer need multiple monitors to view different Outlook modules. You can conveniently combine different modules in Split View to fit your workflow. Here is one example running Mail and Calendar modules in Split View:

Full Screen view feature in Outlook for Mac 6

The minimum display resolution requirement is 1550 pixels and two instances of the Main Window are needed for the Split View. Go to File > New > Main Window to create a new Main Window instance.

What’s next?

The first version of this Full Screen view feature is available in the January update. We will continue to refine the feature in upcoming releases. Let us know your feedback on the new feature. You can find out more details about Full Screen view in this article. Also, if you have feature requests on Outlook for Mac, don’t hesitate to post them and cast your vote at the UserVoice forum.

—Zan Chu, program manager for the Outlook for Mac team

  1. Why you had to make the status bar so ugly looking in the full screen mode? There is no added functionality, yet for some reason it almost doubles in height in the full screen mode, and changes its color to ugly dark grey.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Yury! We would take this into considerations when refining the design.

    • Right, and I’d add that making the status messages switch causes your eyes to move the bottom of the screen. It’s a little distracting. I do like that full screen has come to Outlook though.

      • Thanks for the feedback! We will note that for design refinement.

  2. I love the improvements! How do we get both the mail and calendar view in split view at the same time?

    For example, I hold down the green arrow and snap Outlook to the left half of the full screen. How do I get calendar on the right half?

    Thanks and keep up the great work! Would love the “Recent Attachments” option like Outlook 2016 Windows has!

    • Go to “File->New->Main Window” and then set the independent windows up as you like. You can then split screen them in the regular OSX way.

      I had some issues with this earlier but got it going now – probably user error on my part.

      • How did I live without this!? Thanks Zan and Richard!

  3. To combine two modules in Split View, you need two instances of the Main Window. Go to “File -> New -> Main Window” to create a new instance of the Main Window.

    In OS X El Capitan, whether two windows can be placed side-by-side in Split View depends on the combined minimum widths of the two windows. If your display resolution is not high enough, you might not be able to combine two Outlook windows in Split View. In the current design, 1540px is the display’s minimum width required for showing two Outlook windows. You can increase your display’s resolution in System Preferences.

    • I guess this lets out us who have MacBook Pros with only 1440×900 resolution :-).

      • It’s interesting I can get excel or word side by side with outlook but not 2 outlook panes with a 1440×900 screen resolution.

  4. Will there ever be a day where Outlook for Mac allows single line email on the left with the reading pane on the right side as can be done in the Windows version? Single line has always been limited to reading pane off or reading pane below. Why. Just. Why?

  5. for split view feature is this just a Mac? in Windows version i can get the same effect by opening 2 instances of outlook. but is there way to do it more elegantly?

  6. I see the “What’s next” section here.. What’s next?? How about adding a simple feature called Format Painter like every other Office app has. Simply ridiculous omission.

    • Generally accepted formats for numbered lists would be great too. Like this:

      1. Numbered lists are awesome
      a. Even the sub list items

      Not this:

      1. Numbered lists are awesome
      1. Wait, what?

  7. Gret addition! I was literally wondering when we’d get proper full-screen mode this morning and now its here!

    One bug report: When an item is in focus view, then it is closed (sent message for instance) the OS X UI focus is not on the main outlook window. This means if you use an arrow key to move to another message, or any other key, the system error sound (Bonk!) plays. You can fix it by clicking in the main window with the mouse.

    This isn’t an ideal fix though, because one big advantage of Outlook for Mac is they keyboard shortcuts allow you to do mouse-less email.


    • Thanks for reporting. This will be fixed in upcoming releases.

  8. Speaking of keyboard shortcuts, are there any for moving between focus view emails or moving in/out of focus mode?

  9. Well received, general performance of the full screen mode seems a tad on the slow slide. Are there any plans to improve the general performance of the Office 2016 for Mac application? The animations seems slowish, and way of switching these off?

  10. Hello!

    I just updated to the Outlook for Mac 15.18 version and it’s pretty terrible!
    1. The app is more than 3 times slower and freezes all the time
    2. However, what is even worse is that I can no longer add tasks. I start a new task, edit the details and as soon as I click ‘close & save’ it simply disappears- no error messages or any info.
    The main reason for choosing Outlook was the ease of setting my daily tasks, which is now gone and I’m afraid I will move back to Mail for Mac

    Not to mention that it is impossible to move contacts from iCloud or Gmail accounts, or to receive read notification.

    • what is more, I regret upgrading as:
      1. Outlook became more than 3 times slower – it sucks and freezes all the time
      2. I can not add new tasks any longer. As soon as I click ‘close & save’, it simply disappears without error messages

      Still no functions for synchronising iCloud or Google contacts and no read receipt.
      Seems I will move back to Mail for Mac.

  11. You know what would really boost my productivity? Skype for Business for Mac OS. I don’t understand why time is being spent on one-off features like this when we’re forced to use a comms app from 2011.

  12. These are great steps top making this a better application. For me however the Quick Steps feature is one tool that I truly miss. I use this daily and very disappointed to see it was not included from the beginning or yet implemented in the Mac version.

    • I want to automatically add the senders to People and set the rules for that but failed. How to do? Also, how to extract the emails from “Recent Addresses”? Thanks and this makes me frustrated for several months after using outlook for mac (I used windows outlook before…)

  13. HI

    I have been unable to drag and drop a message from buy inbox to an open message to include it as an attachment. is there a way to do this without coming out of full screen mode?

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