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Holiday updates for the Outlook Calendar

I found that the latest holidays are missing from my calendar. I checked for updates but none are there and manually trying to install the latest holiday updates gives an error that the update is already installed or does not apply to my system.

How can I get the latest holidays to show up?

After applying updates that contain new holiday information, the newly included holidays are not directly added to your Calendar. You’ll have to reselect the option to include the holidays for a specific country in your Calendar.

To prevent duplicates, it is recommended that you delete the currently imported holidays from your Calendar before importing the holidays again.

Remove current holidays

The easiest way to remove previously imported holidays from your Calendar is via the “By Category” view;

  • Outlook 2002/XP and previous
    View-> Current View-> By Category
  • Outlook 2003
    View-> Arrange By-> Current View-> By Category
  • Outlook 2007
    View-> Current View-> By Category
  • Outlook 2010
    View-> Change View-> List
    Arrangement-> Categories
  • Outlook 2013
    View-> Change View-> List
    Arrangement-> Categories

Now you can easily select all the items that have the Holiday category (by clicking on the Holiday group header) and delete them all at once. If you use SHIFT+Delete to delete them, you’ll skip the Delete Items folder and permanently delete them.

Deleting all Holidays at once is easy via a By Category sorted view.
Deleting all Holidays at once is easy via a By Category sorted view.

Import new holidays

To import the new holidays you can reselect the option for the holidays of your country in the Add Holidays… dialog;

  • Outlook 2007 and previous
    Tools-> Options…-> button Calendar Options…-> button Add Holidays…
  • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
    File-> section: Options-> section: Calendar-> group: Calendar Options-> button: Add Holidays…

Holiday updates

Below you’ll find a list of the latest holiday updates supplied by Microsoft.

Note: The standalone hol-file can be used with all Outlook versions and not just Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 as the download page might suggest. See below for more information on how to import the holidays included in the hol-file.

Manual holiday updates (hol- files)

Outlook holiday files have the .hol extension. If you have an updated hol-file that you wish to use with Outlook, then you can simply double click it to to launch the “Add Holidays to Calendar” dialog. You can use this method for instance to import holiday updates or custom holidays or vacation lists provided by your company.

When you create a hol-file of your own, make sure you save it in the Unicode format (use the Save As… option when using Notepad).

When you have an updated holidays file (.hol), you can double click on it to directly open it with Outlook and select which holidays to import.
When you have an updated holidays file (.hol),
you can double click on it to directly open it with
Outlook and select which holidays to import.

Replacing the current hol-file of Outlook

If you want it to replace the holidays list of Outlook, then you can overwrite the outlook.hol file that is located in the language ID folder of the Office installation directory.

Examples of locations:

  • English version of Outlook 2007 on a 32-bit version of Windows
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\1033
  • English version of 32-bit Outlook 2010 on a 64-bit version of Windows
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office (x86)\Office14\1033
  • Dutch version of 64-bit Outlook 2010 on a 64-bit version of Windows
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\1043
  • English version of 64-bit Outlook 2013 on a 64-bit version of Windows
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\1033

Note 1: To lookup the language ID folder for your language you can use this table. You need to look in the “LCID Dec” column for the correct number.

Note 2: If you are using Outlook 2000 or previous, then the holiday definition files are saved in a txt-file and the default file is called outlook.txt. Also, this file must be saved in the ANSI format. Because of the txt-extension, the aforementioned double click method will not work. Instead, you’ll have to place it in the language ID folder of the Office installation directory and use the “Add Holidays” function in Outlook.



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