Microsoft Outlook add-ins are solutions that software developers create to add or enhance certain functionalities that Outlook doesn’t provide. Add-ins run inside of other programs and are usually harmless pieces of software. For instance, if you run an online meeting service like Skype, it installs an Outlook add-in to make its usage easier.
Most of the time they are automatically installed when you install an application on your PC, and sometimes you won’t even realize they exist until they start causing trouble. If you encounter errors that are slowing down Outlook, the add-ins might play a part in the blame. In such situations, you may have to disable all add-ins and plugins or identify the problematic one and disable it.
Furthermore, since you may never use some of these plugins, they become outdated, causing compatibility issues that consequently cause Outlook to freeze, crash or refuse to launch.
This tutorial teaches you how to enable, disable and remove Microsoft Outlook add-ins and plugins.
Where Do You Find Add-Ins in Outlook?
Microsoft Outlook comes pre-installed with several add-ins, although they are not activated by default. They add custom commands to the programs you’ve installed with the sole purpose of increasing productivity.
To view which add-ins you’ve installed in Outlook, open File > Options > Add-ins. Here you’ll find a list of all pre-installed add-ins as well as third-party add-ins for programs that you’ve installed.
How to Disable All Add-Ins in Outlook
If you suspect an add-in to be causing some sort of error in Microsoft Outlook, troubleshooting the source of the problem will help you close in on the problematic add-in. A quick way to know which add-in is slowing Outlook down or causing it to crash is to disable all of them.
If the problem disappears, re-enabling them one by one will make it easier to identify the culprit.
To disable all the add-ins at once, run Outlook in Safe Mode. There are a number of methods you can use to start Outlook in Safe Mode. This will depend on the version of Windows and Outlook that you’re running. The following are general methods that apply across all versions.
Method 1: Using the CTRL Key
- Hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and click the Outlook icon on your taskbar or from the Start menu. If the icon is on your Desktop, hold down the Ctrl key and double-click the icon.
- Select “Yes” on the confirmation message window that pops up. This opens Outlook in Safe Mode.
Method 2: Using the Run Dialog Box
- Press the Windows Key+R, and type outlook.exe /safe.
- Hit “Enter”.
- Select the profile you want to launch (usually, you will only find one profile – “Outlook”).
- Click “OK” to open Outlook in Safe Mode.
The name of Outlook in the header will change to Microsoft Outlook (Safe Mode).
This action disables all of the Outlook add-ins except Microsoft Office add-ins, which can rarely cause errors. You can now use Outlook with all the add-ins disabled.
How to Turn Off Plugins and Add-Ins in Microsoft Outlook Individually
You may have a good idea of which add-in or plugin is causing issues in Outlook. For instance, if the error started immediately after installing a program, then you’ll automatically know that the add-ins of that particular software are the problem.
If that’s the case, here’s what you need to do:
- Click “File” in Outlook, and then select “Options”.
- Select the “Add-ins” segment, and ensure that “COM Add-ins” is selected in the “Manage:” dropdown list at the bottom of the page.
- Click the “Go” button.
- Here, you’ll see a list of add-ins installed in Outlook. To disable a specific add-in, uncheck the checkbox, and then click “OK”.
- To confirm that you’ve disabled that add-in, go to File > Options > Add-ins, and you’ll see the disabled add-in listed under the “Inactive Application Add-ins” section.
If you still encounter the same Outlook issue after disabling the add-in, keep disabling and testing each add-in individually until you find the problematic one.
How to Remove Individual Add-Ins
Once you’ve established the faulty add-in, you can remove it from your Outlook using the steps below:
- Launch Outlook and open File > Options > Add-ins.
- Make sure “COM Add-ins” is selected in the “Manage:” dropdown menu and then click “Go…”.
- Select the Add-in you want to remove, and click “Remove”
How to Enable Individual Add-Ins
Once you’ve removed the trouble-causing add-in and Outlook starts to function properly again, you can re-enable the rest of the add-ins. Here are the steps to follow:
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 above.
- The checkboxes of disabled add-ins will not be checked. To enable the add-in you want, check the checkbox, and then click “OK”.
- Restart Outlook to allow the add-ins to load properly.
Add-ins don’t always cause Outlook to freeze or crash, but it’s advisable to disable them when troubleshooting issues affecting Microsoft Outlook. This is especially helpful if you just installed software that caused Outlook to act up.
How to Maintain Your PC
Add-ins are not to blame all the time for slow PC performance. Lack of PC maintenance over a long period of time leads to system clogs where hundreds of unnecessary junk files and software pieces take valuable disk space.
Although regular PC tune-ups can be tricky in our busy lives, Auslogics BoostSpeed makes your life easier. With the automatic system maintenance feature, you can schedule the program to auto-clean your PC after a specific period.
This software is designed to ensure that your old PC performs like a new one. With 18 top-notch modules, Auslogics BoostSpeed gives you an array of options to optimize your PC to ensure smooth performance.
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Auslogics BoostSpeed is the program to have on your PC, whether it’s new or old, to tweak your system and boost overall performance.
If you have any questions, please let us know via the comments section below.