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Using Office 365 Home Premium?

The method described below doesn’t work in Office 365 Home Premium. You’ll need to follow a different route, which I describe at the end of this article.

Also note that these instructions are for those using Windows 7 or before, although they should work on Windows 8 and Windows 10 if you’re using the regular Desktop mode instead of Tablet mode.

Editing Outlook command line

Editing Outlook’s start up command line

Microsoft Outlook comes with a collection of command-line switches which let you determine how the program starts. By default, Outlook opens to either your Inbox or the Outlook Today page, using a command-line that looks something like this:

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\OUTLOOK.EXE”  /recycle

The /recycle at the end of that line is a switch which tells Outlook to start up in an existing Outlook window if one is available. Essentially, it tells Outlook to open once only and to switch to the existing Outlook window if you try to run a second copy.

Often it’s handy to have both the Outlook email folders and the Outlook Calendar displayed side by side. A simple way to do this is to create a separate Outlook shortcut using the /select outlook:calendar switch. The following shortcut opens a new Outlook window and displays the Calendar:

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\OUTLOOK.EXE” /select outlook:calendar

This assumes you’re using Office 2003, installed in the default folders.

Here’s a simple way to create a customised shortcut regardless of which version of Outlook you use:

  1. Choosing an iconMake a copy of the Outlook shortcut in the Quick Launch bar by holding down the Ctrl key while you drag the shortcut icon onto an empty spot on your desktop. (Note: If you can’t see the Quick Launch bar, right-click the taskbar, select Toolbars from the pop-up menu and click Quick Launch.)
  2. Right-click the Outlook shortcut you’ve just created on the desktop and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
  3. On the Shortcut tab of the Properties dialog box, in the Target box delete /recycle at the end of the command line and replace it with /select outlook:calendar. Make sure you leave a space between the first part of the command and /select.
  4. Click the Change Icon button. You’ll see a bunch of icons included in the Outlook program file. Click the Calendar icon and click OK.
  5. Click the General tab and change the text in the first box to read Launch the Outlook Calendar, then click OK.
  6. Drag the shortcut icon onto the Quick Launch bar, if you like.

Now, if you want to have the Calendar open alongside your email folders, simply click the normal Outlook icon in the Quick Launch bar then click the Calendar icon.

If you’re using Office 365

Office 365 Home Premium stores itself in a different folder from the standalone version of Office, so the method above doesn’t work. You also have to pin the shortcut you create to the Start Menu and not to the Quick Launch bar in order to have the Calendar open in a separate window. Here’s how:

  1. Click the Start button and type outlook.exe in the search box.
  2. Right-click Outlook.exe in the search results and choose Open File Location from the menu.
  3. Click in the address bar at the top of the file window and copy and paste the full address to the folder which contains Outlook.exe. It’ll look something like this:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16

You’re going to use this copied address to create a shortcut.

  1. Right-click in an empty spot on your desktop and choose New -> Shortcut.
  2. In the “Type the location of the item” box, type a quotation mark, paste the address you copied in step 3 above, then append:

\OUTLOOK.EXE” / select Outlook:Calendar

You’ll end up with this:

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\OUTLOOK.EXE” /select Outlook:Calendar

Make sure you position the quotation marks correctly and add the space before /select.

  1. Click Next and then type a name for your shortcut, such as ‘Calendar’ and click Finish.
  2. Right-click the Outlook shortcut you’ve just created on the desktop and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
  3. Click the Change Icon button. You’ll see a bunch of icons included in the Outlook program file. Click the Calendar icon and click OK.
  4. Drag the shortcut icon onto the Start Button and release it when you see the message Pin to Start Menu. Once you’ve dragged it there, you can delete the desktop copy of the shortcut.
  • Fxbowman

    This was good to know, my boss asked me once “how do I get to the outlook Calendar without going thru Outlook?” ….now I know. Thanks