Archive button disabled or missing in Outlook 2016?

A while back, one of the new features added to Outlook was the “Archive button.” I previously used a custom “Quick Step” to get similar functionality along with a keyboard shortcut (CTRL+SHIFT+F1). The archive button improves on that approach: you can undo it and the keyboard shortcut is simply the Backspace key.

All of that is goodness, but on just one of my PCs, I couldn’t get the Archive button to work. It never got added to the Ribbon as it automatically happened on all of my other computers. I was able to add it myself, but it remained disabled/grayed-out no matter what I tried. Turns out I wasn’t alone as I found many similar reports from other customers struggling with the same problem.

The good news is that I was able to get it working, but fixing it wasn’t pretty hacky. Proceed at your own risk, but here’s what I ended up doing which ended up fixing it somewhere along the way.

  1. Uninstall all of Office 2016
  2. Reboot
  3. Delete a bunch of registry keys:
    • HKCR\Software\Microsoft\Office\*
    • HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Office\*
    • I’m pretty sure there were others too but not positive
  4. Delete a bunch of directories:
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office
    • C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office
    • C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
    • C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Office
    • C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook
  5. Reinstall Office

Hope that helps others out there!

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