Outlook roaming signatures vs CodeTwo email signatures

[Update]: This article was first published on June 4, 2020. It was updated due to changes concerning Outlook roaming signatures feature development.

Microsoft is going to introduce roaming signatures, a new feature for Outlook for Windows. The new feature changes “Roaming signatures” or Signature cloud settings is a long-awaited feature for Outlook for Windows. The new feature was meant to change the way Outlook email signatures are stored. Instead of storing them on a local drive (ironically, in roaming user profiles), signatures would be moved to the cloud – to a user’s mailbox. The change would make signatures available on all devices running Outlook for Windows that have been configured with this user’s email account. As there is a lot of inaccurate information regarding the feature, let’s explain what this feature really is, when to expect it, and whether it affects CodeTwo solutions at all.

Outlook roaming signatures vs CodeTwo email signatures

When to expect roaming signatures?

The feature was first added to roadmap in early 2020. Judging from the dates on the roadmap item 60371 (Outlook for Windows: Signature cloud settings) and a couple of Message center announcements, its shipment was expected still in 2020.

The date has been moved several times. According to the last update, we can expect the feature’s preview in September 2022. The final release date is October 2022. The date is not the only thing that changed in the development plans. While at first roaming signatures were supposed to be available for everyone, now we can read that its Global Availability phase is planned for the Current Channel only. It means that most companies will probably never get to use it, since many organizations prefer more stable release channels, like Semi-Annual and Monthly.

Microsoft Roadmap Outlook Signature cloud settings

For those users who get the chance to use the feature, here’s a quick description of how it will work:

Roaming signatures for Outlook: short description

Moving signature settings from a local drive to user’s mailbox is a good change. Thanks to that, if you are using your Outlook on multiple computers, you wouldn’t have to set up a signature separately on every single endpoint. Also, this potentially opens up a way to use tools such as PowerShell to set up a signature remotely.

However, if you take a closer look at the roadmap item, the feature’s capabilities are limited. At this moment, plans are only for Outlook for Windows. In other words, it means that you will benefit from the changes only if you, e.g., occasionally use Outlook for Windows on another PC, such as in a conference room. When you use Outlook on a Mac or a mobile device (or Outlook on the web), signature settings will still be separate.

There has been some information that roaming signatures might affect or even break email signature add-ins. Let’s take a look at how the feature might affect third-party tools like ours.

Impact of Outlook roaming signatures on CodeTwo software

In a Message center announcement and an email sent to Microsoft 365 clients, Microsoft mentioned that roaming signatures will affect third-party signature add-ins. According to the message, these add-ins will no longer work when this feature is released unless admins modify the registry for users in their organization as per this article. The similar information is spread throughout many different sources and articles as well. Because of that, we would like to clarify that the new feature from Microsoft:

  1. will not “break” CodeTwo tools or substitute them in any way – it just saves Outlook signatures in the cloud, like Outlook on the web (OWA) did for years. That way, these signatures are automatically accessible on other Windows-based PCs for a given user once they use Outlook hooked up to the same Microsoft account;
  2. does not introduce central management of signatures, AD integration, dynamic signatures, signature campaigns and other features you already get from CodeTwo;
  3. does not work with mobile devices and other email clients – it’s limited to Outlook for Windows only;
  4. does not require you to take any action* for your organization no matter what signature mode you use with CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365:
    1. if you use client-side or combo mode (which require you to install CodeTwo Signatures Add-in for Outlook), all versions of the CodeTwo Outlook add-in since June 17, 2020 automatically change the registry for all users who use this add-in so that CodeTwo signatures will continue to work when roaming signatures are released by Microsoft. The add-in is updated automatically for these users (they might be prompted to restart Outlook after the update).

      * Only the admins who deployed the classic COM add-in globally via GPO will need to redeploy it to make sure all users get the latest version (instructions on how to do this can be found in the user’s manual).

Comparison of Outlook roaming signatures and CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365

As mentioned above, the new feature for Outlook changes nothing for companies that use third-party email signature tools such as CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365, because these tools address completely different problems. Take a look at the table below to compare native signature cloud settings in Outlook with CodeTwo’s email signature solution.

 CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365Native signature cloud settings in Microsoft Outlook
Central email signature management for the entire company or selected groups of users

Support for all email clients and devices (including mobiles)

Setting up different signatures for internal and external emails

Signatures inserted automatically based on rules

Email signatures in encrypted messages

Azure Active Directory synchronization (user info automatically added to signatures)

Scheduling email signature campaigns
Delegation of email signature design and management to specific people or teams
Unified visual identity across the entire company

Automatic conversion of plain text emails to the HTML format (signatures in emails sent by mobile devices look the same as those sent from PCs)

Signature editing blocked for all/selected users
One-click customer satisfaction surveys in email signatures
Signatures added/removed by specific keywords in the email body
Other features

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding the new feature and its impact on CodeTwo software that you use, feel free to contact us.

CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 is the world-leading and highest rated email signature solution for Microsoft 365 & Office 365. It’s a cloud service deployed on Microsoft Azure in a region of customer’s choice, backed up by world’s only 4-level security system compliant with ISO/IEC 27001 & 27018 and a free 1-year Microsoft 365 data backup service, which makes it the most secure signature software on the market. Our product is co-engineered with Microsoft and awarded by Microsoft for exceptional Customer Experience.

CodeTwo offers solutions for organization-wide email signature management, data backup and migration for Microsoft 365 & Exchange Server, developed for 15 years and used by over 100k organizations worldwide, including Facebook, Samsung and UNICEF.

3 thoughts on “Outlook roaming signatures vs CodeTwo email signatures

  1. Perfect, the early update REMOVED all my signauters from my destop version and won’t allow me to set them back up. Thanks so much for this :) The intricate part must not be working correctly.

    • Let’s hope it will work better when it’s globally available.
      You can check if the local copy of those email signatures remained intact. This article shows where to look for.

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