What's new in Outlook 2013


Applies to: Office 2013, Office 365 ProPlus, Outlook 2013

**Summary:**Learn about the new and changed features in Outlook 2013.

Audience: IT Professionals

The Outlook you know keeps getting better. This article gives you the highlights, from an administrator lens, so you can plan Outlook 2013 deployment and configuration. For the complete picture, you should also take a look at What's new in Office 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

And if you’re upgrading from Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010, these new features might affect migration, so be sure to research the Changes in Outlook 2010 as part of your pre-migration planning. Outlook 2010 to Outlook 2013 migration considerations are covered in a separate article.

Are you a user?

If you’re not an administrator, this article is not for you. But we can point you in the right direction if you are looking for What's new in Outlook 2013 for users.

Are you an admin?

If you’re an administrator, this article tells you about the new Outlook 2013 features you need to be aware of prior to rolling this release or updates out to your organization.

In this article:

  • What’s new

  • What’s changed

What’s new

The following table highlights new features in Outlook 2013.

Additions/Changes in Outlook 2013

Addition/change Description

Attachment Reminder

Before an email message is sent, Outlook 2013 can detect if an attachment was accidentally or absentmindedly omitted from the message and then notify the user, before sending the message—giving them a chance to insert the attachment. Users can turn off the Attachment Reminder by selecting Don’t show this message again in the Attachment Reminder dialog box or by going to File, Options, Mail and under Send messages, selecting Warn me when I send a message that may be missing an attachment.


This feature is only available in the English version of Outlook.

Exchange ActiveSync (EAS)

Exchange ActiveSync is a protocol that lets Outlook 2013 connect to services such as Outlook.com to access email, calendar, contacts and tasks. For more information, see Exchange ActiveSync in Plan feature customizations in Outlook 2013 and Exchange Server 2013: Exchange ActiveSync.

Exchange ActiveSync brings Exchange content to your mobile enterprise users.

Exchange ActiveSync brings Outlook to mobile users

Add-in resiliency

To make Outlook more resilient, by default, Outlook turns off any add-in that adversely affects the performance, resiliency, or reliability of Outlook. Users can view and re-enable add-ins by going to File, View Disabled Add-ins in Outlook 2013. If you, as the IT Administrator, do not want Outlook 2013 to automatically disable an add-in when it affects performance, you can use the Outlook Group Policy template (Outlk15.admx) to set the Group Policy option: List of managed add-ins. You can find this setting under User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Microsoft Outlook 2013\Miscellaneous. For more information, see Add-ins in Plan feature customizations in Outlook 2013.

Cached Exchange Mode Improvements

Sync Slider and Exchange Fast Access are two new features that are available with Cached Exchange Mode. By default, they are enabled when Cached Exchange Mode is enabled.

Sync Slider allows an Outlook 2013 user to limit the number of email messages that are synchronized locally in an Outlook data file (.ost). By default, if Cached Exchange Mode is enabled, Outlook 2013 will only cache email messages from the last 12 months and remove anything older than 12 months from the local cache. Users can view messages that were removed from the local cache by scrolling to the end of the email list in a folder and clicking the message Click here to view more on Microsoft Exchange. Users can also change how much email to keep offline. You, the IT Administrator, can change the default age or enforce the age of email messages that are removed from the local cache by using Group Policy or the Office Customization Tool.

Exchange Fast Access marries the instant-access of Online Mode with the offline capabilities and syncing robustness of Cached Exchange Mode, specifically in scenarios when syncing data locally would take enough time to be noticed by the user (for example, initial sync, resume, returning from vacation). When you first start Outlook 2013, you immediately see your most recent email messages and a completely up-to-date calendar. Outlook 2013 caches items in the background to prepare you for offline use—without affecting the experience.

For more information, see Exchange Fast Access and Sync Slider and Plan a Cached Exchange Mode deployment in Outlook 2013.

IMAP improvements

In Outlook 2013, IMAP network operations occur in the background instead of the foreground. After Outlook opens, IMAP users can see existing mail in their Inboxes just as quickly as a Cached Exchange Mode user would. Similarly, when IMAP users choose to view another IMAP folder, they can also see existing mail as quickly as a Cached Exchange Mode user would.

In Outlook 2013, IMAP users are notified when a new IMAP email message is received. Also when a user creates IMAP as a primary account, the IMAP account folders are displayed much like Exchange accounts are displayed. Outlook 2013 does not create a separate node for the Outlook Data File. For special Outlook folders that do not roam (e.g. Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes), users will see This computer only next to the folder name.

Outlook data file (.ost) compression

By default, when Outlook 2013 is installed, a new compressed version of the Outlook data file (.ost) is created. This new compressed version of the .ost is up to 40% smaller than the .ost files that were created by earlier versions of Outlook. For more information, check out the Outlook 2010 to Outlook 2013 migration considerations and Plan a Cached Exchange Mode deployment in Outlook 2013 topics.

People Hub

The People Hub is the new default view for contacts in Outlook 2013. The People hub includes contacts in users' Outlook profiles and can include contacts from social networks—if a user links a social network to their view. Also, the Contact Card now aggregates information about a person from multiple social network sources, into a single view. So, in addition to standard contact information, users can view a contact’s social network updates if they are friends with that contact or if that person has made a public social network update.

As with Outlook 2010, IT administrators can manage the social networks that are available for users in Outlook 2013. For configuration information, see Plan feature customizations in Outlook 2013.

Performance improvements

Outlook 2013 starts and exits faster than Outlook 2010. Outlook 2013 performance is faster overall than earlier versions of Outlook.

Weather bar

Weather information for the next 3 days is displayed on the Calendar in the Calendar module. When Outlook 2013 starts for the first time after installation, the weather location is the default city for the market version of Outlook that is installed. Users can change the weather location displayed by selecting Add Location from the drop-down menu next to the city name in the Calendar view. Users can also configure two other options in File, Options, Calendar, Weather:

  • Show weather on the Calendar

  • Show temperature in: Celsius or Fahrenheit

Weather settings are saved per user profile. If there are multiple Exchange accounts in a user profile, the weather location is based on the location that is specified in the user’s primary Exchange account. All calendars in a user profile will display the same location for weather.

The following Weather settings can roam depending on the account type:

  • Weather On or Off

  • Celsius or Fahrenheit

  • Weather locations

  • Currently displayed weather location

If the user has the same Exchange account on multiple computers, the user sees the same weather location for all computers. If the user has multiple Exchange accounts, the user sees the weather location that is associated with the primary Exchange account. In this case, the settings associated with the primary Exchange account will roam. If the user does not have an Exchange account and has the same IMAP/POP account on multiple computers, the settings will not roam.

You, the IT Administrator, can turn this off this feature or change the service the weather information is pulled from by using the Outlook Group Policy template (Outlk15.admx). You can find the settings under User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Microsoft Outlook 2013\Outlook Options\Preferences\Calendar Options. For more information, see Weather bar in Plan feature customizations in Outlook 2013.

Exchange Server 2013

The following table describes the new and changed features that are available if you have Exchange Server 2013.

Available with Exchange Server 2013

Additions/changes Description

apps for Outlook

An app for Outlook is a cloud-enabled application that integrates rich, scenario-focused content and services together with Outlook 2013. Get apps for Outlook from the Office Store. Exchange Administrators can make specific apps for Outlook available to their end-users if their Exchange accounts are on Exchange Server 2013.

Data Loss Prevention

Data loss prevention (DLP) is a new feature area in Exchange Server 2013. DLP capabilities help you protect sensitive data and inform users of internal compliance policies. DLP can also help keep your organization safe from users who mistakenly send sensitive information to unauthorized people. The new Exchange DLP features help you identify, monitor, and protect sensitive data by using deep content analysis.

Exchange Server 2013 offers built-in DLP policies that are based on regulatory standards such as personally identifiable information (PII) and payment card industry data security standards (PCI). DLP is extensible so that it can support other policies that are important to your business. Additionally, the new Policy Tips in Outlook inform users about policy violations before they send sensitive data.

For information about how to configure Data Loss Prevention and Policy Tips with Exchange Server 2013, see Data Loss Prevention and Policy Tips.

Site Mailboxes

Site mailboxes improve collaboration and user productivity by allowing access to both SharePoint 2013 documents and Exchange email that use the same client interface. A site mailbox consists of SharePoint 2013 site membership (owners and members), shared storage through an Exchange Server 2013 mailbox for email messages and a SharePoint 2013 site for documents, and a management interface that addresses provisioning and life-cycle needs.

Site mailboxes require Exchange Server 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013 integration and configuration. For more information, see Configure site mailboxes in SharePoint Server 2013.

What’s changed

For the list of what’s changed in Outlook 2013, see Changes in Office 2013.

See also

Plan feature customizations in Outlook 2013
Plan a Cached Exchange Mode deployment in Outlook 2013
Changes in Office 2013
64-bit editions of Office 2013
Outlook 2010 to Outlook 2013 migration considerations

Changes in Outlook 2007
Changes in Outlook 2010
What's new in Outlook 2013 for information workers