Microsoft Outlook and disabled add-ins

I use the excellent Outclass plugin for Outlook which embeds the POPFile bayesian email classifier as a COM add-in to Microsoft Outlook. After about two years of trouble free use, suddenly it caused Outlook to crash. When restarted, Outlook crashed again. The next time I started Outlook, Outlook popped up a dialog asking me if I wanted to turn off the add-in that caused the crash on restart and I said “yes” to that, but failed to note something mentioned about how to re-enable the add-in if required after Outlook started up. This time, Outlook started up fine, but for the life of me I wasn’t able to figure out how to turn the Outclass plugin back on again. I almost panicked when I saw the tons of email that I was now getting that previously auto-classified into folders. Unfortunately the web-site where I got the Outclass plugin was down and there is no built in documentation. After a few different Google searches, I discovered that choosing the “Help — About Microsoft Outlook” menu item brings up a dialog with “about” info. This dialog has a “Disabled Items…” button. Clicking on this button brought up a dialog that showed a list of disabled items which had one sole item — the Outclass plugin. I chose to re-enable the plugin and now all is fine and normal with the world again :-).

Once more — the Outclass plugin for Microsoft Outlook is excellent. It is more than just a spam classifier. Since POPFile can classify mail as more than spam, you can train mail to be classified into more categories. With the Outclass plugin’s interface, you can set things up that classified mails get sent to specific folders. The training interface is super simple and is done from within Outlook itself.