Autostart an Office program you use every day by adding a shortcut to the Windows Startup folder.
Windows 10 or 8
Open the Windows Run dialog (Windows Key + R).
Copy the following path to the Run dialog, and then press Enter.
Open the Start Screen, right-click the Office program you want to automatically start, and click Open file location. This might be under the More submenu.
Tip: If your program isn’t listed, right-click the Start screen, and click All Apps.
Copy (Ctrl + C) the program shortcut and then paste (CTRL +V) it to the Startup folder you opened in Step 2.
Your program will automatically start the next time you start your computer. If you ever want to remove a program from autostart, delete the shortcut from the Startup folder (Steps 1 and 2).
Click Start > All Programs > Microsoft Office.
Right-click the icon of the program you want to start automatically, and then click Copy (or press Ctrl + C).
In the All Programs list, right-click the Startup folder, and then click Explore.
Click Organize > Paste (or press Ctrl+V) to paste the program shortcut into the Startup folder.
By default, when you start Outlook, the inbox of the first email account you added is automatically opened. However, that may not be the email folder you use most.
You can choose a different folder in that account or in a different account when Outlook opens. Maybe you created a rule to move email from a specific person or company into a folder and you want to access that folder automatically when you open Outlook. Or, maybe you want to open an inbox from an account you added recently. We’ll show you how to select which folder opens automatically.
To get started, click the “File” tab on the main Outlook window.
On the backstage screen, click “Options” in the list of items on the left.
On the Options dialog box, click “Advanced” in the list of items on the left.
In the Outlook start and exit section on the right, click the “Browse” button to the right of the “Start Outlook in this folder” box.
On the Select Folders dialog box, all your accounts are listed with their respective folders under them. Select any folder from any account and click the “OK” button.
Click the “OK” button on the Options dialog box.
Now, when you open Outlook, your chosen folder will open automatically.
Pro tips for everyday life
If you would like to change the startup folder when you start Outlook, keep reading this tutorial. By default, when you open Outlook, Outlook opens at the
mail folder of the first email account you have added. If you want to select a different mail folder at Outlook 2016/2019 startup, follow the instructions below.
How to Set a Different Outlook Startup folder (Outlook 2019, 2016).
To force Outlook to open at a different folder at startup, follow the instructions below:
1. Click the
menu and then click
on the left.
3. Under ‘Outlook start and exit’ options, click the
button next to the ‘
Start Outlook in this folder’
4. Now, Select which mail folder you want Outlook to start and click
one more time to close the Outlook options.
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When Outlook is opened it automatically opens the default email folder or inbox of first email account in Outlook applications. Depending upon preferences, we need to change the settings as it may not be the folder we use. Outlook flexible nature allows us to edit these settings. We can change outlook startup folder or start up screen easily.
There might be a situation where we want to check mails of recent projects first or you move mails to specific folder and see them as soon as outlook open. Here are the steps to select folder that will open automatically on outlook as soon as you start it. In order to set up a default start up folder follow the given steps
Change Outlook Startup Folder
- Open MS outlook application in your system and click on Files Tab
- Settings available under Files section will appear click on the Options tab
- General settings of Outlook will open, check for Advanced tab and click on it
- A new dialog box will open with options for working with Outlook
- Go to Outlook Start and exit section and click on Browse button for ‘Start Outlook in this folder’
- Now all the accounts with their respective folders added in them will open
- Select the folder which you want to open on startup and click on OK button
- Again press the OK button in Outlook Options dialog box
- Exit and close the outlook
- Open Outlook again and you will see the startup folder selected by you.
The expanded and collapsed folder appeared same as they were before when you close Outlook and start it again. It does not make any changes upon selected folder. The same arrangement is displayed on Outlook startup screen. You can use CTRL+ – and CTRL ++ to collapse and expand all folders, accounts, groups respectively. You can change the settings later on if you create folders for another task or project.
When you start Microsoft Outlook, by default it opens the inbox. It may or may not be the email folder you use the most nor is it the folder that you want to see first of all. Maybe the first folder that you want to open is the one that gives you the latest updates on the shares or the tech articles. You can easily change this behavior and force Outlook to open a specified folder when launching. Whatever it is that you want to view first, you can change the Outlook startup folder that you wish to view.
If you have created a filter to move emails from a specific sender or company into another folder, you can access that folder automatically when you open Outlook. It is up to you, to select the folder that you want to access when you launch Outlook.
The steps to change the startup folder are the same in Outlook 2016, 2013 and Outlook 2010! In Outlook 2007 too, the steps are the same but the menu options are slightly different.
To change the startup folder:
- Launch Outlook >File >Account Information >Options from the Backstage view, as displayed in the illustration below.
- From the Outlook Options screen, select Advanced from the left panel.
- In the Outlook Options screen, click the Browse button under the OutlookStart and Exit
- The Select Folders dialog box lists all your accounts with their respective folders under them. Select any folder from any account and click the OK. Ideally, you should use the inbox of your primary email account as the startup folder. The new startup folder replaces the earlier folder immediately and will be visible, when you start your MS-Outlook.
If you are using Outlook 2007, to change the startup folder:
- Launch Outlook >Tools >Options> Other >Advanced Options; select the required folder and click OK.
With few simple steps, you can change the startup folder in your Outlook as and when required.
Should you have any question on this topic, please feel free to ask in the comments section. Our reader community and we at TechWelkin will try to assist you. Thank you for using TechWelkin!
1 thought on “Microsoft Outlook: Change the Default Startup Folder”
Really appreciate your making this information available online. Cannot find anything on this topic in Outlook Help.
However, this didn’t work.
I use Microsoft Office Home and Business 2016.
Advanced Options now show “Unread Mail” as the startup folder. However, no folder is open with Outlook starts.
Surely any fault lies with Microsoft, not with your advice. However, I’d be delighted to not have to open “Unread Mail” several times of each and every day.
Last reviewed on August 19, 2019 15 Comments
Applies to: Outlook 2019 (Win), Outlook 2016 (Win), Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007
Newer versions of Outlook let you start in any folder in your profile. You can use this method to open Outlook with a non-default folder – this is especially handy if you want to start in a different calendar folder.
If your startup folder is a Mail folder and Outlook is opening in the Folder list, not the Mail module (or vice versa), see Choose the Startup Module below.
In Outlook 2010 and up, choose your startup folder at the top of the File, Options, Advanced page.
You can choose any folder type, however most people will select a calendar, their Inbox, or Outlook Today (select the mailbox folder).
You can choose a Search folder in your default data file, but Outlook will not use a search folder in a non-default data file. You’ll need to use a startup switch to start in a search folder in a non-default data file.
In Outlook 2007 and older, go to Tools, Options, Other tab, Advanced options and change the startup in this folder setting. Click Browse and select any folder from the folder list.
See Using Command Line Switches to Startup in a Folder below if your version of Outlook does not allow you to pick from any folder your profile.
If your version of Outlook limits you to selecting folders in the default PST, you can use a command line switch to start in other folders.
At Start menu, Run command (press Windows key + R to open), use the /select command as shown in the samples below, changing the folder path as needed.
The basic format is Outlook.exe /select outlook: followed by the folder path and name. If you want to use a different folder in the default message store, you need just the folder names in the path:
To open a folder stored in another PST in the profile, use the PST name and folder path:
To open a Search Folder in a non-default data file, use this format, wrapping the path in quotes because it contains spaces:
If you choose a Mail folder as your startup folder, Outlook should start in the Mail module. If it starts in the Folder module (or you want to start in the folder module) and the Mail module is the first one in Folder navigation, you can change a registry key.
- Exit outlook
- Update the registry key (for Outlook 2016/2019/365):
- Change BootModule to
- 0: Mail view
- 5: Folders view
- 6: Shortcuts view
Outlook will now start with selected view of the Folder pane
For more information on using command lines, see Using Command line switches
Outlook for desktop is one of the most common email clients used around the world. For this reason, people usually use it for multiple email accounts. However, if you have one primary email account that you use most often, you’ll want to select it as the default email account.
The default email account in Outlook is the inbox that opens when you first launch Outlook on your desktop. It isn’t a simple matter to configure that default account, but you can accomplish it following the tips below.
Set the Default Account in Outlook
To force Outlook to open to a default email account, there are two steps. First, you need to set the default account, then you need to configure the default data file.
To set up the default account, select File > Account Settings and then select Account Settings from the dropdown menu.
In the Account Settings window, select the account you want to make default and select Set as Default.
This will set the default account in Outlook for sending emails. Now when you compose a new email, the default account that will show up under the From field.
Next, you need to configure the default data file to use whenever you open Outlook. To do this, in the Account Settings window, select the Data Files tab. Select the data file for the email account you want as default, and select Set as Default.
Now, Outlook will automatically open this data file every time you open the application. To test this, close Outlook, and then re-open it.
To see if the correct default email is set, open a new email to compose and check that the From email is set to the email account you’ve set as default.
Setting your most commonly used email account as default will save you some time. You won’t have to constantly change the From account each time you send a new email.
Set Up Default Inbox Folder to Open
If you want a specific inbox folder to open automatically when you first open Outlook, there’s one more setting to update.
Select the File menu and select Options.
In the Outlook Options menu, select Advanced from the navigation tab. Under the Outlook start and exit section, select the Browse button near the Start Outlook in this folder field.
Drill down into the email account you want to set as the default inbox, and then select the Inbox item inside that account. Select OK to continue.
Select OK to close out the Outlook Options window.
Now, close Outlook again and reopen it. When Outlook opens, you should see that the email account inbox you selected as default is already open.
As you can see, configuring Outlook so that it uses your default email account by default requires a few different steps. But once you complete these steps you’ll never have to keep opening the account in Outlook again.
Setting Default Send Account in Outlook.com
Outlook online doesn’t have quite so many default account settings. However, you can configure it to use a default email account when you’re composing new emails. To do this, log into your Outlook Online account. In the upper right corner of the browser window, select the Outlook Online settings icon.
At the bottom of the Settings menu, select View All Outlook Settings.
In the Settings window, select Mail from the left navigation bar, then choose “Sync email” from the submenu. In the Sync email window, scroll the window down to Set default From address. In the dropdown box, select the email account that you want to use whenever you’re composing a new email.
Select Save to finish. Now, any time you compose a new email using Outlook Online, the email address you set as default will show up in the From field.
Unfortunately, you can’t set Outlook Online to open a default email account inbox. The accounts are organized in a default order that you can’t change.
If you use Outlook for desktop, you have many more options when it comes to configuring the default accounts to use and which inbox opens automatically.
If you use IMAP email accounts in Outlook you will soon find that all of your messages will be stored in a separate folder (see example below) and accessing the IMAP Inbox will require that you find and select the folder in order to view the emails within. This can be remedied by using the Favorites section located on the Navigation pane, but this will still require you to click on the folder because Outlook will open the Standard POP/Exchange Inbox by default. If you strictly use IMAP as I do, then changing the default folder is a must or if you wish for Outlook to default to another folder other than the Inbox you can change that as well.
Example of Outlook 2010 with an Inbox for IMAP and an Inbox for POP/Exchange Messages
The how-to below will show you how you can change the default folder Outlook displays when it is opened. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to join the community and ask questions.
1. Click on File
2. Click on Options from the menu.
3. Click on Advanced (left pane).
4. Under Outlook start and exit, click on the Browse button to designate a different folder.
5. Select the folder you wish to use.
6. Click OK to save the selection.
Next time you start Outlook it should automatically open the folder you designated in Step 5.
When we launch Microsoft Outlook, the default startup folder will be Inbox.
The startup folder can be changed to your preferred choice using outlook options menu. Listed below are the steps to change the startup folder in Outlook 2016, 2013, Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007.
Change startup folder in Outlook 2016, 2013 and Outlook 2010
In Outlook 2016, 2013 and Outlook 2010 the startup folder can be using the settings available as part of Advanced Mail options.
Click on the File menu –> Options link and navigate to the Advanced options
In Outlook start and exit section, using the Start Outlook in this folder field you can specify the startup folder. If you want to select a different folder other than Inbox then click on the Browse button and using the Select Folder dialog box you choose the required folder. Click OK button to select the folder. To save the changes, click on the OK button in the Advanced Options screen.
For example, you attend lot of meeting and want to start your day with list of meetings that is scheduled for that day. So you want to have Calendar as the startup folder in Outlook.
Click the File menu –> Options link then click the Advanced tab under Outlook Options window. In the Advanced Options, navigate to Outlook start and exit section.
Click the Browse button and select Calendar from the displayed items.
Then click Ok button to confirm and save the changes. By this way Outlook 2010 users can set Calendar as the startup folder.
Changing startup folder in Outlook 2007
Go to Tools –> Options –> Other tab and click on the Advanced button
In the Advanced Options dialog box under General settings, you can specify the value for Startup in the folder
The new folder can be selected using the Browse button.
select the new folder and click OK to save the changes.
I get a lot of questions like this:
Can I get Outlook to open in [some other folder] so that I can see [things] without having to first click the Outlook shortcut?
One of my favorite features in Outlook is the ability to start in any folder.
Outlook 2003 (and up) supports any folder in your mailbox or personal stores (*.pst), including search folders while Outlook 2002 and earlier include only the default folders in the Start in list. You’ll need to use the /select switch to open Outlook to folders not listed in the dialog.
Outlook 2010 and 2013
In Outlook 2010 and 2013, you’ll need to click on File tab, then Options and select Advanced . Select a new start up folder from the folder picker at Start Outlook in this folder: .
Outlook 2003 and 2007
In Outlook 2003 and 2007, you’ll set this in Tools, Options, Other tab, Advanced – select the start up folder at the very top of the dialog.
Outlook 2002 and older
Users of older Outlook versions are limited to using folders in the default data file and will need to create a shortcut pointing to another folder and use the shortcut to open Outlook.
Use a command line switch
You can open any version of Outlook to any folder using a desktop shortcut or command line switch.
Create a desktop shortcut or enter the command line in Start Menu, Run. (You can press Windows Key + R to open the Run command.)
The command line will look like:
Outlook.exe /select outlook:CalendarNew
(Replace “calendarnew” with the folder name (and path as needed))
In a few cases, you may need to make a shortcut using the full path to Outlook. The command line will look something like:
“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\outlook.exe” /select Outlook:Hotmail\Inbox
Tip: To get the proper path for any folder in older versions, show the Web toolbar and select the folder. Copy the path from the Address bar.
When you use the shortcut, you can use any folder in the profile. If the folder is in a different data file, you need to format the path like this:
For example, to open the Gmail Inbox in the screenshot, you would use this for the path:
To start up in the Unread Search folder in a non-default pst, use the following switch:
outlook.exe /select “Outlook:\pst_name_in_folder_list\Search Folders\Unread Mail”
Published August 12, 2003. Last updated on October 23, 2013.