Microsoft Outlook 2003: Apply Global Custom Views

outlook2003Microsoft Outlook 2003 forces a default view of which includes AutoPreview, GroupBy Settings, and Reading panes. These settings may be changed at the current view; however, there is no documentation or choice when it comes to changing these settings globally. The settings change for a current view, may not be so bad, if only a few folders existed, however, with time years of folders exist requiring the need for a global view change.

After a little research with my favorite search engine, I found the following set of steps that will turn off AutoPreview, Reading Panes, and all Group-By settings. This method may be used to apply other changes based on other preferences. I have tested and verified this work on several occasions.

  • Create a desktop shortcut to OUTLOOK.EXE and add a switch.
    • Right click on the desktop
    • Select New
    • Select Shortcut
    • Browse to “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\OUTLOOK.EXE”
    • Add the switch /cleanviews to the end of the string “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\OUTLOOK.EXE” /cleanviews

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    • Press Next
    • Type a name for this shortcut: Outlook
    • Press Finish
  • Start Outlook with the shortcut
  • Select the Inbox folder
  • Navigate the menus to the Custom View Organizer
    • View > Arrange By > Current Views > Define Views

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  • Select Messages and click the Modify… button.

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  • Click the Group By … button and uncheck Automatically group according to arrangement.
  • Click OK.

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  • Click the Other Settings … button and set Reading Pane to Off.

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The image highlights the Reading Pane and the Off as I have found it to be innocuous.

  • Click OK, twice, to get back to the Custom View Organizer.

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  • Click on another view listed in the Custom View Organizer window. Any view other than Messages (ie. Last Seven Days) and click Apply View.
  • Navigate the menus again to the Custom View Organizer
    • View > Arrange By > Current Views > Define Views
  • Select Messages and click the Apply View button.
  • Done.

The custom view is now applied to all Outlook folders; however, may take time to transverse the folders to complete the task.

Source: TechRepublic