How will you use the exciting new features Microsoft’s new update offers?

The web version of Outlook in Office 365 has gotten an update, a new name and a new look. Microsoft’s browser-based Outlook experience, formerly known as Outlook Web App (OWA for short) will now simply be called Outlook on the web. But name isn’t the only thing that’s new.

outlook icon on wall

Outlook on the web also saw the rollout of a new user interface (UI) and new features that should make you even more efficient when managing your inbox and calendar. Let’s take a closer look at what’s new.

Less clutter and more prominent commands make you more efficient

Sporting a simplified, cleaner UI, Outlook on the web has been redesigned to help you work more efficiently. The new, unified Action bar gives you quick access to the most common commands – replying to emails, adding an event to your calendar, clearing your inbox and the search feature – and is available across Mail, Calendar, People and Task experiences in Outlook on the web.
Other tweaks include a larger and more prominent subject line as well as indented messages in the reading pane for easier reading. More prominent buttons in Calendar make creating a new meeting request simpler and more straightforward.

Staying on top of your inbox is easier

There are several new tools that will help you sort email and identify priority items that need to be tackled first including:


Want to keep an important message handy right at the top of your inbox? Now you can. Pinned messages are easy to identify because they’re highlighted in yellow and will stay at the top of your inbox until you remove the pin. No more digging for buried messages!


Want a better way to manage emails from specific senders? Well that’s exactly what Sweep lets you do. Choose to keep messages from a specific sender for a specified number of days, only keep the latest message or delete all of that sender’s messages. It’s a great way to manage reoccurring messages like newsletters, digital coupons and any email received on a regular basis that requires no immediate attention.


A single click is all that’s needed to quickly move messages from your inbox into a folder of your choice.


We all make mistakes. And now the handy “undo” feature we all know and love has been added to Outlook on the web to make undoing unintended actions a cinch.

Improved single line view

Quickly scan the contents of your inbox using the new, improved single line view. This view turns off the preview pane and shows the message contents in-line with the subject line. Open messages in a single click and perform common actions in bulk. Easier and faster inbox management? Yes, please!

Immersive reading pane

When you click on a message using single view, the message will display in the same window – no pesky popups or separate windows!

Give emails some personal pizazz

Expressing yourself in email has never been easier – or more fun! New formatting tools allow you to resize images, add custom borders, apply shadow effects, rotate images and more so you can tell your story in pictures. Use emojis to express yourself and make sure your personality shines in every email you send.

Easily get in touch with the people you talk to most

Placing your cursor over the recipient line (To, Cc, Bcc) will show a list of suggestions for the people and distribution groups you email most often. The list is filtered and refined as you type to only show you the contacts that match your search. Because the common recipients list is intelligent, it will adapt as the people you email changes over time.

Work-life balance just got a whole lot easier

Planning your schedule doesn’t have to be tough. With a five-day weather forecast included right in your calendar, you’ll never be without an umbrella again! Icons next to each day will give you a quick look at the forecast and clicking on them will give you a more detailed view.
To complement the traditional color-coding system, Calendar now supports charms – icons that serve as visual cues to quickly identify specific kinds of events. Airplanes for a booked flight, a knife and fork for business dinners, a music note for your piano lesson. There are a variety of charms to choose from and once selected, they’ll show up in the lower right corner of the calendar event.
Charms and weather aren’t the only new features, additional ones include:

Email reminders

Create an email reminder for any Calendar event. It’s easy; just specify the recipient list, add a brief message, set the day and time you want it sent and you’re good to go.

Birthdays and holidays

New birthday and holiday calendars will help you stay on top of your work and personal life. Incorporate them into your work calendar or view them separately – the choice is yours.

The mobile browser experience got a niptuck, too

Whether you use Windows Phone, iOS or Android, Outlook apps deeply integrates with all of these platforms. But maybe you need to access your Office 365 email on a device that doesn’t have the app installed – perhaps your friend’s phone – what then? Sign into right in the browser and enjoy these UI and navigational improvements:

  • UI update to closer resemble the Outlook apps on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android
  • Improved navigation to switch between Mail, Calendar and People
  • More prominent search command
  • Switch between emails without returning to the message list
  • Update time strip that shows the full week within the calendar
  • Improved UI for creating new Calendar events and using the scheduling assistant

When you should expect these changes

While users with an Office 365 plan that includes Exchange Online who have opted into Office’s First Release program should have gotten these updates on August 4. The rest of us will begin seeing these updates in the first week of September.

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