10 Useful Outlook Command Line Switches

One of the most overlooked Outlook features is it’s launching with command line switches. Here we outline the 10 most useful. Complete list of switches can be found here.

What is command line switch and how to use it?

When you click Outlook icon it starts a program named Outlook.exe. A command line switch is an additional argument added to this program Outlook.exe.

So to use the command line switch you have to find program Outlook.exe. Usually it should be like this - "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Outlook.exe", it might be Program Files (x86) if you are running 64 bit Windows, and it also might be in Office12 folder (in case of Outlook 2010). So when you know the path to Outlook, make note of this path.

Then to use the command line switch, click Start > Run (or alternatively click windows button on your keyboard + r), then enter Outlook.exe full path, make a space and enter command line switch and click enter (e.g. "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Outlook.exe" /Cleanreminders).

NOTE - paths that include spaces between words must be enclosed in quotation marks (") and are case sensitive.

Now the 10 most useful switches:

SWITCH DESCRIPTION
/a Creates an item with the specified file as an attachment.
Example:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Outlook.exe" /a "C:\My Documents\labels.doc"
/checkclient Prompts for the default manager of e-mail, news, and contacts.
/cleanprofile Removes invalid profile keys and recreates default registry keys where applicable.
/cleanpst Launches Outlook with a clean Personal Folders file (.pst).
/cleansniff Deletes duplicate reminder messages.
/noextensions Starts Outlook with extensions turned off, but listed in the Add-In Manager.
/nopollmail Starts Outlook without checking mail at startup.
/p msgfilename Prints the specified message (.msg). Does not work with HTML.
/profiles Opens the Choose Profile dialog box regardless of the Options setting on the Tools menu.
/select foldername Starts Outlook and opens the specified folder in a new window. For example, to open Outlook and display the default calendar use: "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Outlook.exe" /select outlook:calendar

Import/Export Outlook Contacts or Calendar from Command Line