Change keyboard shortcuts in Outlook

Change keyboard shortcuts in Outlook

In Outlook, keyboard shortcuts cannot be changed in the traditional way. But if you still want to call the search function in Outlook, for example, with Ctrl + F instead of Ctrl+ E, our tip will help. […]

In the vast majority of applications, the key combination Ctrl+F (Ctrl+F) opens the search function: “F” stands for “Find”. Only Microsoft Outlook is out of line. If you press Ctrl+F there out of habit, an e-mail draft opens to forward the currently selected message. Where “F” obviously stands for “Forward”.

From Microsoft Word, you may be used to changing existing keyboard shortcuts (File/Options/Customize Ribbon/Customize keyboard shortcuts). Unfortunately, Microsoft has not included these personalization options in Outlook, Excel or PowerPoint.

Remedy: PowerToys

Only an additional application can help here, which will help you bend the key combination. Real nerds would probably use AutoHotkey here. This is powerful, but complicated. The Microsoft PowerToys or their Keyboard Manager module are already sufficient for this purpose.

Solution: The PowerToys Remap key combination function allows you to restrict it to a specific application. And that’s where it gets interesting. Download the package either from the Microsoft Store or from the Github page of the project.

After installation, click on the colorful PowerToys icon with the right mouse button in the notification area at the bottom right (if necessary, after unfolding via the angle icon) and open the settings.

In the left column, click General and make sure that in the right part of the window Automatically download updates are enabled, as well as Run a little further down at startup. The basic setup of the PowerToys is complete. On the next page, we will show you how to easily change the keyboard shortcut for searching in Outlook.

In the PowerToys settings, go to Keyboard Manager in the left column. Turn its main switch on. If you do not need any of the other functions, click through the individual modules in the left column and snap them out.

At a minimum, switch the “Keyboard Manager” function to “On”

In the Keyboard Manager, you can reassign the keyboard shortcut. Under Physical Shortcut, click the Enter button. Press the key combination with which you want to search in Outlook in the future, i.e. Ctrl+F (Ctrl+F), followed by OK. This is followed by a click on the input button under Assigned to. Press the key combination that is still starting the search in Outlook at the moment, namely Ctrl+E (Ctrl+E); confirm this again with OK.

To restrict this keyboard shortcut to Outlook, click in the Target App field. For Outlook, we know by heart the name of the executable file, which we type there: outlook.exe. If you want to change a key combination for another application, if in doubt, check the Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc or Ctrl+Shift+Esc) for the name of the executable file.

Done! Click OK.

This allows you to change the search in Outlook to Ctrl+F

From now on, Ctrl+F also triggers a search in Outlook instead of a redirect. Of course, this only works while PowerToys is running. As soon as you exit the PowerToys (or it closes itself temporarily due to an incoming update), bending the shortcut is ineffective.

If you want the keyboard shortcuts to work as originally, open the Keyboard shortcut Reassign in the Keyboard Manager, click on the trash icon after the combination to be deleted and confirm with OK.

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