Closing 8 zillion Outlook windows without devoting 20 minutes
February 11, 2023 11:19 AM   Subscribe

I use Outlook at work and often wind up with a zillion open windows of different things I opened or started to draft but stopped. Is there some way to "close all" that could skip the unending dialog boxes about unsaved changes?

I try to use the "Close All Items" toolbar button, but that brings up an "unsaved changes" dialog for every single open message. I have to click through easily 25-50 different dialog boxes, just to clean up. Even worse, for some reason Widows makes this big "zither" sound every time it spawns one of these dialogs, so it's me clicking unending boxes and listening to this stupid alert sound every single time. Forcing quit is not ideal because half the time all of the windows respawn and also because it can screw up the database. Bottom line question: is there a secret way to "Close All Items Without Saving Anything"?
posted by Mid to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Just to check - do you have autosave turned on?
posted by trig at 12:58 PM on February 11, 2023

It's not quite the same, but I think you can hold down the keyboard shortcut for "Close Without Saving." Alt and something ("w" I think.) Which will close all the windows in a couple seconds.
posted by flimflam at 1:56 PM on February 11, 2023

I did a bit of research and I do NOT think this does everything you are asking for, AND I don't have Outlook on my home computer so take this with a grain of salt.

On Windows 10 (at least) if you hold the Alt key down and then hit tab, an array of screens will appear... keep holding the Alt key down while you tab to the various screen thumb nails in the array. When you are focused on one you want to see go away, push the Del key (while still holding the Alt key) and then keep hitting Tab until you get rid of the troublesome windows.

The above takes longer to type than to do, so I think there's no way it could take more than a couple minutes. But as for the unsaved items, and zithers sounds, etc. I have no clue. Sorry.
posted by forthright at 9:09 PM on February 11, 2023

Using the Task Manager to terminate Outlook.exe? Of course, any unsaved changes will be lost, but it should get rid of every open window.
posted by nostrada at 2:09 AM on February 12, 2023 [2 favorites]

This is likely achieveable via a small VBA macro. There is a means to close an open "Mail Item" with an option to save or discard changes. There are definitely ways of getting lists of all the currently open "Mail Items".
posted by mmascolino at 8:23 AM on February 12, 2023 [1 favorite]

Between trig and nostrada, I think you have an elegant answer.

If you need to save the changes, turn autosave on. Then, when you close, you won't get the messages.
If you don't care about the changes, kill via Task Manager (or just reboot).
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 2:38 PM on February 15, 2023

Response by poster: Thanks - I do have autosave on. I think the thing that is generating all of the open windows is that, when I open an attachment from an email, Outlook thinks that I have changed an item that may need to be saved, even if I am not making any changes to the email or attachment. Autosave does not seem to take care of this issue. Forcing quit or killing the process is not great because often times all of the stupid open items respawn when I restart Outlook.
posted by Mid at 6:44 AM on February 16, 2023

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