BEST TIPS: Outlook On Windows 8 and 8.1

Touch screen experience for personal computers, improved security, and performance have made Windows 8 a great hit amongst users. If you are an Outlook user and thinking of or have upgraded to Win 8 or 8.1, then here are some guidelines that may prove helpful to have a trouble-free startup experience.

Windows 8 support three versions of Outlook®: 2007, 2010, and 2013 including the respective versions of Business Card Manager. There is no support to Outlook 2003 due to end of Support Life Cycle for it.

#1: Upgrading to Windows 8 from Windows XP or Vista
While upgrading from Windows XP or Vista, you get the option to “Keep personal files” or “Nothing”. If you choose to keep personal files only, ensure that you do maintain a backup of Outlook data files (PST) so that in case the upgrading process goes wrong, you still have the data preserved for restoration.
You can also use the built in utility called Windows Easy Transfer that allows migrating the settings, files, emails, pictures from an older version of Windows to a newer one. This will prove helpful in case of upgrading from Windows XP, Vista to Windows 8. You can either transfer the files and related data on same computer or on different computer. Although this works well for most of the applications but it might create issues while using it with MS Outlook. In some cases the issue might get fixed by recreated the Outlook profile while in some the PST files are not the part of transfer which results into complete loss of the mail data.


For backing up the data files of Outlook, simply copy the PST file and save it to any external storage device. This might not save the application settings but will definitely make the database safe which the upgrading process takes place.

#2: Upgrading from Windows 7

In this case, upgrading is quite easy. The data file and settings will be as it is presented in Windows 8. Although everything will be available in-place but it is a good practice to maintain a backup of the data file.

Note: When upgrading from Win 7 to Win 8.1, the facility to preserve the desktop applications is not offered. Therefore, it is recommended to first go for in-place upgrade to Win 8 and then upgrade to Win 8.1 which is available free of cost.


#3: Windows 8 and Support to POP3 Accounts

Ever since the launch of Windows 8 OS, there is a buzz around that there is no support for POP3 accounts which is actually a MYTH. This is only true for the default Windows 8 Mail App. For rest of the mailing applications like MS Outlook, both POP3 and IMAP accounts are supported.

The Mail app that is integrated with Windows 8 extends support for IMAP, Exchange Server,, and the Gmail account. Although the option for POP3 is provided during configuration, when the option is selected, the following message will pop up on screen:


Nevertheless, this will happen only with the Mail App and the condition does not apply on any of the Outlook editions.

#4: Compatibility with Add-Ins

Add-ins play an important role in improving the performance of application. If add-ins are used with Outlook (2007, 2010, or 2013), it has to be ascertain that they are compatible with Windows 8. Possibly, you will find out that most of the add-ins work well on Win 8 and their successful working depends more upon MS Outlook than on Windows OS used.

After upgrading the Windows OS, if there is problem in starting up the mailing services with Outlook, then it is recommended to disable the add-in as the first troubleshooting step.


#5: Rebuilding the Search Index

Once you upgrade the OS, the Search feature in Outlook might not work. This is a common problem and the first reaction in the case should be to wait for some time. Initially, the Windows search will take time to index the Outlook content or might perform this job when the system is in idle state.  If the problem persist even after the system is left in idle mode, then try rebuilding the index using following steps as there is the possibility is that the index itself is corrupt:

Open Control Panel, go to “Indexing Options”, click on “Advanced”, and then the “Rebuild” button.

This will start rebuilding the index and the overall time taken in the process completely depends upon the fact as how many documents has to be indexed. While the indexing process is done, the performance of system will be slow.

#6: The “Work File” Error

On upgrading to Windows 8, you might get problem in downloading the images from the internet or an error message that states:

Outlook could not create the work file. Check the TEMP environment variable.

Resolution to this problem can be done in two steps:

Step #1: Locate Temporary Internet Files (TIF) and reset their registry location to default. The registry value for TIF will be found at:


Here, verify that the location of key is set to

“%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files”

Step #2: Remove the Registry Entry for “Secure Template Folder”.

The temporary files for Outlook that are retrieved from internet gets stored into the TIF folder in registry. To ascertain that the folder is created properly, the reference to the folder is created. Following this, MS Outlook will re-create a registry entry.


Now, delete the Key Name and restart the system and check out if the problem is fixed.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

BEST TIPS: Outlook On Windows 8 and 8.1

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