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Is there a way to start up Outlook automatically on login, but minimised to system tray (notification area)? I don’t want my inbox showed in my face when I start my PC, only a discrete notification when new mail arrives.

I’m using Outlook 2003, if that matters.

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Take a look at this article: – Reorx Jan 13 '14 at 10:31
@Reorx make this an answer – kinokijuf Jan 14 '14 at 9:00

Outlook 2010 (x86) on Windows 7 (x64): Launch and Minimize to System Tray on Startup

I know this thread is somewhat old; however, a web search turns up numerous accounts of this problem and I have been unable to find one that provides a working solution. For whatever reason, the normal solutions to this issue do not work in all cases.


  • On initial login, the Outlook icon remains visible on the Taskbar forcing one to restore the window and then minimize manually before Outlook will remove itself from the Taskbar.
  • Simply adding the Outlook shortcut to the Startup folder and selecting Hide When Minimized from the context menu of the Outlook Tray Icon does not solve the issue.
  • Using the /Min flag from a batch file or shortcut doesn't work either.


  1. Open Outlook manually and right-click the Outlook Tray Icon to verify that Hide When Minimized is checked.
  2. Create a new text file and insert the following code.

    CONST PATH_TO_OUTLOOK = """C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\OUTLOOK.EXE"""
    DIM shell, outlook
    SET shell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    ' Open Outlook
    ' Grab a handle to the Outlook Application and minimize 
    SET outlook = WScript.CreateObject("Outlook.Application")
    outlook.ActiveExplorer.WindowState = SHOW_MAXIMIZED
    ' Loop on error to account for slow startup in which case the
    ' process and/or the main Outlook window is not available
    WHILE Err.Number <> 0
      SET outlook = NOTHING
      SET outlook = WScript.CreateObject("Outlook.Application")
      outlook.ActiveExplorer.WindowState = MINIMIZE
    SET outlook = NOTHING
    SET shell = NOTHING
  3. IMPORTANT! Be sure to change PATH_TO_OUTLOOK to reflect the actual location of your installation.

  4. Rename the text file to whatever you would like with a .vbs extension in order to force Windows to recognize it as a VBScript.


  1. Store the script anywhere you would like.
  2. Create a shortcut to the script and place it in the Startup folder instead.
  3. Right-click the shortcut and select properties.
  4. Using the Change Icon button, browse to the location of the Outlook executable and select the Outlook icon stored within the executable.

Performance Improvement:

Instead of placing the script or a shortcut to the script in the Startup folder, the registry can be edited in order to run the script immediately at login.

  1. Follow steps 1-4 in the Solution section above.
  2. Place the script anywhere you would like.
  3. Add a new String Value or a new Expandable String Value if necessary to the registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run.
  4. Name it whatever you would like.
  5. Modify the new value you created with the path to the script.
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I notice you have an unregistered and a registered user - You can, and certainly should merge these by using the contact us link right at the bottom of the page – Journeyman Geek Apr 6 '13 at 9:10
@JourneymanGeek Thanks! – Jason Dec 12 '13 at 14:24
Works great with Windows 8.1 and Office 2013! Only thing that needs to change is that the PATH_TO_OUTLOOK should be Office15 instead of Office14. Also you need to add HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Preference\MinToTray to the registry with a value of 1. – Nate Bergeron Aug 8 '14 at 17:04

Outlook has no built-in feature for this, but you can use the start command:

  1. Create a shortcut in your Startup folder pointing that executes the command

    cmd /c start /min "" "FullPathOfOutlook.exe"

    or a batch file containing the command

    @start /min "" "FullPathOfOutlook.exe"
  2. Right-click the tray icon and check Hide when minimized.

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Does not work. Outlook still starts maximised. – kinokijuf Aug 29 '12 at 13:54
Maybe I wasn't clear. I'm using the above method (with the batch file) on my computer. It works. – Dennis Aug 29 '12 at 14:15
What version of Outlook do you have? – kinokijuf Aug 29 '12 at 14:18
Outlook 2007, but that shouldn't matter. I use start to minimize many startup applications, and it works with all of them. – Dennis Aug 29 '12 at 14:21
I can confirm what Dennis is saying. On my XP machine with Outlook 2003, I use start /min "" "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\OUTLOOK.exe" in a batch file in the Startup folder and it opens minimized when I log in. I do the same with my Win7/Outlook 2010, but just a different path. – jb11 Aug 29 '12 at 16:32

if you are able to open outlook from command line by typing outlook.exe, then create a batch file including this code start /b /min outlook.exe and place it in your windows startup folder.

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When using quotes with the START command on Windows 7 with Outlook 2010, a new command window will open, but Outlook will not launch. This happens with the 32bit versions of Windows 7 Pro and Enterprise editions (both with the most recent updates). I can't say if it happens with 64bit versions or other editions.

To resolve that issue, you must omit any quotes that surround the "path\program" you're wanting to launch with the START command. However, since there are usually spaces in the path name, you'll likely receive a different error unless you truncate the path (shorten it). The truncated names in the path can vary if you have multiple Microsoft products installed. To obtain the correct truncated path, use the following command line at a DOS prompt (in a CMD window): FOR /D %T IN ("C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\Outlook") DO ECHO %~sT

Here is an example that worked for me when using the results obtained from above: START /MIN C:\Progra~1\Micros~1\Office14\Outlook

NOTE: Office14 refers to version 2010 whereas Office12 refers to version 2007. Also note that the .exe at the end of Outlook.exe is not required in these command lines.

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Is there some reason why you think this is better than start /min "" "FullPathOfOutlook.exe"? – Scott Aug 16 '14 at 0:26

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