Useful Utilities and Desktop Gadgets for Outlook
1. ClearContact (data extraction) - When you communicate with someone using Gmail, her email address is automatically added to your address book. Such a feature is not available in Outlook by default but you can achieve this using the free ClearContact add-in. It will first scan your Outlook folders and extract the email addresses which you can then save to your address book.
2. PstPassword (password recovery) - Outlook stores all your emails, contacts, calendars, etc. in a PST (Personal Storage) file. If you ever forget the password of your pst files, you can use the free PstPassword utility to quickly recover that password. The tool doesn’t require installation and can also be used from the command-line.
3. PF Backup (backup utility) - The Personal Folders backup tool from Microsoft lets you create backup copies of your Outlook emails at regular intervals. Just choose the Outlook folders that you want to backup, select the frequency of backup and all your emails will be regularly saved to another PST file without you having to remember anything.
4. OutlookAttachView (attachments) - You can use this plug-in to quickly extract and save email attachments that match a certain criteria. If you decide to use the delete option in Outlook Attachment Viewer, it will only delete the select attachments but won’t remove the original messages that contain those attachments.
5. Remove Duplicate Items from Microsoft Outlook
ODIR is a free add-on that that can remove duplicate items from any folder in Outlook, including contacts, calendar, email messages and tasks. It will store the duplicate items in a subfolder so you can easily review the changes before permanently deleting the duplicate items.
The limitation is that ODIR will only search for duplicates in one folder so it will not help you find, for instance, an email that is duplicated across two different folders.
6. Remove Attachments to Save Disk Space
If you are looking to reduce the size of your Outlook mailbox because they just sent you a “Quota Exceeded” warning, you should first consider removing all the bulky email attachments as they are often the lone culprit. You can use the Outlook Attachment Remover add-in to find attachments of a certain type that exceed a certain size (like PPT files greater 5 MB).
The add-in will save bulky attachments to a local folder and will also replace the original attachment in the email with a link that points to the local file. If, in future, you wish to add the removed attachments back into the original emails, the Attachment Remover can help you with that as well.
7. Desktop Gadgets for Microsoft Outlook
If your computer is running Windows Vista or 7, you can take advantage of the Sidebar and Desktop Gadgets platform with Outlook. The Outlook Tasks gadget makes it easy for you to view pending tasks, check-off completed tasks or create new ones. The Upcoming Appointments gadget will help you keep track of all your upcoming appointments plus you can double-click an entry to edit or update it.
The Sidebar Outlook gadget can help you both check new emails and read existing mails right the desktop without having to open Outlook. Then you have the Outlook Desktop gadget the lets you put any part of Outlook, from your inbox to your calendar, right on the desktop.
Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion
Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.