Outlook application provides you with a world-class experience to stay productive and in touch with your personal and business networks.  With the release of Outlook 2010, you get a richer set of experiences - from a redesigned look to advanced e-mail organization, search, communication and social networking features. There are lots of customization options available in Outlook 2010, both for users and administrators, to make it more relevant or secure whatever is the purpose behind it.

Determine which features to enable or customize in Outlook 2010 article contains an initial list of some of the Microsoft Outlook features that you might need to configure and deploy with Microsoft Outlook 2010, such as Contact Cards and the Outlook Social Connector. For security and protection features, see Plan for security and protection in Outlook 2010.

Office Customization Tool

The Office Customization Tool (OCT) is part of the Office Setup program and is the recommended tool for most customizations. The OCT enables the customization of setup options, user setting preferences, feature states, and additional content. The OCT is available only with volume-licensed versions of Office 2010 and is also integrated into Update 1 of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010.

Office Customization Tool in Office 2010 article describes how to use the Office Customization Tool (OCT) to customize an installation of Microsoft Office 2010. Use the Outlook section of the OCT to customize the default Microsoft Outlook 2010 profile and to set Outlook 2010 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 options.

Office 2010 Administrative Template files (ADM, ADMX, ADML) and Office Customization Tool article on TechNet contains information about the new and updated Microsoft Office 2010 Group Policy and Office Customization Tool (OCT) settings that are included in the download package for Office 2010 Administrative Template files (ADM, ADMX, ADML) and Office Customization Tool . Administrative Template files let you:

  • Control entry points to the Internet from Office 2010 applications.
  • Manage security in the Office 2010 applications.
  • Hide settings and options that are unnecessary for users to perform their jobs and that might distract them or result in unnecessary support calls.
  • Create a highly managed standard configuration on users' computers

For the latest information about policy settings, please refer to the updated Microsoft Excel 2010 workbook, Office2010GroupPolicyAndOCTSettings_Reference.xls which is available in the Files to download section of the Office 2010 Administrative Template files (ADM, ADMX, ADML) and Office Customization Tool download page. You can configure most Outlook options like account settings, security settings, mail format, UI items etc. through this option.

Configure Outlook 2010 section provides how-to information for configuring Microsoft Outlook 2010 with Microsoft Exchange Server account features, such as Outlook Anywhere, Cached Exchange Mode, Microsoft Exchange send/receive settings, and multiple Exchange accounts. It also provides information about how to configure security and protection features in Microsoft Outlook 2010 and how to customize Outlook profiles by using an Outlook Profile (.prf) file

Group Policy overview for Office 2010 article on TechNet provides a brief overview of Group Policy concepts. The intended audience for this article is the IT administrator who plans to use Group Policy to configure and enforce settings for Microsoft Office 2010 applications.

Outlook Social Connector

Several features and components of the Outlook Social Connector (OSC) can be managed by using Group Policy. The How to manage the Outlook Social Connector by using Group Policy article contains a custom Group Policy template that you can use to manage the following tasks:

  • Loading the Outlook Social Connector
  • Configuring People Pane notifications
  • Specifying he activity synchronization interval period
  • Specifying the global address list (GAL) synchronization interval
  • Specifying the social network contact synchronization interval period
  • Blocking social network activity synchronization
  • Block social network contact synchronization
  • Blocking Global Address List synchronization with local contacts
  • Preventing configuration of social network accounts
  • Blocking the download of Active Directory details
  • Blocking on-demand activity synchronization
  • Blocking specific providers
  • Configuring the specific providers to load
  • Displaying contact photos
  • Configuring the maximum number of items to display in the People Pane

Security and Protection settings

By default, Outlook is configured to use high security-related settings. You can customize many of the security-related features in Microsoft Outlook 2010. This includes how the security settings are enforced, which kind of ActiveX controls can run, custom forms security, and programmatic security settings. Refer to the Choose security and protection settings for Outlook 2010 article for information on this. You can also customize Outlook 2010 security settings for attachments, Information Rights Management, junk e-mail, and encryption. These are covered in additional articles listed in Additional settings table.

Personalizing Outlook

Personalizing Outlook section of Outlook 2010 Help and How-To has all the personalization information from an end user perspective.