Customizing the Ribbon in Outlook 2013

Did you know you can customize the Ribbon in multiple windows in Outlook? If you want to permanently add or remove options to declutter unused tools or make your workflow more efficient, here’s how!

There are two types of tabs by default in Outlook. Main Tabs are the Ribbon items you see while in your Inbox or in Mail view: Home, Send/Receive, Folder, and View.

Tool Tabs are the tabs on the Ribbon for Calendar, Task, Search, Attachment, and Compose windows. For example, when you go to Calendar > New Appointment, the New Appointment window has its own Ribbon with Tool Tabs.

How is the Ribbon organized?

The Ribbon has three layers of organization: There are Tabs, which are the primary tabs across the Ribbon. Tabs contain groups of related commands. Groups contain commands, which you may also think of as tools or buttons. For example, the Home tab on the Mail screen has a New group which contains the New Email and New Items commands.

How to Start

  1. Go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon.
  2. On the right side, select Main Tabs, Tool Tabs, or All Tabs from the Customize the Ribbon drop-down list.

    If you’re customizing the regular Ribbon for the frequently used Mail and Calendar screens, choose Main Tabs. If you’re customizing the Ribbon for the Compose email window or New Appointment window, you’ll want to select Tool Tabs. If you want your change to affect both, choose All Tabs.

Now you can add or remove tabs, groups, and sometimes individual commands.

  • If you want to remove an entire tab, uncheck the tab on the right side.
  • If you want to remove a group of commands on a tab, drill down into the tab on the right by clicking on the expanding + symbols. Click on the group, then click the << Remove button between the two columns.
  • To turn on a tab (for example, the Developer tab), check the box next to the tab on the right side. You may need to scroll down the list to see other disabled tabs.
  • To add a group or individual command, select a command in the left column, then click the Add >> button between the columns. From the Choose commands from drop-down, you can filter options to what you’re looking for.

When you’re done making your changes, click OK.

And it’s that simple!


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