Skip to content

All About Outlook Add-ins (and How to Disable Them)

2 minute read

academy bg2

We’ve mentioned add-ins before in troubleshooting Office programs, but add-ins don’t always cause trouble. They can be very useful in adding functionality that doesn’t come out of the box with Office programs, or enhancing the existing functionality.

If you do need to disable add-ins for troubleshooting purposes, that is a simple process too. Today we’re looking specifically at Outlook add-ins.

What is an Outlook add-in?

Add-ins are simply installed features that run inside of other programs to increase or enhance the functionality. Outlook add-ins are often called plug-ins or extensions.

In fact, Outlook comes pre-installed with a number of add-ins, but not all of them are activated by default. Most consider add-ins as third-party solutions, though, that are intentionally installed and activated to add more functionality.

One example of an add-in is Save As PDF, which converts emails to PDFs and includes each attachment in the PDF as well.

How do you find Outlook add-ins?

As an end user, most of the time you will stumble on an Outlook add-in when you’re looking for a specific feature or function you need to perform, rather than browsing or “window shopping” a list of add-ins.

To see which add-ins you currently have installed in Outlook 2013, go to File > Options. In the Options window, select Add-Ins.

There, you’ll see add-ins that come installed with Outlook by default, like the Microsoft Exchange Add-In (required for various features that come with Exchange accounts) alongside any third-party add-ins you’ve installed.

How do you disable Outlook add-ins?

Occasionally, an Outlook add-in will slow down the program or cause some sort of error. You can validate if the add-in is actually the problem by starting it in safe mode (instructions in the post What To Do When Your Office App Won’t Open). Many add-ins are useful, though; you can find out which add-ins you need here.

To disable an add-in that you do want to get rid of, you’ll access it via File > Options. In the Options window, select Add-Ins.

At the bottom of the window, select from the Manage drop-down menu and click the Go… button. Find the add-in you’d like to disable and click Remove. You may have to restart Outlook for the change to take effect.

Sign up for our newsletter