Software

Determine how Outlook displays unread messages

Outlook displays unread messages in bold type, which might work for you. But if it doesn't, change it!

By default, Outlook displays unread messages in your Inbox using a bold font. It works, but you might prefer another way of making unread messages stand out. If that's the case, read on:

  1. In Outlook select the Inbox.
  2. Choose Arrange By from the View menu.
  3. Select Current View from the resulting submenu.
  4. Select Customize Current View.
  5. Click Automatic Formatting.
  6. At this point, several options are (probably) checked. Whatever options you leave checked will reflect the changes you make in subsequent steps. If you want to change the format only for unread messages, uncheck everything but the Unread Messages option.
  7. Click Font.
  8. Specify the formats you want to apply.
  9. Click OK three times.

It couldn't be easier -- it's just a matter of knowing where to look for the right option. Don't settle for defaults unless they're really what you want.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

19 comments
Rafiki
Rafiki

Can anyone show how to highlight the current e-mail being looked at i.e. i find it difficult to figure out which e-mail i am looking at in the view pane if i have scrolled away as it does not get highlighted enough to stand out from others.

kcrozier
kcrozier

I have lost my unread mail folder. Any suggestions to put it back and have it work correctly?

krowley
krowley

That?s pretty cool, but what I reeeeaaaally want is for messages to be ?Marked as Read? *immediately upon opening* them! As it is, they don?t get Marked as Read for like 10 seconds or so after it?s been open. That?s WAAAAY too long!

cholt2064
cholt2064

This worked on my messages. However, I use the Folder list in Outlook. Is there any way to change the font on the folders so they do not appear in bold along with the number of unread messages?

jd_pathak
jd_pathak

useful.I have connected my gmail account with outlook. Please tell me why I have to delete and open frequantly though I have deleted all mails in gmail account.

lysted
lysted

When you know where to look - Thank you!

lim.chong
lim.chong

Yep it works. Does add a different perspective to your outlook display!

swteach
swteach

I auto-formatted my READ message to show in RED. Just my little play on words, but effective at-a-glance status info.

satydg
satydg

that makes sense.. thanks for that :-)

LynnP
LynnP

In Outlook 2007, Current View is a separate menu item on the View menu.

ssharkins
ssharkins

You may have moved it without realizing it -- take a look around. If it really is gone, you can recreate it. In Outlook Help files, search for "Create a Search Folder." Let us know how it goes.

ssharkins
ssharkins

Choose Options from the Tools menu, and then click the Other tab. Click the Reading Pane button (to the right and down a bit). Check the Mark Items As Read When Viewed and type a number in the Wait n Seconds Before Marking ... item. Just enter a really small number, such as 1. Hope that hopes!

ssharkins
ssharkins

I use gmail, but I don't recognize the problem you're having. What do you mean when you say you have to "delete" and "open" even though you've deleted all mail from your gmail account -- delete and open what? Does your email refuse to delete?

spartodd
spartodd

I wish that I had know about this all along. Great topic!

KMacNeil
KMacNeil

I used this custom formatting to make any messages from my boss RED and anything sent only to me in GREEN. If figured those two are messages where I will likely have to do something. The rest are just informational, usually. It works for me.

djohnson
djohnson

I changed it so that my unread messages would show up in Red (as a test) and when I saved the changes it flipped all the mail in my box to read (no unread messages). I use IMAP mail. I wonder if that could be the culprit or does making the change update the status on all the mail currently in your inbox??

jd_pathak
jd_pathak

actually i wanted to say that the new style of email display in goole (gmail), I could not understood it at first. Thanks for replay friend.

hortonx2
hortonx2

View. Arrange By. Current View. Automatic Formatting. Add. Name. Condition. OK Also select a font :)

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