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Enable add-ins and connectors in Outlook

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There are many third-party add-ins and connectors available for Outlook. What is the difference between add-ins and connectors, how are they used and are they safe to use? We have the answers for you.

What are add-ins and connectors?

Add-ins and Connectors are used to connect Outlook to third-party applications. These applications include applications like Dropbox, Trello, and Slack that most people have heard of (even if you have not used them yet). There are additional add-ins and connectors that you'll probably never hear outside of corporate environments. These typically facilitate activities such as spending, CRM (customer relationship management), and video conferencing.

The goal of all these activities, however, is the same: you can interact directly with another application in Outlook. [1

9659005] The difference between an add-in and a connector depends on the direction of the integration. An add-in allows Outlook to send something to another application. With one connector, the other application can send something to Outlook.

For example, there is a Trello add-in and a Trello connector. With the Trello add-in, you can create or modify a Trello task directly from an email. With the Trello connector, Trello can send notifications and reminders directly to Outlook.

There are two main types of add-ins: buttons and those that highlight parts of the email.

The Add-ins buttons used place a button on the Ribbon that you can click when viewing an email. Clicking on this button activates the add-in function. For example, sending the e-mail to Trello to create a task or posting the e-mail content in a Slack channel. At this time, the relevant content of the email will be sent to the third party.

When an add-in is installed that highlights the content, it tells Outlook what kind of information it is using, such as: B. Location data for a map add-in. When you open an email, Outlook looks for such information, such as: As an address, and highlights it. When you click on the highlighted content, the relevant information (in this case, the address) is sent to the third party so they can display it on a map for you.

Connectors differ slightly from the work that they all do through the 3rd party service. There is no highlighting of buttons or content with a connector, just the possibility that the third party sends things to Outlook that the user can see.

Are you sure to install?

Yes, if you install them from the Microsoft Store. Only the add-ins have code (JavaScript) to do anything, and Microsoft checks all add-ins before they can be uploaded to the store. You can view the privacy policy and terms and conditions for each add-in in the Microsoft Store.

Regardless of whether the add-in uses a button or a content highlight, it only has access to the data in the email message you're working on.

If you trust that Microsoft will review the add-in, then you should be able to trust that the add-in is not malicious. If you're interested, Microsoft provides detailed verification information, developer tasks, and the sandbox process that runs all the add-ins.

While add-ins do something with information In Outlook, a connector is just one way to give a third-party the permission to view alerts and warnings in Outlook. Microsoft validates connectors, but you must really trust a third-party service. However, if you have an account with this service, you probably already know how to use it.

As always, we recommend that you always install only add-ins and connectors from the Microsoft Store.

How to Add to Outlook?

Adding an add-in or connector to Outlook is straightforward, regardless of whether you use the Outlook client or the Outlook Web App. When you install an add-in or connector in the client, it is automatically installed in the Outlook Web App, and vice versa.

The UI for adding an add-in or connector is the same in both the client and the web app, only the way to get there is slightly different.

The Outlook Client Process

To locate an add-in or connector in the client, click the Start> Get Add-Ins button.

 The Home tab with the

The Outlook Web Application Process

To find an add-in or connector in the Web application, click the three dots in the upper-right corner while you type Show email.

 The option with the three dots in an e-mail

Scroll down the context menu and click on "Get Add-ins".

 The context menu with the

From this point on, finding and installing an add-in or connector is the same in both the client and the web application. Whichever you use, the Add-In and Ports panel opens.


The control panel opens on the Add-Ins tab. If you want to add a connector instead, click the Connectors tab.


The process is the same for add-ins and connectors when adding an add-in. The add-ins are displayed in alphabetical order. Alternatively, you can use the search box at the top right to quickly find the service you want. As you type, the search finds matching services, in this case Trello. Click the add-in when it appears in the list.

 The search box with the highlighted Trello result

Click the Add button. The add-in will be installed.

 The add-in button

Close the Add-In and Ports panel with the "x" in the upper-right corner. If you selected an email, two trello buttons now appear on the Home tab of the ribbon.

 The trello buttons displayed on the Ribbon

Installing an add-in has different effects, depending on your choice What does the add-in do? For example, the Giphy add-in adds a Giphy button to new emails, allowing you to easily paste gifs into an e-mail. The Bing Maps Add-In highlights addresses in email content and lets them click to open Bing Maps.

The Trello add-in was installed by using the Outlook client. When opening the Outlook Web App, the Trello add-in was automatically added.

 Context menu of the web client with trello option highlighted

Accessing your add-ins in the web application by clicking on the three dots and scrolling down, you can pin add-ins to make it more easily available. Click Settings> Show all Outlook settings.

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In the message In the "Surface" area, select the check box for the add-in you want to pin.

 The check boxes for actions where the Trello Add -In is marked

This will cause a trello button to be added to the icons you want to attach when you read incoming e-mails.

If your add-in is being used, use instead write a message, scroll to the next section called "Toolbar" and active Instead, frame it in this section.

Once you've activated your add-in, click Save in the top right corner and the add-in icon appears in your email.

 An email with the action Trello is displayed [19659013] How are they removed from Outlook?

Removing an add-in or connector is very simple. Open the Add-Ins and Connectors panel either from the client (Start> Get Add-ins) or the Web App (three items> Get Add-ins) and click My Add-ins (if enabled) On the Connectors tab, this option is in the same location but is called "Configured."


Find the add-in whose connection you want to disconnect, click the three dots, and in the menu that appears, choose the "Remove" option.

 The Trello add-in with the Remove option selected

Close the Add-In & Connectors panel with the "x" in the upper-right corner. The add-in is immediately removed in both the client and the web app.

Are they worth it?

If you are using a service that offers an add-in or a connector, they can be useful. The ability to send an attachment directly to Dropbox, send an email to a Slack channel, or convert an email directly to a Trello or Jira task saves a lot of time. Many of the add-ins are chargeable, especially for business use. The installation is free.

In addition to the add-ins designed for use with a particular service, there are free add-ins for the stand-alone tools like Giphy and Boomerang that add features to Outlook. There is no single add-in or connector that you should use but many that you could use .

As discussed above, Microsoft validates all add-ins and connectors. In addition, the company makes the details and conditions of privacy visible in the business, so you can be sure that they are safe.

Overall, it's a simple and intuitive system that adds functionality – usually without costing you anything.

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