How-To

How to Add RSS Feeds to Microsoft Outlook

If you already use Outlook for your email, why not use it to follow your favorite sites? It’s easy to use Outlook as your RSS reader.

Do you follow several web sites and check them every day for new content? Rather than going to each site separately and sorting through their home page for the new content, there’s an easier way to find out what’s new called RSS.

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” or, originally, “Rich Site Summary.” It’s a web feed, or aggregator, that allows you to receive updated content from multiple web sites in a standard format. See our article explaining RSS feeds for more information.

You can subscribe to RSS feeds using an RSS reader, like Feedly, Inoreader, or Feeder. But, if you already use Outlook for your email, you can also use it as your RSS reader.

Today we’ll show you how to set up and use Outlook as an RSS reader.

Add a Subfolder to the RSS Feeds Folder

You can add an RSS feed to the RSS Feeds folder by right-clicking on the folder and selecting Add a New RSS Feed. But, we’re going to add RSS feeds to Outlook differently, to keep them more organized. So, don’t use this option.

Add a New RSS Feed option in Outlook

By default, Outlook adds an RSS Feeds folder to each email account. You can use that folder for all your RSS feeds, but then all the articles from all your feeds are lumped together in that folder.

A better idea is to create a subfolder in the RSS Feeds folder for each feed you want to follow. We’re going to create a subfolder for the groovyPost RSS feed.

Right-click on the RSS Feeds folder and select New Folder. Enter a name for the folder like groovyPost.

Select New Folder on RSS Feeds folder in Outlook

Add a New RSS Feed

Now that we have a dedicated folder for groovyPost RSS feed articles, we’re ready to add the RSS feed to Outlook.

Click the File tab and make sure the Account Information (Info) screen is active. Click the Account Settings button and select Account Settings.

Select Account Settings in Outlook

On the Account Settings dialog box, click the RSS Feeds tab and then click New.

Click New on RSS Feeds tab in Outlook

If you’re adding the groovyPost RSS feed (which you should be!), copy the following link for the RSS feed. Or navigate to the RSS feeds page for the site you want to add and copy the URL from the address bar in your browser.

http://feeds.groovypost.com/groovypost

Paste the URL into the box on the New RSS Feed dialog box and click Add.

New RSS Feed dialog box in Outlook

On the RSS Feed Options dialog box, Outlook enters the default Feed Name that matches the Channel Name. But you can change this.

NOTE

Outlook seems to have a strange bug. It doesn’t always pick up the Channel Name and Description for the RSS feed. If these two items are blank, exit out all the dialog boxes and try again. You may even have to close and reopen Outlook.

Outlook chooses a default Delivery Location. To select a different folder, click Change Folder.

Click Change Folder on RSS Feed Options dialog box in Outlook

On the New RSS Feed Delivery Location dialog box, scroll down in the email account where you added the new subfolder in the RSS Feeds folder.

Select the new subfolder and click OK.

Select the RSS Feeds folder in Outlook

The selected folder displays in the Delivery Location section. Click OK to close the RSS Feed Options dialog box.

Close the RSS Feed Options dialog box in Outlook

The added RSS feed displays in the list on the RSS Feeds tab and says <pending> until it fully updates.

Click Close.

Close Account Settings dialog box in Outlook

Viewing RSS Feeds and Using RSS Feed Options

The subfolder you added the RSS feed to automatically starts updating with new content for the feed in the middle pane (if the Reading Pane is enabled in the Layout section on the View tab).

Click on the subfolder to view the list of new content. Then, click an item in the middle pane to view it in the right pane. If the Reading Pane is disabled, double-click on an article to view it in a separate window, like an email.

Each RSS feed is different. Some show you whole articles in your feed, and some show a short snippet of each article. If you only see snippets, you’ll also see a link like View article. Click the link to open the article in your default browser.

RSS Feeds folder in Outlook

When you select an RSS feed, additional options become available in the RSS section on the Home tab is available.

You can Download Content for currently selected article, like attachments or the full article.

Share This Feed allows you to send a link to the selected RSS feed to someone through email.

The View Article button opens the full article in your default browser, just like clicking the View article link in the right pane.

RSS section on the Home tab in Outlook

Delete an RSS Feed and Its Downloaded Articles

If you decide you don’t want an RSS feed for a certain site anymore, you can easily delete it. This is another good reason to separate your RSS feeds into subfolders under the RSS Feeds folder. You can easily delete a feed and its articles without affecting your other feeds.

To delete the feed and the articles downloaded in the feed, right-click on the subfolder for that feed and select Delete Folder.

Delete an RSS Feeds subfolder in Outlook

A dialog box displays to make sure you want to delete the selected RSS feed. If you’re sure, click Yes.

Remember that this deletes all the articles downloaded in that feed subfolder.

Delete confirmation dialog box for RSS Feed subfolder in Outlook

Delete an RSS Feed and Keep Its Downloaded Articles

If you want to delete an RSS feed but keep the articles already downloaded, go back to the Account Settings dialog box (File > Info > Account Settings > Account Settings).

Click the RSS Feeds tab and select the RSS feed you want to delete in the list. Then, click Remove.

Click Remove on RSS Feeds tab on Account Settings dialog box in Outlook

A dialog box displays to make sure you want to delete the RSS feed. If you’re sure, click Yes.

The downloaded articles remain in the subfolder for that feed, but Outlook will not download any new articles.

Remove RSS Feed confirmation dialog box

Save Time While Following Your Favorite Sites

If you use Outlook to manage your email and you follow RSS feeds from your favorite sites, save some time by doing both in Outlook.


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