Managing the Windows Common Feed List

With Windows Vista and IE7, Microsoft introduced the Windows Common Feed List.  This is a great facility that lets you share your RSS feeds between IE and Outlook (and any other Windows application that you want to use to access it).

While I really like the capability, I’ve been frustrated that my feeds list is getting pretty chock-a-block with things in which I am no longer interested.  For the life of me, I couldn’t find out how to manage the feed list in bulk.  (It’s easy to remove feeds one at a time in both Outlook and IE.)  I hadn’t spent the time to track down how to do this, but finally today I found this post out there on the Windows Observer blog that gave me the answers.

The feed items are stored in the folder C:Users[Username]AppDataLocalMicrosoftFeeds.  They are much like shortcuts in that they are small files that contain the details of the feeds you’ve subscribed to.  From this folder, you can delete any feeds that you’d like and they will be gone forever, both in Outlook and IE.  (Don’t delete the file FeedsStore.feedsdb-ms, as this seems to be the database that contains information about each feed.)  You can avoid conflicts when you delete feeds if you close Outlook and IE first.

One note: Depending on how you added feeds to Outlook in the first place, you may still need to delete the RSS folders there manually.

Poor Man’s RSS Web Part

If you’re using Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0, you might wish you could add RSS feeds to your sites like you can using the RSS Web Part in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS).  You can!

Simply add an XML Web Part to the site and paste the link to the RSS feed into the XML Link field on the configuration panel.  It won’t be as “smart” as the RSS Web Part with respect to caching, etc., but it will work.

Depending on the RSS feed that you’re displaying, you may want to make some changes to the XSL that displays the content.  You can also do this on the configuration panel, but the text editor there leaves a bit to be desired, so it may be easier for you if you copy out the XSL and edit it in SharePoint Designer.

You can also use the XML Web Part to display the contents of lists elsewhere in your Site Collection by pasting the link to that library or list’s RSS feed into the XML Link field.  (Trim off the server name and make it a relative link.)