Outlook: Disable The Email Reply Taskbar!


Outlook_Reply_BarI never thought for one moment that this could be such a big issue but apparently it is for many people. I am talking about this little taskbar on the right side of the screen in Microsoft Outlook. I got this simple question: “How to turn this off, I don’t want it there“. Well like many people do I started clicking my way through the application searching for a check box that would disable or hide this feature. As one might expect with no avail because this is not a check box option. Keep reading and I will show you how to disable this feature.

Quick Access Toolbar
Our journey starts with the Quick Access Toolbar. You know that place where you can store your own ribbon preferences.

By default it looks something like this on a regular laptop / desktop with no touch enabled screen:

Outlook_Remove_Reply_Bar_INIT

Touch enabled screens
Most of our devices have a touch enabled screen these days. Ever since the touch enabled screens were introduced the Quick Access Toolbar got this new option to choose from.

Outlook_Remove_Reply_Bar_EN

Have a look and see that there is an option called “Touch/Mouse Mode” available. However because I am writing this on an old regular non touch enabled laptop I have to activate it first to see it. If you do have a touch enabled device you will see this option by default in your Quick Access Toolbar.

Outlook_Remove_Reply_Bar_I_EN
Now here’s where the magic starts. On touch enabled devices this is the default setting. It is optimized for touch. This also produces the additional toolbar on the right side of your screen in Outlook.

Outlook_Remove_Reply_Bar_II_EN

By now you will know the answer how to disable this nifty little taskbar. By choosing the Mouse option in the Quick Access Toolbar the toolbar on the right side of your Outlook screen will no longer be visible. Here’s how that looks:

Outlook_Remove_Reply_Bar_III_EN

A Switch mode
One might say that this is a switch mode to choose from. If you want to see the taskbar click on Touch mode. If you don’t want to see it click on the Mouse mode. If you have a non touch screen based device but still want to take advantage of this feature you have to add it to your Quick Access Toolbar first. From that moment on you can switch any way you like.

Concluding
As with many things it is not all that difficult. You just need someone to show you how it is done and from that point on all the irritations are history! Happy Switching 🙂

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