How to Use Outlook 2010 as an RSS Feed Reader

January 11, 2011, By Christian Cawley

As well as providing tools for you to access your emails and manage your schedule, Microsoft Outlook 2010 also includes some useful additional functions.

One of these is the ability to index and read your favourite RSS feeds, which can be delivered directly to your email client. Having this ability avoids the need to have an additional, third party email client as well as allowing you to ignore the desktop RSS widget that you might use in Windows Vista or Windows 7.

RSS feeds are a great and popular way to deliver the news that you want from the sources you use without you having to go and find it – so it makes sense that when you get your mail delivered you should get your news with it too!

How to use Outlook 2010 as an RSS feed reader

RSS Versus Newsgroups

Since Outlook 2007, Microsoft has dropped support for newsgroups/UseNet in Outlook. In Outlook 2007 the Go > News command would launch Outlook Express; in Outlook 2010 there is no command for doing this – anyone who still requires access to UseNet should either access it via Google or use Windows Live Mail or any other suitable client.

Delivering RSS feeds from specific websites is a very different task to downloading messages from a newsgroup, but as the use of the latter has remained in the hands of a core group of enthusiasts (in the face of those types of discussion moving to forum software) it makes sense that RSS support should be provided in the world’s most popular corporate email software.

Setting Up RSS Feeds in Microsoft Outlook 2010

In order to take advantage of the provision of RSS support in Microsoft Outlook 2010, open the application and look for the RSS Feeds folder on the left-hand side in the Mail view.

Left-clicking this folder will display a brief overview of RSS in the main window, while right-clicking the RSS Feeds folder will display a context menu with a list of features including Add a new RSS feed… and Import an OPML file….

Using the first option is simple – simply open the New RSS Feed box and paste in the URL of a feed from your favourite website and click Add. If you were adding the DeviceMAG feed you would enter: http://feeds.feedburner.com/devicemag

To import an OPML file you must have already used an RSS feed reader in the past and created an OPML export file. This XML-format file will include all of the settings and URLs for your RSS feeds. Using the import tool you will be able to select the feeds from your OPML file before confirming them for import. Note that the last items to be included in the subscribed feeds will also be included in your import, so any feeds that are no longer active will at first appear operational. It’s best to check through all of your feeds looking for any that have expired.

With your feeds added, all you need to do is select them to view each item, turning Outlook 2010 into an RSS feed reader!

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