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New location for key functions and direct access to other Microsoft 365 apps in Outlook

Feature deep dive
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Hi, Office Insiders! I’m Fernanda Richnak, a Product Manager on the Outlook team. I’m excited to share some changes to Outlook for Windows. You can now access your email, calendar, tasks, and other main functions from the area to the left of the folder pane. You can also customize this area with icons for apps such as To Do, Org Explorer, Yammer Communities, and Bookings, meaning you’re able to launch these and other popular Microsoft 365 apps from directly inside Outlook.

GIF showing new UI changes to access key functions in Outlook for Windows.

Quick access to Outlook functions and other Microsoft 365 apps

The main functions in Outlook, such as email, calendar, tasks, and people, are now displayed vertically to the left of the folder pane. Depending on which SKU and licenses you’ve been assigned by your IT administrator, you’ll also be able to quickly access apps such as To Do, Org Explorer, Yammer Communities, and Bookings from the same area. You can customize which apps you see there by right-clicking on your preferred Outlook functions and Microsoft 365 apps to pin them, so you can then launch popular apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint without leaving Outlook.

This experience may look familiar to you if you use Outlook for the web, as we recently launched similar functionality on that platform. Placing your apps vertically on the left side of the screen also offers a consistent user experience with Office.com and Teams.

How it works

This experience will be automatically turned on for all Office Insiders running Beta Channel builds. Others can activate the experience by doing the following:

  1. Turn on the Coming Soon toggle at the top-right corner of the app window.
  2. Restart Outlook.

Scenarios to try

  • Create and manage tasks using the To Do app.
  • Browse your organization chart using the Org Explorer app.
  • Access Yammer posts using the Yammer Communities app.
  • Schedule appointments using the Bookings app.
  • Pin an app by right-clicking its icon and selecting Pin in the shortcut menu.
  • Open Yammer, To Do, Booking, and Org Explorer in a new window by right-clicking the corresponding icon and selecting Pop Out App in the shortcut menu.


You’ll need a subscription to at least one of the following in order to view these apps inside Outlook: Bookings, To-Do, Yammer, or Exchange Online. You can check what subscriptions you are licensed for in your account information. Log in to office.com, click on your profile picture in the top-right corner, click View account, and select Subscriptions.


This feature is rolling out to Microsoft 365 subscribers running the following builds for Windows:

  • Beta Channel users: Available by default in Version 2204 (Build 15109.20000) or later
  • Current Channel Preview users: Available by turning on the Coming Soon toggle in Version 2109 (Build 14430.20088) or later

Don’t have it yet? It’s probably us, not you.

Features are released over some time to ensure things are working smoothly. We highlight features that you may not have because they’re slowly releasing to larger numbers of Insiders. Sometimes we remove elements to further improve them based on your feedback. Though this is rare, we also reserve the option to pull a feature entirely out of the product, even if you, as an Insider, have had the opportunity to try it.


We want to hear from you! You can provide feedback within the pane by answering the question, “Does this new feature improve the product?” If the experience has been turned on by default for you, please submit your comments and questions through Help > Feedback.

Learn more about what other information you should include in your feedback to ensure it’s actionable and reaches the right people. 

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