Run Outlook 2013 as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

How to Run Outlook 2013 as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

Start Outlook automatically when your computer boots and keep it running unattended, to process your email in the background

Microsoft Outlook 2013 is the 2013 edition of the world's most popular information manager, calendaring and email client software. It features a sophisticated automation layer that can drive the internal components without direct user interaction.

Note: Microsoft cautions against running any program in its Office suite as a Windows Service. However the most notable problems arise when running in the LocalSystem account (which has not been configured to run Outlook) and AlwaysUp can get around many of those problems. Nevertheless, please be sure to thoroughly test your setup to ensure that Outlook can do everything you expect when running with AlwaysUp.


To configure Outlook 2013 as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp:

  1. Install and configure Outlook 2013, if necessary. Please ensure that it is can send/receive email and do everything you need it to do.

  2. Download and install AlwaysUp, if necessary.

  3. Start AlwaysUp.

  4. Select Application > Add to open the Add Application window:

    Add Application

  5. On the General tab:

    • In the Application field, enter the full path to the Outlook executable, Outlook.exe. If you installed Office/Outlook 2013 in the default location, this is:

      C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\Outlook.exe

    • In the Name field, enter the name that you will call the application in AlwaysUp. We have used Outlook 2013 but you can specify almost anything you like.

    Outlook 2013 Windows Service: General Tab

  6. Click over to the Logon tab and enter the username and password of the account in which you installed and configured Office/Outlook - probably the account you are logged in to right now. It is very important that Outlook 2013 runs in this account to find its settings!

    Outlook 2013 Windows Service: Logon Tab

  7. Since Outlook is an Network-friendly application, click over to the Startup tab and check the Ensure that the Windows Networking components have started box. This will cause Outlook to start only after the TCP/IP networking components are ready for use.

    Outlook 2013 Windows Service: Startup Tab

  8. We are now done configuring AlwaysUp so click the Save >> button. In a couple of seconds, an application called Outlook 2013 will show up in the AlwaysUp window. It is not yet running though.

    Outlook 2013 Windows Service: Created

  9. To start Outlook choose Application > Start "Outlook 2013". In a few seconds, the application's state should transition to Running and Outlook will be working in the background. Clicking on the "green circle" will reveal a few details on the running Outlook.exe process:

    Outlook 2013 running as a Service with AlwaysUp

    Note that on Windows 8.1/8/7/Vista and Server 2012/2008, Outlook will be running in the Isolated Session 0. Choose Tools > Switch to Session 0 to temporarily switch to the austere Session 0 desktop where Outlook will be visible. You can also choose Application > Start "Outlook 2013" in this Session if you wish to start Outlook on your desktop.

  10. That's it! Next time your computer boots, Outlook 2013 will start up immediately, before anyone logs on. We encourage you to edit the Outlook entry in AlwaysUp and check out the many other settings that may be appropriate for your environment. Send email, boost priority, restart regularly and much more.



Outlook 2013 not working properly as a Windows Service?

  • From AlwaysUp, select Application > Report Activity > Today... to bring up a HTML report detailing the interaction between AlwaysUp and your application. The AlwaysUp Event Log Messages page explains the more obscure messages.
  • On our Windows 8.1 test machine, the Outlook window was not showing its contents in Session 0. The window was simply not being refreshed/drawn! Other than that problem with visibility though, Outlook seemed to function properly. Hopefully Microsoft will fix this bug soon!
  • Running Outlook 2013 unattended can be tricky, especially when it throws up dialog boxes and other windows that interrupt the action. If these can not be eliminated you may want to investigate using an automation script/program to automatically dismiss the pesky windows. Please see the Automate tab (or the AlwaysUp User's Manual) for additional information on automation.
  • Browse the AlwaysUp FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions and troubleshooting tips.
  • Contact us and we will be happy to help!

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