For a long time, way too long, I would randomly find that Microsoft Outlook would stay open, minimized in my notification area (I have “Hide When Minimized” enabled). This would lead to frustration after finding out that all my mail was still being downloaded to the client overnight while trying to see new mail via my mobile devices. It would also lead me to curse Microsoft for thinking that Outlook was so great it didn’t need to close.
But alas, for unknown reasons to me, if you run the Outlook program again via a shortcut, instead of the task-bar or notification area icon, it will open a new “window”. To me, all this looks like is the window opened back up for me.
The way I figured out that, what I call, multiple instances where open was clicking the notification area icon and seeing a list of open Outlooks. Each “instance” would need to be closed. How frustrating!
For reference I am using Outlook 2010, but I think this dates back to 2007. It’s technically not another instance due to the fact that only one Outlook.exe is running at a given time. Microsoft just calls these a new window.
To only allow one Outlook “instance” to be open at a given time, add the “/recycle” switch to the target path.
Simple, right? Nada. Now why would that be simple?
If you open the properties of the “Microsoft Outlook 2010″ shortcut in Windows 7, you will find that the target value is greyed out with the value of “Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010″ or whatever version you have installed.
I tried looking for a workaround for a few minutes but found none directly related to modifying this particular shortcut.
What I had to do was go to the path, in my case ”C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\”, and create a new shortcut to Outlook. I then appended the “/recycle” switch to the now enabled Target value in the properties window and “pinned” it to my start menu, removing the other one.
This new shortcut will now allow you to close the Outlook program without frustration or insanity.