Sideload Outlook add-ins for testing

You can use sideloading to install an Outlook add-in for testing without having to first put it in an add-in catalog.

Important

If your Outlook add-in supports mobile, sideload the manifest using the instructions in this article for your Outlook client on the web, Windows, or Mac, then follow the guidance in the Testing your add-ins on mobile section of the Add-ins for Outlook Mobile article.

Sideload automatically

If you created your Outlook add-in using the Yeoman generator for Office Add-ins, sideloading is best done through the command line on Windows. This will take advantage of our tooling and sideload across all of your supported devices in one command.

  1. On Windows, open a command prompt and navigate to the root directory of your Yeoman generated add-in project. Run the command npm start.

  2. Your Outlook add-in will automatically sideload to Outlook on your desktop computer. You'll see a dialog appear, stating there is an attempt to sideload the add-in, listing the name and the location of the manifest file. Select OK, which will register the manifest.

    Important

    If the manifest contains an error or the path to the manifest is invalid, you'll receive an error message.

  3. If your manifest contains no errors and the path is valid, your add-in will now be sideloaded and available on both your desktop and in Outlook on the web. It will also be installed across all your supported devices.

Sideload manually

Though we strongly recommend sideloading automatically through the command line as covered in the previous section, you can also manually sideload an Outlook add-in based on the Outlook client.

Outlook on the web

The process for sideloading an add-in in Outlook on the web depends upon whether you are using the new or classic version.

Note

If your organization has included its logo in the mailbox toolbar, you might see something slightly different than shown in the preceding images.

New Outlook on the web

  1. Go to Outlook on the web.

  2. Create a new message.

  3. Choose ... from the bottom of the new message and then select Get Add-ins from the menu that appears.

    Message compose window in the new Outlook on the web with Get Add-ins option highlighted.

  4. In the Add-Ins for Outlook dialog box, select My add-ins.

    Add-ins for Outlook dialog box in the new Outlook on the web with My add-ins selected.

  5. Locate the Custom add-ins section at the bottom of the dialog box. Select the Add a custom add-in link, and then select Add from file.

    Manage add-ins screenshot pointing to Add from a file option.

  6. Locate the manifest file for your custom add-in and install it. Accept all prompts during the installation.

Classic Outlook on the web

  1. Go to Outlook on the web.

  2. Choose the gear icon in the top-right section of the toolbar and select Manage add-ins.

    Outlook on the web screenshot pointing to Manage add-ins option.

  3. On the Manage add-ins page, select Add-Ins, and then select My add-ins.

    Outlook on the web store dialog with My add-ins selected.

  4. Locate the Custom add-ins section at the bottom of the dialog box. Select the Add a custom add-in link, and then select Add from file.

    Manage add-ins screenshot pointing to Add from a file option.

  5. Locate the manifest file for your custom add-in and install it. Accept all prompts during the installation.

Outlook on the desktop

Outlook 2016 or later

  1. Open Outlook 2016 or later on Windows or Mac.

  2. Select the Get Add-ins button on the ribbon.

    Outlook 2016 ribbon pointing to Get Add-ins button.

    Important

    If you don't see the Get Add-ins button in your version of Outlook, select:

    • Store button on the ribbon, if available.

      OR

    • File menu, then select the Manage Add-ins button on the Info tab to open the Add-ins dialog in Outlook on the web.
      You can see more about the web experience in the previous section Sideload an add-in in Outlook on the web.

  3. If there are tabs near the top of the dialog, ensure that the Add-ins tab is selected. Choose My add-ins.

    Outlook 2016 store dialog with My add-ins selected.

  4. Locate the Custom add-ins section at the bottom of the dialog. Select the Add a custom add-in link, and then select Add from file.

    Store screenshot pointing to Add from a file option.

  5. Locate the manifest file for your custom add-in and install it. Accept all prompts during the installation.

Outlook 2013

  1. Open Outlook 2013 on Windows.

  2. Select the File menu, then select the Manage Add-ins button on the Info tab. Outlook will open the web version in a browser.

  3. Follow the steps in the Sideload an add-in in Outlook on the web section according to your version of Outlook on the web.

Remove a sideloaded add-in

On all versions of Outlook, the key to removing a sideloaded add-in is the My Add-ins dialog which lists your installed add-ins. Choose the ellipsis (...) for the add-in then select Remove.

To navigate to the My Add-ins dialog box for your Outlook client, use the last steps listed for manual sideloading in the previous sections of this article.

To remove a sideloaded add-in from Outlook, use the steps previously described in this article to find the add-in in the Custom add-ins section of the dialog box that lists your installed add-ins. Choose the ellipsis (...) for the add-in then choose Remove to remove that specific add-in. Close the dialog.

See also