Best Free Outlook Add-ins


Microsoft Office Outlook has been around as part of the office suite since 1997, with newer versions released on average every two years. It was already at version 8 by 1997 with earlier versions for MS-DOS, Mac, etc.

Although each new release comes with with some added features and functionality, there has always been room for improvement. As a result, there is a plethora of add-ins for this program, both freeware and commercial software.

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HTML emails are always a potential security issue because they can contain hidden code for viruses, trojans, and other nasties. My personal policy is to delete any emails from unknown sources. However, if you want to safely examine a HTML email, PocketKnife Peek will give you a preview in plain text. It is a COM add-in that works with Outlook 2000 or later. It is compatible with any version of Windows capable of running the corresponding version of Outlook.


RealAccount allows you to designate a default email account and signature for any Outlook Folder. Yet another free utility that provides functionality that should have been included in the original product.


Lookout is a great utility for those of you who have amassed lots of pst files with hundreds or thousands of archived emails. It can index and search all pst files at once as opposed to the standard Outlook 2000 search, which can only do one pst file at a time. Microsoft has purchased the development of Lookout and no longer supports this utility since it has been superseded by Microsoft Windows Search.


Xobni (inboX spelled backward) seems to have attracted a sizable crowd of enthusiastic users. Xobni's Outlook add-in saves you time finding email, conversations, contact info & attachments. I recommend a visit to their website, where current issues are discussed.

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Quick Selection Guide

PocketKnife Peek
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Screen incoming messages without opening them in Outlook, converts HTML messages to plain text, etc.
Multi-user licenses are available for businesses only.
440 KB
Free for private use only
All versions of Windows that run Outlook.

Requires Outlook 2000 - 2010 (32-bit only)
v2.0.0066 released 04 February, 2013
View the revision history here

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Allows you to designate a default email account and signature for any Outlook Folder
The software is no longer supported by the developer.
369 KB
Unrestricted freeware

Additional software required: Outlook XP or 2003, plus the CDO library (Outlook optional component in Office setup tool). CDO is not included in a standard Outlook installation, so you may have to manually install it. If you encounter an OCX registering error, you may need to re-install Outlook, or the VB6 runtimes.

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Index and search all pst files at once.
No longer supported by the developer.
961 KB
Unrestricted freeware
Windows 2000, XP

Additional software required: Outlook 2000, XP, 2003 and Microsoft .NET

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Finding email, conversations, contact info & attachments.
Advanced features limited to commercial version.
6.7 MB
Feature limited freeware
Windows XP to 7

Requires Outlook 2003/2007/2010


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Outlook Addon, Outlook Addin, Extensions, Emails, Contacts

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