Outlook 2010 People Pane Explanation (Outlook 2010 Training)


The People Pane is turned on from the View tab in Outlook.

There are three view options on the drop down, and the Account settings:

  • Normal – The People Pane shows as expanded in the email.


  • Minimized – you can see an arrow at the bottom right of the screen. Click on it, and the pane becomes ‘normal’.


  • Off – no option to see it in an active email.

Account settings – This is where you can add the various Social Network accounts to see in the pane. As of this article, you can link to Facebook, Linkedin, Windows Live Messenger, viadeo and Xing. They are always adding more, so be sure to check every once in a while to see if the social media site you use has been added. Click here to get more information and a link to a tutorial on how to install.

There are six tabs within the People Pane:


  1. All Items – everything from selected person – emails, attachments, etc.
  2. Activities – activities for that person from their social sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). This would include alerts, comments, and messages. (Wish Tom a happy birthday)
  3. Mail – a list of ALL the emails you’ve received from the people associated with the email that are still in your system. Even the emails you’ve filed in other folders in Outlook will appear here.
  4. Attachments – Anything you’ve received or sent to the person. A great way to find that spreadsheet/PDF/video they sent you two weeks ago, or two months ago. (This is the one I find the most helpful.)
  5. Calendar – Any meetings or appointments between you and the selected person.
  6. Status updates – Any recent status updates the person has posted on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.


This does not mean you’ll be able to see ALL of these items. It may depend on your company’s network security settings.

The picture shown in the People Pane is your profile picture from your internal network, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. If there are multiple people on the email, when you click on someone’s picture, the information in the window will be for that person – their emails to you; attachments they sent you; their Social Media updates, etc.

If the person doesn’t have a picture in the system, notice how there is just a silhouette?