Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Outlook 2010 Contact Card hover over pop-ups... How to disable?

I don't know about you, but I don't always find the newest features in software to be that helpful, or really even necessary.

One example is the new Outlook 2010 contact card feature, especially the pop-ups when you hover over a name. I'm sure someone out there finds it handy, but to me it was mostly annoying. Yeah, I occasionally used it, but I could just as easily right-click the person and go to see their properties that way too. However, most times, I would manage to just ever so briefly do a hover over a name and then the pop-up appears and wouldn't always go away nicely. That is what I found annoying, not that it would pop up, but that it often required a click to go away.

I finally decided I wanted to turn it off. So I start going through Outlook settings to find where to disable the feature. But I don't find the option to do so. A quick search on Bing (or Google, take your pick) does, however, turn up some complaints from others that this "feature" is not only annoying, it is crashing Outlook. Yet nobody had any good answers to what was going on or how to disable the pop-ups...

Delving into it a bit deeper revealed a TechNet article discussing how to enable or customize Office 2010 features using the Office Customization Tool (OCT) and Group Policy. This did confirm it was possible to disable the hover over pop-ups. Following some links in there lead to the download page for the Office 2010 Administrative Template files and Office Customization Tool. There you will find an .XLS file with all the available settings along with the corresponding registry entries for those settings...

Ok, I know you're only reading this if you really want to disable the pop-us, so here's how:
  1. While logged in as the user you want to disable this feature for, go to the registry.
  2. You will need to go to the following key (NOTE: you may have to create some keys in this path): HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Common\ContactCard
  3. In there, create a new DWORD Value of: TurnOffHoverFunctionality
  4. Set the value to: 1
  5. Restart Outlook and the pop-ups will no longer appear when you hover over a name!
Now, to me, it would seem that something as invasive as pop-ups should be configurable through the normal menus. I don't know why MSFT didn't expose that in the options. But, if you want it turned off you now have the means to do so...