Tag Archives: Outlook 2013

Configure Outlook 2013 Search so that stuff doesn’t seem to vanish

This is a quick tip for Office 2013 (only) about a problem that had me scratching my head – so I thought it might be valuable to share.

Consider the scenario:

You are having an email conversation i.e. you are sending emails on one particular subject and folk are responding.

In your Outlook inbox, you can see the latest email response and it contains all previous reply text – so once you have read that latest email, you have no need to read and separately file all previous emails on that subject that are still in your inbox. So what do you do to speed things up?

Well, if you are like me, you select the latest email reply by RIGHT clicking on it and select Find Related –> Messages in this Conversation


You then select ALL the emails it lists in that conversation and delete them or file them or whatever.

A little while later, you need to refer to one of the messages in this conversation that was written and sent by you, but for some reason, you can’t find it anywhere in your SENT items – yet you must have sent it, otherwise how would anyone have been able to reply?

Step forward, an ingenious Search option in Outlook 2013 that is the culprit. It is either set by default during Outlook 2013 installation or I may have mistakenly set it while tinkering (more than likely) but not appreciated the impact:

You will note that in Outlook 2013, next to the search entry, there is a little down arrow:


What you want, is the search to occur in the Current Folder (which in this scenario is your inbox) but you can select other options, most notably, the Dick Dastardly option Current Mailbox.

Current Mailbox, in this context, is EVERYTHING in your current mailbox – and that means that search finds and shows matches for stuff in your inbox, drafts, deleted items and most importantly, your SENT folder. The result is, that by selecting and deleting all these emails which you presume to be only emails in your inbox, you are actually selecting and deleting emails in this conversation that you have already sent – which explains why you can’t find them again ….. 

What we need, is a way for Outlook 2013 Search to default  to Current Folder – rather than Current Mailbox – and fortunately there is a setting for that:

1. Go into the Outlook 2013 “backstage” view by selecting File –> Options and then clicking on Search

2. Select Include results only from: Current Folder  rather than Current folder. Current mailbox when searching from the inbox


Simple when you know how!


How to make Windows 8 (and Outlook 2013) go a bit faster

For those who have already upgraded to Windows 8, or who have bought PC’s with it newly installed, you will already have discovered that it is a great new Operating System that increases productivity – once you get your head around the fact that it has two user interfaces: The normal desktop – ideally suited to those without Touch Screens and the Metro Modern Windows UI – for those with Touch screens.

Most folk with recent hardware will find that Windows 8 is extremely fast and fluid – in fact, it flies along on a Lenovo G580 in our household – so much so, that even though it doesn’t have a touch screen, users just use the Modern UI – because it just seems to offer a faster way of getting things done. However, there have been reports from folk who, on older hardware, feel that it is not so snappy. In response, what follows, are two tips that should speed things up a bit – but at the loss of some fluidity in scrolling etc.

Give it a go – and please do post a comment if you find it makes things better or worse (so I can gauge the effectiveness of this Woodygem™ ) – as both of these tips are fully reversible and will cause no damage:

Speed up Windows 8 by turning off all unnecessary animations:

1. Select “Ease of Access Center” in the Control Panel:


2. Select “make the computer easier to use:


3. Scroll down to the end of the page and put a tick in the box for “turn off unnecessary animations (when possible):



Speed up Outlook 2013 (might work for other versions as well)

1. In Outlook, select File –> Options

2. Select Advanced and remove the tick from the box beside “Use animations when expanding conversations and groups”


3. Click “OK” and you are done.


Note:  This advice is only suitable for people running Windows 8 on a PC that does not have a touch sensitive display. While it will work for PC’s with touch sensitive displays, these two tips may impact your overall experience in that things might no flow so smoothly when you are flicking things around with your finger.

With Thanks:  To Ric Harris for the initial confirmatory testing.