Microsoft Adding Pinned Messages to Outlook on the Web

Good-bye Outlook Web App. Microsoft's browser-based Outlook software is rebranded, gaining new features and a revamped UI.


Outlook Web App is now Outlook on the Web, the company announced on Aug. 4. And with the name change, Microsoft is soon issuing an update that tweaks the user interface and adds new capabilities.

These include a new Pin function that allows users to prominently affix important messages to a noticeable part of their screens. "You can now pin any message in your inbox to have it highlighted in yellow and kept at the top of your inbox," wrote the Microsoft Outlook team in an Office Blogs post. "Pins are a terrific way to keep important messages handy and prevent them from getting buried in your inbox."

"Outlook on the Web now sports a simplified, cleaner UI to help you work more efficiently," said the Outlook group. "This starts with the new action bar available across our Mail, Calendar, People and Task experiences in Outlook on the Web. The Action toolbar provides quick access to the most common commands, whether you are clearing out your inbox, replying to an email, or adding an event to your calendar."

Subject lines appear larger and the reading pane indents messages to make them easier to read. In the Calendar view, improved navigation and more prominent buttons help users create and manage their appointments more intuitively. Outlook on the Web will also display a five-day weather forecast in the Calendar. New "charms" allow users to add icons like an airplane for upcoming travel to their scheduled events.'s "inbox zero"-friendly Sweep feature is making the jump to Outlook on the Web.

"It is great for managing reoccurring messages like newsletters, digital coupons, and other email received on a regular basis," stated the Outlook Team. "With Sweep, you can choose to keep messages from a specific sender for a specified number of days, only keep the latest message, or delete all messages from the sender."

Other new features include one-click archiving, a dedicated undo button, single-line previews and a reading pane that now occupies the same view as the message list instead of a separate pop-up window or tab. Placing a cursor over the recipient line generates a list of frequently emailed contacts while a learning auto-complete capability narrows down the right contacts as users type.

The authoring experience has been upgraded to ease the creation of visually rich emails, said Microsoft. "Outlook on the Web now provides the ability to easily resize images, add custom borders, apply shadow effects, rotate images and more."

Finally, Outlook on the Web renders better on mobile device browsers, mimicking the look and feel of its native app counterparts on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. Users will be able to "switch between emails without returning to the message list" and view a full week in the Calendar with an updated time strip, among other capabilities, said Microsoft.

The new and improved Outlook on the Web will be available to Office 365 plan customers with Exchange Online during the first week of September. Members of Microsoft's First Release early-access program can test the new functionality now.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...