How to automate Outlook?

Hi Alesia,
I am moving on to Outlook. I want to retrieve files from an email. I am having problems simply getting the Mouse to click on areas of Outlook. For example, I open Outlook, try to move the mouse to my Inbox but the bit bot fails. I have tried capturing the ‘Search Current Inbox’ field but again the bot fails. Is there a trick to Outlook?
Kind Regards,

Hi David, it is better to use Window Controls to automate Outlook.

You can capture then by recording your actions or using “Capture from screen” option in the action.

You can also see how to automate desktop applications in this video tutorial

Hi Alesia,
The video helped so thanks. It confirmed my assumptions.
Here is the problem I am trying to solve. I want to know whether it is feasible in RPA Express.
Here is the use case.
A supplier has forwarded me their invoice in a PDF format. I want to open Outlook, search my Inbox for the supplier, open the email and save the attachment to a folder which can later be converted into Excel.
Can this be done?
Kind Regards,

Hi Alesia,
I have following this video.
I open Outlook using Launch Application. I then use the Action Window(Inbox - -Outlook - rctrl_renwnd32) which I retrieved from the drop down list in Select a Window. I have tried multiple combinations of this window with the same result:
Error Executing SwitchWindowAction
Any ideas what’s going wrong. This is simply 2 statements. Launch and Window.
Kind Regards,

Are you sure the name of the window is correct?
Maybe, it doesn’t open the Inbox but another view?

I would recommend using this option is the Window action - it is more reliable.


Another reason can be that the window is not opened yet when the bot tries to switch to it. In this case, you need to add a timeout to the Window action.

OK that worked. Interesting because I used the Selector from Inspector, selected the window and followed the video which declared a similar title for the Window. But if it works …

As I thought. When I then Click the Mouse on Inbox it fails. Click%20window%20Inbox

It is probably because the Inspector doesn’t see that separate line, but the whole section.


Try clicking on Inbox instead.

Here is a sample script that switches to Inbox, looks for emails from a particular address and downloads attachments from it in a particular folder. Hope it will help with your use case. (62.0 KB)

Also, this link can be helpful for Outlook automation.

Hi Alesia,
I downloaded attachment. I am assuming this is code I put into my project once launched?
Secondly I tried the option of clicking on the inbox instead. No good. Also, if you click on Inbox using UI object wont this confuse RPA when the Inbox shows mail in the Inbox, i.e., the Selector shows [CLASS: NetUIWBTreeDisplayNode; Name:Inbox: 28 unread messages]. What happens when the unread messages is reduced to zero. Won’t the UI object be different.
Kind Regards,

To import this script in WF Studio, follow this guide:

You can then add it in another script like this.

You can remove this info from the selector to make it work when the number of unread emails changes and leave only [CLASS: NetUIWBTreeDisplayNode; Name:Inbox].

Hi Alesia,
Here is the situation.
Outlook opens with my OuItlook inbox by default.
I have been able to click on Menu Bar and Search within this Window. This window is:
Inbox - - Outlook. That works, I saw it highlight the title when I used the Window action.
I go to the left hand panel to click on my Inbox.
This mouse click FAILS.
It is worth noting that as soon as you click on this Inbox the Window goes to:
Inbox - - Outlook
Question is this Window action confusing RPA and causing the action to fail?
Any other suggestions?
Kind Regards,

If you have several accounts in Outlook, it makes things a bit more complicated :thinking:

Try doing this:

After opening Outlook and switching to it, first, click on the account in which you will need to open the Inbox.
It will most likely have this selector: .NetUIWBTreeDisplayNode[name=""].
The bot may click on any folder in this account, but it will activate it.

After that, switch to this window ‘Inbox - - Outlook’ and click on the Inbox link in it.

Let me know how it goes!

Hi Alesia,
Thanks for the feedback. I have not tried the above. Thought I would try something else which I will share with you.
I have another computer, Microsoft Pro which I was working with prior to purchasing the new Dell (which i bought ironically to better handle RPA Express). It has Workfusion 2.2 installed on it. I wrote a script to perform the above and it worked successfully. Not only that it was straight-forward. Performed exactly as I expected and with a few simple actions!
So the next steps for me is to work what the differences are between the 2 computers and the installed software.
*RPA Express version 2.2 versus 2.3

  • Outlook which I just ruled out
  • Configuration of Outlook, i.e., Outlook on MS Pro opens with the strat2exec box whilst on Dell it opens with outlook box meaning I have to switch
  • Other
    I will let you know how I go. Thanks for continued support.
    Kind Regards,

Hi Alesia,
Tried the above.
Did not work.
.NetUIWBTreeDisplayNode[name=“”] took Outlook to Contacts - - Outlook. Not sure why??
Kind Regards,

Hi @david_masters did it click on the icon in the footer instead and opened contacts?


Hi Alesia,
I am still having problems with server not found as per previous post. I believe the matter is in hand. Once resolved I will try the above action.
Kind Regards,

1 Like

Thank you @david_masters please let me know how it goes.

Also, I did some testing and managed to click on the Inbox of non-active account in Outlook using a custom XPath:

just insert your email instead of email_address.

Hope it helps!

Hi @david_masters did you have a chance to test this last XPath?