In Outlook 2011 for Mac, I was able to use an AppleScript to move currently-selected messages from the main Outlook window. The script started like this:

tell application "/Applications/Microsoft Outlook.app"
    set myMessages to current messages

This worked regardless of whether there was a Reminder pop-up window currently on the screen or not.

Starting with the Outlook for Mac Preview, and continuing with the final 2016 version, this script now only works when the Reminder pop-up window is not on screen. If the Reminder window is on screen, the script treats whatever items currently appear in the pop-up window as the current messages, even if I first instruct Outlook to make the main mail window active. (I suspect this may have something to do with the fact that the Reminder window is always "on top" regardless of what you have selected.) As a result, the script fails when the Reminder pop-up is open (i.e., it indicates that no mail messages are currently selected).

Are there any suggestions for how I can force Outlook to return the set of messages selected in the main mail window rather than the Reminder pop-up?



Building off of the answer below, to minimize the inconvenience of closing the Reminders window, you can add the following code before the call to "current messages":

--Workaround to fix Outlook 2016 Reminders window bug, part 1
set windowClosed to false
if "Reminder" is in (name of the front window) then
    set windowClosed to true
    close front window
end if

And then add this at the end of the script, to re-open the Reminders window if it was closed by the script:

--Workaround to fix Outlook 2016 Reminders window bug, part 2
if windowClosed is true then
    tell application "System Events" to keystroke "9" using command down
end if
  • i just confirmed this issue. Thanks for the tip to close Reminders! Until now, I could not figure out why my scripts work sometimes and other times not. – rik e Aug 17 '15 at 4:40
  • I don't have an answer for you, but my comment is that with my experience with Office 2016 for Mac so far, it was absolutely not ready for prime time... My bigger mistake was to uninstall Office 2011 before installing 2016, and now when I tried to reinstall it, it will not update beyond to 14.0 version... With all of my years as a Windows user, why did I all of a sudden choose to trust Microsoft? – AMR Aug 17 '15 at 5:21
  • So glad I found this. Was just forced to upgrade to 2016 by the IT department at my office, and couldn't figure out what was going wrong with my Applescripts. – Brad Beyenhof Oct 21 '16 at 16:38

I'm an applescript novice, but I was able to add the following code to close the reminders window if it was up when the script ran:

-- close the reminders window if it is open
set winName to name of the front window
if "Reminders" is in winName then
    close front window
end if
  • Good approach as a workaround for the issue. I've made a couple of changes/additions noted in my original question above to a) match to the window name regardless of whether there is only one or more than one current reminders, and b) restore the Reminders window after the script finishes running. – Ryan D.W. Oct 6 '15 at 13:13
  • Fast forward three years and Microsoft has not fixed this. I complained to them and they told me it is by design and I must suck it. @RyanD.W. 1) why not use Outlook's "reminders visible" method to determine if it is? Maybe the method didn't exist when you wrote this? And 2) What is the significance of Cmd-9, how does that work to recover the reminders window? I don't understand it, and it doesn't work for me. Thank you. – jay613 Oct 11 '18 at 19:17

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