Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Disable "Research" feature in MS Outlook

In Outlook 2003, when alt click on any words, it brings up a Research pane. This could be a better feature but it actually freeze the outlook for various amount of time and so it becomes very annoying.
For users who often use alt-tab combo, it becomes even more annoying....
There is no way to disable this feature in Outlook but it can be configured so it does not freeze the outlook.
The reason it freeze outlook is because the Outlook requires resources such as network connection, CPU cycles to bring up the research pane. This becomes much time consuming when Research Pane are configured to do many things. So naturally, the way to decrease the startup time of the pane is to reduce the options Research does. In other words, removing all options from Research equals virtually disabling this feature.

Here is how to do it:
  1. Bring up the Research pane by Alt + Left Click on a word
  2. Find and click "Research Option" at the bottom of the pane
  3. Uncheck options that is not required, all simply uncheck all
  4. Save the changes by clicking "Ok"

Hope that helps.


  1. This is due to Word being your editor. To disable the Reseach pane in Word (and subsequently Oulook):

    1) Open Word
    2) Press Alt-F11 (opens the VB Editor)
    3) Press Ctrl-G (opens the Immediate Window)
    4) Type this following line:
    Application.CommandBars("Research").Enabled = False
    5) Close VB editor and Word

    You may need to restart Outlook.

    Good luck!!
    John Merrill

    1. Thanks John. Just saw your tip.
      Tried it but gave me the following error:

      Run-time error '5':
      Invalid procedure call or argument

      I'm still using word 2003. Any idea?

    2. After pressing ctrl-G immediate window is not open

  2. Besides, if you suspect that a virus-carrying email has caused your Outlook program to hang, look for it and remove it from your mailbox. microsoft support number

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