New Outlook vs Classic Outlook: What You Need to Know

A comparison of the features, benefits, and drawbacks of the two versions of Outlook for Mac.

Outlook for Mac is a popular email and calendar app that helps you stay connected and organized. But did you know that there are two versions of Outlook for Mac? The new Outlook, which was released in late 2020, and the classic Outlook, which is the older version that you may be familiar with. In this blog post, we will compare the two versions and highlight the main differences, advantages, and disadvantages of each one. We will also answer some of the most common questions that users have about the new Outlook and the classic Outlook.

New Features in the New Outlook

The new Outlook for Mac has a redesigned interface that is more modern, sleek, and customizable. It also has some new features that aim to improve your productivity and efficiency. Here are some of the new features that you can find in the new Outlook:

  • Pin Emails: You can pin important emails to the top of your inbox, so you don’t lose track of them. To pin an email, just right-click on it and select Pin. To unpin an email, right-click on it and select Unpin.
  • Snooze Emails: You can snooze emails that you want to deal with later, and they will reappear in your inbox at the time that you choose. To snooze an email, just right-click on it and select Snooze. You can choose from several options, such as Later Today, Tomorrow, Next Week, or Custom.
  • Join Teams Meeting: You can join a Teams meeting directly from your Outlook calendar, without opening the Teams app. To join a Teams meeting, just click on the Join button in the event details. You can also see who is attending the meeting and chat with them before or after the meeting.
  • Synchronization with Outlook Online: You can access your Outlook data from any device, as long as you have an internet connection. The new Outlook syncs your email, calendar, contacts, and tasks with Outlook Online, which is the web version of Outlook. You can also switch between the new Outlook and Outlook Online seamlessly, without losing any data or settings.
  • Find and Attach Documents Easily: You can find and attach documents from your OneDrive, SharePoint, or recent files with just a few clicks. To attach a document, just click on the Attach button in the compose window, and select the source of the document. You can also preview the document before attaching it, and choose whether to attach it as a copy or a link.
  • My Day: You can see your upcoming events and tasks in a sidebar, without leaving your inbox. To open the My Day sidebar, just click on the My Day icon in the top right corner of the Outlook window. You can also create new events and tasks from the sidebar, and drag and drop them to your calendar or inbox.
  • Google Account Integration: You can add your Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Contacts to the new Outlook, and manage them from one place. To add a Google account, just click on the Add Account button in the bottom left corner of the Outlook window, and select Google. You can also switch between your Outlook and Google accounts easily, and see all your emails, events, and contacts in one view.
  • Undo Send: You can undo sending an email within a few seconds, in case you made a mistake or changed your mind. To undo sending an email, just click on the Undo button that appears in the bottom left corner of the Outlook window, after you send an email. You can also customize the undo send time, from 5 to 30 seconds, in the Outlook preferences.
  • Sweep Messages: You can delete or move multiple messages from the same sender, with one click. To sweep messages, just right-click on a message, and select Sweep. You can choose from several options, such as Delete All, Delete All from Inbox, Move All, or Move All from Inbox.
  • Interface: You can customize the look and feel of the new Outlook, according to your preferences. You can change the theme, the density, the reading pane, the folder pane, the toolbar, and the message list. You can also use dark mode, which reduces eye strain and saves battery life.

Missing Features and Important Changes in the New Outlook

The new Outlook for Mac is still in development, and it does not have all the features that the classic Outlook has. Some of the features that are missing or changed in the new Outlook are:

  • No PST File Support: You cannot import or export PST files, which are Outlook data files that store your email, calendar, contacts, and tasks. PST files are commonly used to backup or transfer Outlook data. If you need to use PST files, you have to switch to the classic Outlook.
  • No Support for COM/VSTO Add-ins: You cannot use COM or VSTO add-ins, which are Outlook extensions that add extra functionality or integration with other apps. COM and VSTO add-ins are usually developed by third-party developers, and they may not be compatible with the new Outlook. If you need to use COM or VSTO add-ins, you have to switch to the classic Outlook.
  • Offline Access: You cannot access your Outlook data when you are offline, or when you have a poor internet connection. The new Outlook relies on the internet to sync your data with Outlook Online, and it does not store your data locally on your device. If you need to access your Outlook data offline, you have to switch to the classic Outlook.
  • POP & IMAP Support: You cannot add POP or IMAP accounts, which are email protocols that allow you to access your email from different devices. POP and IMAP accounts are usually used by older or less secure email providers. If you need to add POP or IMAP accounts, you have to switch to the classic Outlook.
  • Folder Reordering: You cannot reorder your folders, which are the containers that store your emails, events, contacts, and tasks. You can only sort your folders alphabetically, by name, or by type. If you need to reorder your folders, you have to switch to the classic Outlook.
  • Find Related Messages: You cannot find related messages, which are the messages that belong to the same conversation or thread. You can only find messages by using the search box, or by applying filters. If you need to find related messages, you have to switch to the classic Outlook.

What’s Changing?

  • Default Mailbox Application: New Windows 11 devices will ship with Outlook for Windows as the default mailbox application. This means that users will have immediate access to this powerful email tool right out of the box.
  • Mail and Calendar Apps: The existing Mail and Calendar applications will still be available for download in the Microsoft Store until December 31, 2024. However, after this date, these apps will no longer receive support or updates.
  • Switching to New Outlook: Existing device users can easily switch to the new Outlook for Windows by toggling within the Mail and Calendar applications. This transition ensures a smooth experience for those accustomed to the classic apps.

Who Can Use the New Outlook?

  • Free for All: The new Outlook for Windows is free for anyone with Windows. Whether you’re a personal user or a professional, you can take advantage of its features without any additional cost.
  • Supported Licenses: Users with Microsoft 365 or Office 365 subscriptions that include access to the desktop apps can use the new Outlook for Windows seamlessly. These licenses cover a wide range of scenarios, including Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise plans.

License Limitations

However, there are some limitations to be aware of:

  • Unsupported Licenses: Accounts associated with certain SKUs that don’t include licenses for Outlook client apps won’t be supported. These include:
  • Error Message: If you attempt to configure the new Outlook with one of the unsupported licenses, you’ll receive an error message: “This account is not supported in Outlook for Windows due to the license provided by your work or school.” In such cases, you can continue using the classic Outlook App.

Workaround: Outlook Web as an App

For those affected by the license limitations, there’s a workaround. You can install Outlook Web as an app using Microsoft Edge. This allows you to access your email and calendar directly from the browser, providing a similar experience to the desktop app.

FAQs Based on Comparison of New Outlook and Classic Outlook

  1. How do I pin an email in the New Outlook?
    Click on the email and select the pin icon.

  2. Can I undo sending an email?
  3. Yes, use the “Undo Send” feature immediately after sending.

  4. Is there a way to integrate my Google account?
  5. Yes, go to settings and add your Google account.

  6. What happens to my existing PST files?
  7. You’ll need to migrate them to an alternative storage solution.

  8. Can I still use custom add-ins?
  9. Not with COM or VSTO; explore other options.

  10. How do I find related messages without the feature?
  11. Use advanced search filters or explore conversation threads.

  12. Is offline access possible?
  13. To a limited extent; prioritize online connectivity.

  14. Why can’t I reorder my folders?
  15. Unfortunately, folder reordering is not supported.

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