Microsoft gave Outlook for Mac some love and now you'll hate it less

Outlook on Mac
Outlook on Mac (Image credit: The Verge)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is updating Outlook for Mac with a new look.
  • An improved sync engine is also included.
  • The infaous rubbon has also been altered.

Microsoft is giving Outlook for Mac a fresh coat of paint according to The Verge. That includes a tweaked design that brings over many of the features that have become maisntays on the web and even in Outlook for iOS and Android.

Part of that means reading and writing emails has been improved, with a whole new email composition interface available. You can also ignore emails if that's something you need. But the biggest change is the ribbon. As you'll see from the screenshot, it's gone.

"Following the same design principles as the Office 365 user experience updates announced last year, the ribbon was updated in the new Outlook for Mac to be fully customizable," explains a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. "In Mac environment, we refer to it as a toolbar – at this time, there are no plans to announce updates to the ribbon elsewhere on Office for Mac."

Operationally, Outlook for Mac has gained a new sync technology that brings it in line with other versions of the app. That means that anyone using Office 365,, or even Google email accounts should notice that their email syncs more quickly.

If you're part of the beta testing team – on the Fast Ring, no less – you can try the updated Outlook for Mac now by toggling "New Outlook" in the top right corner of the app. Microsoft says that more updates will be arriving in the next few months but there doesn't appear to be word on when us mere mortals can look forward to using it.

And I use the term "look forward" very loosely, here.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.