While I'm a Thunderbird user at heart, I run Microsoft Outlook as well on all of my computer systems. I have tested and worked with dozens of third party Outlook tools over the past years of which a few have proven to be very useful.
This article offers a short but handy list of Microsoft Outlook downloads that put the messaging software to the next level. The following seven programs are partially third party tools and partially add-ins. I have added a short description to each listing, a screenshot, a link to a previous review here on Ghacks and a link to the developer website.
One area where Outlook could need some improvement is statistics and information. That's changed by the portable third party tool Outlook Stats View by one of my favorite Windows developers Nirsoft. It basically scans all emails and displays information about all users that emails have been send to or received from. Very handy for a top ten listing of your most important email partners. [homepage]
Outlook data is stored in pst files which use a weak encryption. The free Outlook Password Recovery software can retrieve the passwords so that it is possible to access the data if the original password has been forgotten or lost. [homepage]
Email attachments are automatically stored in a temp file by Microsoft Outlook. This can be problematic for a number of reasons, including security, privacy and the notorious can't create file errors. The temporary files cleaner can be used to delete the files with the click of a button. That's handy if you do not want to hunt down the folder that is used by Outlook on the system. [homepage]
This is an Outlook add-in that can reduce the size of the Outlook inbox by compressing threads. It basically removes redundant information from the threads. Only really useful if the inbox quota has been set to a very low level in your office. [homepage]
Outlook blocks certain email attachments by default for email security. This includes for instance executable files. Users who do not need those extra security protection in Outlook, for instance if they are running a security software that includes an email scanner. This program can be used to remove the filter from specific file types that are otherwise blocked by the email client. [homepage]
Attachments take up valuable space. One trick to cope with that is to extract attachments from Outlook to free up space. This is again helpful mostly in corporate offices with email quotas, but can be handy on home PCs as well if the hard drive is not to big. You can use this program to extract attachments from Outlook emails. This moves the attachments to one of the computer's hard drives. It is possible to link to those files in the emails so that no information are lost. [homepage]
It can happen that you delete an email or attachment that you did not want to delete. This program tries to recover previously deleted email attachments. It uses the temporary folder that Outlook uses to store email attachments in. It the attachment is still in the folder it is recoverable. [homepage]
Did I miss a tool? Let me know in the comments.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.