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What Is Outlook 2010 People Pane And How To Disable It

Microsoft Outlook 2010 lets you keep track of your social contacts right from your inbox. The pane in which you keep track of your social network sites and contacts is called the People Pane and it is located under the main reading pane.

Here is what the People Pane looks like:

People Pane

You might have noticed that it does take up a large amount of the screen, so your preference may be to minimize or completely disable this functionality. Here are the steps to disable this Pane.

Go to the View tab on the main menu and locate the People Pane.

People Menu

Now click the People Pane drop down button and choose the Minimized option or the Off option depending on your requirement.

People Pane Minimized


  1. I just installed Outlook 2010, and it thinks all new appointments will involve me and another person “Unknown”. I find no way to avoid the “Unknown” person to appear, and no way to delete “Unknown” later on. Also, Outlook thinks I want to use Microsoft invitations, which I do NOT. How do I disable this moronic feature?

  2. One step further to being rid of this feature would be to disable the Microsoft Outlook Social Connector from the list of COM add-ins. This will remove all mention of the People Pane entirely.

  3. Thanks, this really helps to avoid annoyingly painfully frustratingly slow loadtimes in outlook 2010.

    (why would they even bring out a ‘feature’ that causes more frustration than use? i mean it is obvious: searching for related messages and people everytime you open an email is always going to be a frustration!?)

  4. This turns one part of the annoying pane (pain) off, but not the other – which is the PP that appears when you mouse over a list of names on an email message. The annoying PP or contact cards still pop up. It’s annoying to think of the real features that have been taken out of Outlook and other office products to prevent malicious coders from doing harm, only to be replaced by equally annoying “feature” from MS!

    • You can remove the People Pane from the ribbon by going to File>>Options>>Customize Ribbon. Then click on the + sign next to View, select “People Pane” and click Remove and then OK.

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