OL97: Using Hyperlinks to Access Outlook Folders and Items

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Article ID: 158135 - View products that this article applies to.
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You can link together associated Outlook items such as tasks, contacts, appointments, e-mail messages, and such, using hyperlinks. You can use these hyperlinks to open any other Outlook folder or item. For example, you can insert a hyperlink in the notes area of a task record that when clicked, will open an associated contact record. Or you can type a hyperlink into an e-mail message that when clicked, opens a server-based public folder.

This article defines the format and syntax for typing hyperlinks in Outlook items.


Use the formats below to add hyperlinks. You must include the greater than (>) and less than (<) symbols. You must include spaces if they are used in the folder name, or in the case of specific contacts, a space would be included between the first name and the last name. To specify one of the default folders, type it as it appears on the Outlook Bar.

Syntax Examples

To Open an Outlook Folder on the Server

To open the Sent Items folder in the default mail store type the following:
<Outlook:Sent Items>

To Open a Personal or Private folder

To open a folder called MyStuff, in your Personal folder, type the following:
<Outlook://Personal Folders/MyStuff>

To Open a Specific Item

To open the contact Nancy Davolio, type the following:
<Outlook:Contacts/~Nancy Davolio>

To open an Item in a Public Folder

<Outlook://Public Folders/Foldername/~Itemname>
For example, to open a contact named, "John Doe" in a plublic folder named, "Public Contacts" use the following hyperlink:
<Outlook://Public Folders/Public Contacts/~John Doe>

To open a file in a Public Folder

<Outlook://Public Folders/Foldername/Mydocument.doc>
Note: In the above example Word will open the document file. You do not need to proceed the file name with a tilde since it is not an Outlook item.

To Open an Item in a Subfolder of a Folder in Your Inbox

To open New Labor Time, located in the Labor folder in your Inbox, type the following:
<Outlook:Inbox/Labor/~New Labor Time>

Additional Information

  • To open items or files from a public folder you must have the appropriate permissions to the folder.
  • If you are using Microsoft Word as your e-mail editor, although you can drag a folder into a mail message to create a hyperlink, the hyperlink will only work on that computer.
  • If you are not using Word as your e-mail editor, Outlook creates an .xnk shortcut instead of a hyperlink when you drag a folder into a mail message.
  • Links in HTML-formatted messages are not live until the message is received. This is not true for Outlook Rich Text and Plain Text formats.


Article ID: 158135 - Last Review: January 19, 2007 - Revision: 1.1
  • Microsoft Outlook 97 Standard Edition
kbinfo KB158135
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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