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Restore last Microsoft Outlook 2010 email session

Updated on February 24, 2014

Wow! What I said when I found this Outlook 2010 hidden feature - Restore Last Session

Do you ever shutdown your computer for the day, and wish it'd open up your emails right where you left them? Now it can, with Outlook 2010.

With a few simple steps, you can create a clickable icon that restores your last Outlook session, reopening all emails, folders, and other items that were open when Outlook last closed.

This is wonderful because it saves time at the end of one workday, and at the beginning of the next. When it's quitting time, I just shut down without worrying about what I was working on. When I start up, I restore the last session so that everything is where I left it the day before :)

Why is restoring an Outlook session useful?

It saves time!

During the busy day, you might find yourself working with many different emails, calendar appointments, tasks, and folders open... suddenly, it's time to turn off the computer! Either it crashes or you have to leave, but one way or another you're about to lose your place among all of those open items.

Normally, you'd wish you had either time to close and file those items in an organized fashion before the Outlook session closes. But, if you use this handy shortcut, you no longer need to care about that. Whenever you want to restore the last Outlook session, just click the shortcut which you'll be creating, by following the steps in this article - and your Outlook desktop reopens to exactly where you left off!

Summary of steps to enable restoring your last Outlook session - More details and pictures will follow

It looks like a lot of steps, but it's actually really simple.

You'll create a shortcut ICON for Outlook 2010,

and you'll add the following, excluding the quotes: " /restore" to the end of the Shortcut Target.

  1. Click on the Windows START button
  2. Type into the search bar, "Microsoft Outlook 2010"
  3. Right-click the Microsoft Outlook 2010 file that it found
  4. Left-click "Send to"
  5. Left-click "Desktop (create shortcut)"
  6. Right-click the ICON on your desktop, "OUTLOOK.EXE - Shortcut"
  7. Left-click the TAB called, "Shortcut" and see the text resembling: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\OUTLOOK.EXE"
  8. Add a SPACE after "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\OUTLOOK.EXE" and then type /restore
  9. It should now contain a value resembling: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\OUTLOOK.EXE" /restore
  10. Left-click OK
  11. Now you can Left-click this ICON whenever you want to start Outlook using the last session's open items.

Images...

These images outline what you should see as you progress through the numbered steps above.

Objective: Create the shortcut

steps 1 - 5

Navigate through the Windows START button,

search for Office 2010,

create a shortcut on the desktop.

How to create the Microsoft Outlook 2010 shortcut on your desktop (Steps 1-5)

How to create the Microsoft Outlook 2010 shortcut on your desktop (Steps 1-5)
How to create the Microsoft Outlook 2010 shortcut on your desktop (Steps 1-5)

Objective: Locate the Shortcut TARGET

Steps 6 - 7

Find the shortcut on the Desktop, "OUTLOOK.EXE - Shortcut",

Right-click and choose "Properties",

then navigate to the TAB that's titled, "Shortcut".

The shortcut to use, to restore the last Outlook 2010 session (Steps 6-7)

The shortcut to use, to restore the last Outlook 2010 session (Steps 6-7)
The shortcut to use, to restore the last Outlook 2010 session (Steps 6-7)

Objective: Edit the shortcut to /restore the last session

Steps 8-10

Append " /restore" to the TARGET of the shortcut.

Don't include the quotation marks, and

don't forget to precede /restore with a SPACE character.

How to modify the shortcut to RESTORE your session (Steps 8-10)

How to modify the shortcut to RESTORE your session (Steps 8-10)
How to modify the shortcut to RESTORE your session (Steps 8-10)

NOTE: you must TaskKill Outlook in order for it to save your restorable session!

Use the following shortcut to Force-close Outlook, so that it saves your Outlook Desktop for when you next open it with /restore!

Steps to create a shortcut that SAVES your last Outlook Session. - View these images, and the captions to see how to make this shortcut on your desktop!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
On the Desktop, right-click, choose NEW, then CREATE SHORTCUT.For the shortcut TARGET, type (without the quotes) "taskkill /F /IM OUTLOOK.EXE"Name the shortcut something that indicates it's going to kill the Outlook task.  I used "ForceCloseOUTLOOK.exe".Click this to close Outlook, saving your desktop so that it can be restored.
On the Desktop, right-click, choose NEW, then CREATE SHORTCUT.
On the Desktop, right-click, choose NEW, then CREATE SHORTCUT.
For the shortcut TARGET, type (without the quotes) "taskkill /F /IM OUTLOOK.EXE"
For the shortcut TARGET, type (without the quotes) "taskkill /F /IM OUTLOOK.EXE"
Name the shortcut something that indicates it's going to kill the Outlook task.  I used "ForceCloseOUTLOOK.exe".
Name the shortcut something that indicates it's going to kill the Outlook task. I used "ForceCloseOUTLOOK.exe".
Click this to close Outlook, saving your desktop so that it can be restored.
Click this to close Outlook, saving your desktop so that it can be restored.

I wrote this lens as a Squid Woot Challenge: "Something I did yesterday..."

Need help? Feel like sharing thoughts? What do you think? :) - Did you know about this feature? Do you know of similar ones, in other programs?

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    • profile image

      GregFisher32 2 years ago

      My work computer won't let me modify the "target". I am on a corporate server so maybe that is the problem? Any ideas would be much appreciated! I desperately need this feature!!!

    • profile image

      Hamid 3 years ago

      Excellent tips; have used this trick many a times.

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