Folder pane width change

I was following on the conversation about using a batch to do the whole thing including running Outlook. You're talking about running a .reg and then running Outlook using the shortcut, which amounts to the same thing but is a different way of going about it. If you do it the batch way, Outlook will be running elevated because otherwise the batch would never have permission to modify the Registry.
 
Apparently, Outlook doesn't update the keys frequently. When i close, run the batch and reopen, it works - but if the keys aren't updated when outlook loads, then it doesn't have anything to delete.

But yeah, if you are doing it as one step, outlook will be in admin mode.
 
The pattern of when they reappear is unpredictable, so I just took to always letting it try to delete them even if they're not there (the batch could be improved by testing to see if they're there, but it all happens in a flash, so it's not worth it). The keys reappear almost always after an update, but not just then. They do tend to reappear overnight, if you have your machine on, perhaps related to the slew of Office tasks:

Capture.JPG


And/or the Microsoft Office Click-to-Run Service.
 
I think its the service monitor - the 'update' should download but not be installed until you restart outlook.

I restarted outlook a few minutes ago and it was back to the big nav pane and new search field. I ran the bat file normally (not using run as admin) and it was applied - I'm using the default windows account that has limited admin rights.
 
Ah, I see now: since it's in HKCU, you can do it without privileges. If it's HKLM (and probably anywhere else) then you can't. That's great to know!
 
Hi, I'm James Snell. I just registered on Slipstick Forums and this is my first post. My Outlook version is shown in two different places as "Version 2004 (Build 12730.20270)" and as "Microsoft Outlook for Office 365 MSO (16.0.12730.20144) 32-bit"

Many thanks to rseiler, Diane Poremsky, et al. for finding and posting a workaround for this problem. I'll run Diane's reg file just before launching Outlook.

I think this new behavior, in which dragging the folder pane boundary to make it less than about 250 pixels causes it suddenly to almost disappear, is inexcusably poor UI design and reflects a lack of usability testing; inflicting it on users with no notice is inexcusably poor product management; and the amount of time it's taken me to find a remedy indicates inexcusably poor product support. I imagine there are many thousands of Outlook users who would agree.

I would like to find out who are the people at Microsoft responsible for these poor judgments, tell them what I think, give other users a convenient way to respond likewise, and thereby motivate these Microsoft designers, managers, and support people to (putting it politely) raise their quality standards. Is there any mechanism for doing this?
 
I try to report things via Help/Feedback but don't really know if that goes anywhere worthwhile.

Diane, do you know of anyone who can speak to this issue? I'm still leaning toward it being a bug and not a feature, mainly because I can't think of a single purpose for it as a feature.
 
I try to report things via Help/Feedback but don't really know if that goes anywhere worthwhile.
If you have the insider build, Help > Contact support opens a bug report.

On this specific issue, i forwarded the complaint to a DL I'm on with the product team - you guys are not the only complaints I've seen. They said they'd had some complaints too. Most of the Outlook and Exchange MVPs are on the DL -

Making a suggestion at Outlook for Windows (Desktop application): Hot (5128 ideas) – Got an idea? can be helpful too - i didn't see any suggestions for this there yet.
 
Thanks to everyone. I have the same problem that I can't make my folder pane smaller anymore.

Yesterday, I had a > 1 hour remote desktop session wit MS support chat. They have been totally without plan. Weird enough, I demonstrated them on one laptop I could make the folder pane smaller, on another not. Identical systems. More weird, outlook on one system has the search box on top, on another system at the old position. "Coming soon" toggle on/off is disappeared.
 
Deleting the keys mentioned previously will return the search box to the message list. :)

You had two different flights, that's why the different behavior. They push changes out slowly - not sure if they are at 100% coverage yet on this yet, but if you check for updates they should both be on the new design.
 
Yes, the relocation of the search field has proven to be a very, very unpopular forced choice:


But, Sim, just to be clear, it's unrelated to our folder pane issue and is definitely a feature and not a bug.

BTW, the reg deletion sometimes does relocate the search box to the message list. But sometimes it doesn't, at least before the last couple days, when it's surprisingly been staying at the top. I'd almost gotten used to seeing it move around from day to day.
 
Thanks to both Diane and rseiler. I didn't delete the keys.

I have the exact same versions of Outlook 365 (16.0.12730.20144 32 bit) running on two identical laptops.

An online repair did not change anything on both laptops. On the laptop where the search bar is still in the old position, I did a complete manual removal of office (because of the folder pane width issue). And after newly installing, the search bar is still in the old position (not in the title bar).

Agreed, not to get off-topic: Still on one laptop I can change the folder pane width, on the other one I can't.
 
After checking various PCs, I think both issues (folder pane width cannot be smaller and search box in title bar or not) might be interrelated. See, the search box in the title bar is aligned with the left border of the message pane. Not being able to move the folder pane further left might prevent the new search box from interfering with the Quick Access Toolbar.

2020-05-21 (1).png


2020-05-21.png
 
No, it doesn't interfere. It abuts it normally, and when you add a new Quick Access icon it just moves right a bit to accommodate it.

Capture.JPG
 
No, it doesn't interfere. It abuts it normally, and when you add a new Quick Access icon it just moves right a bit to accommodate it.

View attachment 3017

Thanks, that's interesting. Still no clue why exactly the same version numbers have this multiple different behavior.
 
Funny enough, in the meantime, I did not do anything but restarting that laptop where I could still make the folder pane smaller. Result: I could not make it smaller anymore, and the search box had moved to the title bar. Curious enough, I did another restart, and now I still cannot narrow the folder pane, but the search bar moved back to the old position. There was no any office update today.
 
it's unrelated to our folder pane issue and is definitely a feature and not a bug.
Actually, I think both are features - I've had the wide pane in the insider build for months. Longer than I've had the new search field.

It annoyed me a little, but I have Outlook on a separate 24" monitor so it wasn't that big of a problem and I got used to it.
 
After checking various PCs, I think both issues (folder pane width cannot be smaller and search box in title bar or not) might be interrelated. See, the search box in the title bar is aligned with the left border of the message pane. Not being able to move the folder pane further left might prevent the new search box from interfering with the Quick Access Toolbar.
That is a plausible theory. It definitely moves with the border. The search bar is also the width of message list, to a point - but it has a max size.
2020-05-21_07-56-29-0000.png
 
No, it doesn't interfere. It abuts it normally, and when you add a new Quick Access icon it just moves right a bit to accommodate it.

View attachment 3017
Oh, now I remember. They wanted to keep it above the message list because an early iteration of this new feature had it centered in the title bar, like it is in the other office apps, and people complained (myself included) at the odd position. I did not notice if it shifted with the folder list at the time.

My complaint then (and now) is that the folder you are viewing is not listed in the title bar. I used that a lot.
 
Funny enough, in the meantime, I did not do anything but restarting that laptop where I could still make the folder pane smaller. Result: I could not make it smaller anymore, and the search box had moved to the title bar. Curious enough, I did another restart, and now I still cannot narrow the folder pane, but the search bar moved back to the old position. There was no any office update today.
They push the updates out slowly - starting at 1% (or less) coverage and slowly ramp up, so one computer can get the update before another. If there is a bug, they can turn if off and send out an update to undo it - all done behind the scenes. Like magic. :) The update is downloaded but is not installed or activated until you restart office. (An entry in the task scheduler gets the updates.) You don't even know they do it most of the time.

Often, its just a registry key that needs changed to turn a buggy feature off (the experiment keys)
 
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