Outlook and the Dreaded Losing Shortcuts Issue

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David_H

Senior Member
I will summarize my question first, for those that don't want to read all the details. Is there ANY way, any registry hack, to stop Outlook 2010 from wiping out shortcuts to online links such as Dynamics CRM, if I launch Outlook off line?

I'm a Microsoft Dynamics CRM user and one of the most awesome things is that the Shortcust area of Outlook allows me to create one single view of all of my high priority views, including linking to Dynamics CRM entities. The problem is that I frequently need to work disconnected and due to the way Outlook works, it simply wipes every shortcut to anything it can't connect to when it is launched. Evidently it's been this way for years and MS does not see any reason to fix it???

There used to be some workarounds such as this excellent one but unfortunately MS seems to have pulled a bad joke on us and broken this about 4 different ways with CRM 2011. To summarize:

1. If you add Dynamic CRM folders to the shortcuts ares of Outlook they get automatically deleted if you launch Outlook while offline and cannot connect to CRM.

2. The fix explained in the link above now won't work because the URL's to the Dynamics CRM 2011 get rejected by Outlook and the user is told "the URL us too long".

3. There is another fix here which I mention just in case someone refer me to it as an answer, it tells you how to add Dynamics CRM to favorite folders, that fix is now also broken, for the same reason as #1 above - all your favorites get wiped out if you launch offline and cannnot connect to CRM.

Many thanks if anyone has a solution!
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
I'm not real familiar with how CRM works with outlook, but unless you use a different profile, the links shouldn't be removed. You could copy the navigation pane xml file and use a batch file to copy it back after working offline - but if you make any changes, you'll need to make a new copy. Actually, you could use a bat to make the copy and one to copy it back...

The navpane file is here: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook in vista and win7. Use a batch to copy account_name.xml to a new location and one to copy it to that location. You can even start Outlook from the batch file - make a shortcut called Online CRM and use it when you are working online after having worked offline.
 

David_H

Senior Member
Thanks Diane!!! So to make sure I understand, if I back up that file, then go offline, then make a bunch of changes in Outlook (email drafts, tasks whatever etc.), and then restore that file, the ONLY thing it will overwrite is the shortcut settings, right? I just want to make sure I won't be overwriting anything else/
 

David_H

Senior Member
Diane, I tried it and it works. I backed it up, then purposely connected offline and then back online and watched all my shortcuts get wiped. Then I closed, swapped the xml file and reopened and they were all back again. Thank you so much!!! You've made my day, being able to use shortcuts is a huge efficiency increaser for me.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Cool, glad it worked. That file controls the entire navigation pane. This is more than the shortcuts on the Shortcut pane - it also holds the Favorites at the top of the mail list and rearranged folders or groups created on other panes (My Contacts, My Calendar, My Tasks groups). Any changes made to any of the panes you see when you click the buttons at the bottom of the navigation pane are stored in the file. If you add some folders to the folder list above Mail, you'll need a new copy of the xml.
 
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