Wednesday 12 November 2003

Customize Outlook Today and Internet Explorer Cumulative Patch - a Work Around

Google saw it fit to rank my mini-rant on Customize Outlook Today as number 4 out of 120,000 (I am sure this will change soon after this article is published!).

However, the article I wrote was spontaneous and not a good one at that and visitors seem to be looking for a workaround which I didn't provide in the original article. I hope to redress this by explaining how you could get around Microsoft's restriction the security update without temporarily disabling it and Customise Outlook Today; unfortunately, the only way I know is via the Registry.

Please note that although Microsoft produced a Registry Hack to partially disable the Cumulative Update in order to access Customize Outlook Today, Microsoft's hack will only work if you have Administrator privileges on your PC.

If you wish to Customize Outlook Today and you are currently unable to do this because of the Cumulative Internet Explorer patch, then provided you have Windows 2000 or Windows XP and your version of Outlook is Outlook 2000 or Outlook 2002, then the following steps should work:

Deciphering the Registry Values for Customize Outlook Today

I will try and decipher these registry values as best as I can:

(default)
This is the registry key's default value, please do not touch.
CalDays
When you view "Customize Outlook Today" via Outlook, you typically get "Show this number of days in my calendar" with a drop down box that goes from 1 to 7, therefore set the data here (I have mine set to 14 but this is unstable on my Windows 2000 box - Windows XP handles it fine).
CustomUrl
Default data is outlook.htm and corresponds to "Standard", other options are
  • outlook1.htm - Standard (two column)
  • outlook2.htm - Standard (one column)
  • outlook3.htm - Summer
  • outlook4.htm - Winter
IncNoDueDate
Two Options: True or False corresponding to the whether "Include tasks with no due date" is checked or not.
Sort1
Five Options:
  • (none) - ~
  • Importance - [Importance]
  • Due Date - [Due Date]
  • Creation Time - [Creation Time]
  • Start Date - [Start Date]
sort1Asc
Either True (descending order) or False (ascending order)
Sort2
This has the same options as Sort1
Sort2Asc
This has the same options as Sort1Asc
Style
This has the same options as CustomUrl:
  • Style0 - Standard
  • Style1 - Standard (two column)
  • Style2 - Standard (one column)
  • Style3 - Summer
  • Style4 - Winter
TaskFilter
This can be set to either All or Today
Folders (My Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\Today\Folder)
These correspond to the way you have set up the Outlook Folders on your box, please note that if you have Microsoft Exchange installed, then the correct data should be \\Mailbox-Kayode Okeyode\Inbox

Disclaimer

My explanation on how to hack the Registry for "Customize Outlook Today" assumes you have some knowledge of the Registry, if you don't understand what you are doing, please do not attempt the above.

Note: The above hack will probably work on other set ups but I only have access to Outlook 2000 on Windows 2000 and Outlook 2002 on Windows XP.

Listed below are some resources to guide you through if you are brave enough to attempt this:

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