Windows 11 and Outlook compatibility
Now that Windows 11 is available, I’m trying to figure out whether it is safe for me to upgrade to it.
Which versions of Outlook are supported on Windows 11?
Officially, Windows 11 supports all the Outlook versions which haven’t reached the end of their lifecycle yet and were in mainstream support at the time of launch. Currently, these Outlook versions are;
- Microsoft 365 Apps (Office 365)
- Outlook 2021
- Outlook 2019
- Outlook 2016
Note: Outlook 2013 isn’t supported on Windows 11 as it was no longer in mainstream support at the launch date of Windows 11. Outlook 2013 remains supported via Extended Support on Windows 10 until April 11, 2023.
Update before use!
Before starting Outlook or any other Office application, make sure you apply the latest updates first.
When you are using Microsoft 365 or a Click-to-Run installation of Office or Outlook, you’re automatically being kept up-to-date.
When you are using a so-called traditional “msi-installation” (Outlook 2016 Volume License only), you’ll need to configure and use Windows Update to install these updates;
- Open the Settings App
- When pinned to the Start Menu
- When not pinned to the Start Menu
Start-> All Apps-> Settings
- When pinned to the Start Menu
- In the Settings dialog click on: Windows Update
- In the Windows Update section click on the “Advanced options” button.
- Verify that you have selected the option: Receive update for other Microsoft products.
- Press the Back button in the top left corner and press: Check for updates.
You may need to restart and run Windows Update multiple times before all updates are installed.
Configure Windows Update to also check for updates for other Microsoft Products like Microsoft Office.
When you are still using Outlook 2013 or previous, you may be able to install it on Windows 11 but there are various compatibility issues that you could run into.
These issues won’t get fixed since Outlook 2013 and earlier have been out of mainstream support for quite some time now. Outlook 2010 and earlier have been out of extended support as well which means they no longer get any security updates anymore either.
If upgrading to a supported version of Outlook is not an option to you, then it is recommended to use an alternative email program instead.
Windows 11 has a Mail and Calendar app built-in that supports all the common email protocols; POP3, IMAP and Exchange ActiveSync (EAS).
Another, but 3rd party, alternative would be eM Client, which has a similar look and feel to Outlook and is free for personal use.
Never use Compatibility Mode!
When you encounter issues with running Outlook on Windows 11, don’t use the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter!
Running Outlook in any of the Compatibility configurations isn’t needed and isn’t supported either. This also applies when you attempt to run Outlook 2013 or previous on Windows 11; It will not help you and it could even make things worse!
All the basic troubleshooting steps still apply when running Outlook on Windows 11. For step-by-step instructions to get Outlook in a working state again see the guide Outlook doesn’t start, crashes or shows Not Responding.