I’ve set Outlook to hide to the Notification Area when minimized to continue to run it in the background.
I then relaunch Outlook again either via the Start Menu, a Desktop shortcut or by double clicking the Outlook icon in the Notification Area.
However, each time that I re-launch Outlook, it actually creates a new Outlook window instead of reusing the Outlook window that was already running. To actually close Outlook then, I have to close all the additionally opened windows as well.
How can I stop this and make it reuse the original Outlook window?
When you’ve set Outlook to Hide When Minimized, you must use the Outlook icon in the Notification Area to relaunch it without a new Outlook window.
If you also want to use other methods to start Outlook, like from a shortcut in the Start Menu or Desktop, you must make a small alteration to the shortcut to prevent it from creating a new Outlook window.
Pinned to the Taskbar
If you have pinned Outlook to the Taskbar and have also set the Outlook option “Hide When Minimized” then the pinned Outlook shortcut will launch a new Outlook window when clicked again.
In this case, it might be wise to simply disable the “Hide When Minimized” option completely. After all, if you have pinned Outlook to the Taskbar, minimizing it to the Notification Area will not free up any space on the Taskbar anyway.
To disable this option, click on the Outlook icon in the Notification Area and disable “Hide When Minimized”.
Disable “Hide When Minimized” for Outlook in 3 clicks.
Not pinned to the Taskbar
If you do not have Outlook pinned to the Taskbar but for instance to the Start Menu or have a shortcut to Outlook on your Desktop, make sure your shortcut holds the /recycle switch.
The default Outlook shortcut does not hold this switch and cannot be added to include it. You’ll have to create a new Outlook shortcut for this;
- Right click on an empty space on your Desktop and choose New-> Shortcut
- Type the path to outlook.exe between quotes or browse to its location via the Browse… button.
- Type a space behind the path and then add:
- The entire line should now look like this;
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\OUTLOOK.EXE" /recycle
- This example is for a 64-bit version of Outlook 2016 (Retail), 2019, and 365 on a 64-bit version of Windows.
- Click Next.
- Name your shortcut for instance: Microsoft Office Outlook.
- Click Finish.
Creating a custom Outlook shortcut with the “recycle” command line switch.
Note: The downside of using a custom shortcut for Outlook is that it will not include the Tasks option when right clicking on the Outlook icon in the Taskbar (to reveal the Jump List).