Safe way to add or update holidays; Windows Notifications issue

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Commodore

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2021 64 bit
Email Account
IMAP
Is there any "safe" way to add or update holidays in Outlook, so that you avoid creating duplicates or some similar mess? Like from some plain-text file, where you can remove entries in the past etc.?

I used to add them from Options/Calendar/ Add Holidays, but from what I can see, it doesn't really "detect" whether you've already added them previously (e.g. on a previous computer) - right now, only United States is checked there. Also, I remember that from time to time Microsoft issues a holidays update (for future years), which also tends to break some things in this regard.

One more unrelated question: If I open a new received email from Outlook directly, its notification item in Windows 11 notification area remains untouched (it only goes away if I click on it, opening the message from there). Is this a bug? (I unchecked "Show notifications in notification center" in Windows Settings/Notifications, I hope it will do what I think it should.)
 
Holidays: if you are going to re-add holidays, delete the old ones first. It's easy enough - search or group by location.

Outlook should tell you if the holidays exist... but its not very smart. Back when the holidays lists were only 5 years and I had none for the current year, I tried to add new ones, outlook said I already had them... well, yeah, but they weren't current. :)
 
Should I delete all of them, or just from the current year on? BTW, I don't have the outlook.hol file on this system anymore (Win11, Office 2021).

How often do they update these lists anyway? I mean, some dates change by definition (Easter etc.), and some state holidays are added or removed "routinely" in some places.
 
You can delete all - unless you need older ones for historical reasons or the HOL file included them.

You should have the HOL file at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\1033\OUTLOOK.HOL

How often do they update these lists anyway? I mean, some dates change by definition (Easter etc.), and some state holidays are added or removed "routinely" in some places.
Many of the holidays go to 2026, some as far out as 2031. It doesn't look to me like there was much rhyme or reason as to why some cover more years...
 
You should have the HOL file at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\1033\OUTLOOK.HOL
Yep, it's there. I figured it doesn't exist because I tend to use Everything search (from VoidTools) for quick finding a file - and that file wasn't shown.
Judging by the timestamp, it was updated with the latest Office update I performed last week.
And the "routine inspection" shows entries are either 2012-2026 or 2016-2026. Good to know before deleting...
 
Interesting, I'm checking out the current list view of holidays, and it seems that previous additions of holidays to calendar were up to 2028...
 
I think the Outlook 2013 HOL went to 2028 - I was surprised to see so many in the newest HOL end in 2026 - but there are also many that go to 2031 - it depends on the country and holiday.
 
So in 4.5 years we'll need to repeat this exercise - removing holidays, and re-importing a new batch?
 
Pretty much. Microsoft is trying to get people with outlook.com and office 365 accounts to use the separate holiday calendar to avoid this. :)

FWIW, I probably delete holidays 2x a year - this is partly because I often do quickie tests in my own mailbox - when someone says something is not right with events, I import them to check before reporting it - and end up with tons of holidays to clear out.
 
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