Microsoft Outlook logo

Microsoft Outlook 365 received a nice update for Mac in the fall of 2020. Along with an enhanced look came new and improved features. With everything from a customizable toolbar and better search to the ability to snooze emails, let’s take a look at all that’s new in Outlook 365 for Mac.

Try the New Outlook

If you’ve already installed Microsoft Outlook’s fall 2020 update (16.42 (20101102) or later), then you can switch to the new look easily. In the top-right corner of the window, next to the “Search” box, enable the toggle for “New Outlook.”

Turn on the toggle for New Outlook

Confirm that you want to switch to the new look by clicking “Switch to New Outlook.”

Click the Switch to New Outlook button

Once you switch, you can still go back to the previous version. Just disable the “New Outlook” toggle and confirm that you want to switch back.

If you don’t see the toggle, you can update Outlook on Mac by clicking Help > Check For Updates from the menu bar. Select the “Check for Updates” button.

Click the Check for Updates button for Outlook

Customize Your Toolbar

Include only those buttons you need and want in the Microsoft Outlook toolbar. Click “See More Items” (three dots) in the toolbar and choose “Customize Toolbar.”

Right-click and pick Customize Toolbar

Drag buttons from the bottom to the top to add them, or do the reverse to remove them from the toolbar. Click “Done” when you finish.

Drag buttons up to the Outlook toolbar

Enjoy Enhanced Searching

If you find yourself searching for emails from certain people or received on specific days often, you’ll like the improved search in Outlook. Now powered by Microsoft Search, you’ll get better search results and suggestions.

Click the Search box and enter a keyword

Click in the “Search” box to find what you need. You’ll notice you can still use filters and select a mailbox or folder.

View Your Office 365 Groups

When you use Mail or Calendar in Microsoft Outlook, you can see all of your Office 365 Groups in the sidebar. Just click “Groups”to expand the list and pick the one you need. Click once more to collapse Groups again.

Expand Groups in the sidebar

Reply or Forward Emails in the Same Window

If you use the Reply, Reply All, or Forward options for an email, you can add to your message in the same window rather than a new one. This keeps everything nice and neat without the need for a brand new Compose window.

Reply to emails in the same window

Ignore Conversations

Want to get rid of an email or two including any new messages that come in from the same person? You can ignore conversations with a click. In the Toolbar, Message menu, or Message shortcut menu, select “Ignore Conversation.” Emails you’ve already read or that come in later will be automatically deleted.

Click Ignore Conversation

Tip: If you don’t see the “Ignore Conversation” button, use the Customize Your Toolbar steps above to add it.

Snooze Emails

Is it one of those days when you’re receiving way too many Outlook notifications? Snooze them!

Select an email and then at the top of the window, click “Snooze” in the toolbar. Choose a time frame and you’ll then receive that email to your inbox at the specified time as an unread message.

Click Snooze and pick a time

If you don’t see the “Snooze” button, use the Customize Your Toolbar steps above to add it.

New Views for Events

You have two new views for your schedule in Mail and Calendar with the updated Outlook for Mac application.

In Mail, you can see “My Day,” which lists out your agenda for the current day. Just click the “Task Pane” button or View > Task Pane from the menu bar.

My Day agenda in Outlook

In Calendar, you can use a condensed three-day calendar view. Click the drop-down box at the top and choose “Three Day.”

Pick Three Day in the Outlook Calendar

Miscellaneous Outlook Calendar Updates

Along with major updates to Mail and those couple mentioned here for Calendar, you’ll find a few other Outlook Calendar improvements.

  • Meeting Insights: Outlook suggests emails and files you may need for upcoming events on your schedule.
  • Improved Event Scheduling: Enhancements help you create Calendar events more efficiently. Use time blocks, add details, and view participant availability in a single window.
  • Enhanced Event Responding: Stay in the same spot when responding to an event invitation. Whether you accept, decline, or propose a new time, you don’t have to leave the invitation.
  • Working Elsewhere Status: Instead of Busy or Free, you can mark yourself as Working Elsewhere.

Along with a much-improved appearance, Outlook 365 for Mac offers up some terrific features. If you give it a try and have an idea, click Help > Suggest a Feature from the menu bar to share your suggestion with Microsoft.

Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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