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Follow Your Favorite Blogs With Outlook’s RSS Reader

If you have a group of favorite blogs or news sites that you read every day, you can gather all of your news in one place by adding the sites to Outlook’s built-in RSS reader. RSS, an abbreviation for Really Simple Syndication, is a technology that allows you to have the latest posts from blogs and news sites delivered directly to a special folder in Outlook. You can check your mail and catch up on the latest news, all in one convenient place.

Adding Feeds from Websites

When an RSS feed is available, you’ll usually either see a text link asking you to subscribe or one of these buttons:

RSS IconRSS Logo XML Feed Logo

Click on the button or link and  you’ll see a page like this:

Click the drop-down menu and select “Microsoft Outlook.” Click the check box below the menu to save Outlook as your default selection for RSS feeds, and click “Subscribe Now.” Outlook will open and ask you if you want to subscribe to the website’s feed; click “Yes” and the feed will be added.

Adding Feeds Manually

If you already know the URL of the feed you want to add, you can manually add it to Outlook.

Click “Tools” and select “Account Settings.” On the Account Settings screen, click on the tab labeled “RSS Feeds.”

Manually Adding RSS Feeds


Click “New” and type or paste the URL of the RSS feed in the text box. Click “Add,” and then click “OK” to confirm that you want to subscribe to the feed.

Importing a Google Reader File

If you’re already familiar with using RSS feeds in Google Reader, you can easily transfer those feeds to Outlook.

First, you’ll need to export the file containing information about your feeds from Google Reader. When you’re logged in to your Reader account, click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the page and select “Reader Settings.” Click on the “Import/Export” tab. In the column. Click “Download” in the OPML column next to the row labeled “Your Subscriptions” and save the file to your desktop.

After that file is finished downloading, open Outlook. Right-click on the RSS folder and select “Import an OPML” file.”

Browse to your desktop and select the OPML file you just downloaded, and click “Open.” Click “Next” and then click “Select All” to select all the RSS feeds contained in the file; if you don’t want to import all the feeds, you can select individual feeds by clicking the check box next to each feed. Click “Next” again to import the feeds into Outlook, and click “Finish” to complete the process.

Outlook will begin gathering new posts from your RSS feeds immediately. Click the RSS folder to show folders for each individual blog you subscribe to. Click on a folder to see the latest post. Posts appear just like emails in the center column of Outlook; all you have to do is click on the subject line to read the post.

~ Jacqui Lane