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New Untitled Message windows appear next to Outlook in the taskbar instead of the order opened (i.e. last). How do I stop it?

jptechnical asked
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
You know when you open an app or window or whatever, it appears in the taskbar with the first opened to the left and the last to the right? Well, for some reason Outlook 2003 is opening new message windows to the right of the Outlook item on the taskbar instead of the rightmost on the list.

Perhaps this has been the case for a while, or maybe it is new to 2003. Either way it irritates me constantly. when you have 20 or so windows open and your taskbar is 2 high like mine usually is, I rely on knowing the most recent windows are the rightmost items, but when I open a new email message and minimize I usually find the message is the 2nd on the list (outlook is usually the first program open that stays that way).

I hope someone knows a fix for this... likely it is a checkbox somewhere, but I am just not seeing it.
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Top Expert 2010

Greetings, jptechnical.

This doesn't sound like an Outlook issue.  It sounds to me like a Windows issue.  What version of Windows are you using?



xp pro sp2
Top Expert 2010

XP Pro groups icons by program when there isn't enough room to show all the icons at one time.  Are you saying that there is plenty of room for the new icon and Windows is placing it on the left instead of on the right?


correct, grouping disabled (hate grouping) and plenty of room, new message is put to the right of the outlook item not right of ALL items.

Top Expert 2010

I get the same behavior with grouping on, but not when grouping is off.  Is Outlook the only program that's exhibiting this behavior?


Sorry, I thought I replied to this... must not have hit submit.

Grouping most definitely off. Outlook is the only app that does this. Regardless of where outlook is on the list of open windows, all sub windows for outlook appear next to outlook.

Any ideas? I looked all through the options in outlook and didn't find anything.
Top Expert 2010

There are no Outlook options I know of that controls this.  I have to allow for the possibility that this is controlled by an undocumented or poorly documented setting or registry entry.  I think it's more likely that this is an operating system issue though.  You might consider posting a 20 point link question in the XP area that points back to this question.  


I was suspecting this might be the case. I posted a link to this question and increased it to 500 with a 20point in OS as you suggested.

Thanks for your reply.

linked to the following question in OS https://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21752455.html
Windows groups the application windows. Open Word, then Outlook then another application like Excel etc. They all open to the right just as you expect, per application.

Now open a second Excel, a second Word, a second Outlook window. They will all open to the right of the SAME application currently open. This is by design to group the windows logically. When you run out of space on the taskbar, they are further grouped by application into one window so as to conserve space.

So the windows open to the right on the first instance, but then to the right of the same application for each new instance.

Microsoft cleaned up the taskbar by adding a Properties option called Group similar taskbar buttons, which lets you group similar items. When you enable this option, XP groups multiple instances of an application under one taskbar icon. The taskbar then displays an arrow and an ellipsis, which leads you to the grouped items.

If your goal is to turn this behavior off, simply right click on the taskbat and choose properties. Deselect "group similiar taskbar options."

The keyword is "similiar." By design, Windows (not Oulook) is grouping SIMILIAR taskbar options, meaning all Outlook winodws will be together, all Word etc. So they open up to the right, but to the right of the same/similiar window that is already open.

If you want to know exactly how Microsoft organizes these similiar programs to the right, you can read all about it here:

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