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How to keep Microsoft Outlook running in the background

Microsoft Outlook, although a bulky software, has many features that you can use to improve your efficiency. For instance its task management and calendar management features are much better than the tools available online. I know, I know I’m sounding politically incorrect by recommending a desktop application instead of an online one and I myself prefer online applications. But for people who prefer using desktop applications and who can afford to install Microsoft Outlook on their computers it is better to use it instead of using some online application.

Why would you want Microsoft Outlook running in the background?

First of all, whenever new e-mails arrive you want to be notified, especially if replying to them early is critical to your business. Second, you can set reminders in case you want to perform certain tasks at certain intervals. The calendar feature can remind you if your appointment or some scheduled task is due. But the notifications work only when Microsoft Outlook is running; if you close the application there is no use setting the reminders. To make full use of notifications and reminders you need Microsoft Outlook running in the background. How do you achieve that?

It’s very simple. The next time you launch Microsoft Outlook notice the Microsoft Outlook icon over there. Right-click on it and on the menu you seen “Hide when minimized”. Check it if it is not already checked. That’s it; now instead of closing the application minimize it and it will start running in the background and you will be able to receive all the notifications. Next time when you need to use Microsoft Outlook double-click the icon in the system tray.

23 thoughts on “How to keep Microsoft Outlook running in the background

  1. Pingback: How to keep Thunderbird running in the background | The How To Do Things Blog

  2. sylvester060

    thanks very much, took me forever messing around with outlook to try and find out how to keep outlook running. thanks again, cheers

  3. skywalker993

    uh, what outlook icon, and where. the taskbar at the bottom right? there is no icon. sometimes when i close outlook, the icon appears at the bottom right, but it’s not there now.

  4. del_piero

    For work with outlook files try this tool-open pst,because as far as i know it is free,also program can works under Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista and all supported versions of Microsoft Outlook,will work fine for both experts and beginners, there are no any extra settings,program repairs more data, than other services, owing to its unique data recovery engine, developed by our engineers,can easily retrieve your mails, that could be lost without this program,will make a decision, which emails can be successfully retrieved from your mailbox,can preview analysis results during the next step, where you will be redirected after the analysis,retrieve all emails as a set of files in *.vcf, *.txt and *.eml format, that will be stored in any place you like,convert all documents to a file of PST format, this file can be opened offline by any email client.

  5. krystyna

    thanks so much! i was wondering how to do this! i’ve just started using outlook, and i was thinking of ways to continually check emails, without having to keep it minimized all the time! kudos!

  6. Jack

    I know that some people may think that this tip is useful but in reality it is not. If your goal is to keep Outlook running all the time, choosing to hide it when you minimize does not necessarily achieve this goal. It is simply a way to not show it in the task bar. The problem that most people run into is that they may actually close Outlook by ‘X’ing out (click on the X button in the upper/right corner) without realizing it. This will kill Outlook completely while in the meantime the user is under the impression that Outlook is minimized and running in the background. It is not.

  7. James Gunalan

    Yes I agree with Jack. It has to run in the system even we click the close button on Outlook. Is there any option for that?

  8. Redguard

    Thank you webpage.

    I also agree with Jack. Also, it would prove even more useful if Outlook would have a torrent client built within so I don't have to use two different applications. Blah, blah, blah.

  9. timeck

    In the event what you want something that makes sure outlook does not actually exit (ie. always minimize) you can check this out. With this add-in enabled you have to explicitly select File->Exit to get outlook to close. Clicking X or ALT-F4 will simply minimize instead of closing outlook


  10. MaxPowers

    Actually, this does work like you want it to, you just need to open it twice.  Open outlook(from start menu), make sure hide when minimized is checked (in the task bar).  Then minimize the window.  Now open outlook again (from start menu). You can now open and close as you would like (using “x” or alt f4) but the first window will stay open on the task bar.  Just remember to do this everytime you restart the computer.

  11. Brett

    Ive got a better way to ensure Outlook remians open. It is easier than this option and most importantly is not open to the very likely error that soemone clicks the cross and closes it anyway.

    Wait for It!!


    In this way you will ensure Outlook is alwasy open. I hope this helps someone

    your welcome

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