Software

Disable Outlook 2010's no subject warning

Outlook won't let you disable its "no subject" warning, but you can use a macro if you're really serious about the subject.

When you try to send an email without filling in the Subject line, Outlook 2010 complains. It'll let you send the email, but not before forcing you to confirm your action. Some users feel the new confirmation process is a waste of time, and I'm asked frequently how to disable this warning.

If you want to send subjectless messages, you can - you just have to confirm your intentions. If doing so annoys you, use Peter Marchert's macro. I've tested the macro in Outlook 2010 and it works fine. Be sure to put the function in the ThisOutlookSession module (under Microsoft Outlook Objects) and enable macros as follows:

  1. Click the Developer tab.
  2. In the Code group, click Macro Security.
  3. Select Macro Settings in the left pane (if necessary).
  4. Click the Enable All Macros (Not Recommended; Potentially Dangerous Code Can Run) option.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Close and restart Outlook.

This setting comes at a price - you're allowing Outlook 2010 to run all macros without permission or notification. Depending on your environment, that might be a bad idea, so be careful. It isn't a setting I'd choose lightly.

Interestingly, the topic seems to be controversial. Sending a message without a subject is considered bad etiquette by the rule-makers. Some would go so far as to say you should never do so. Besides being rude, spam filters often snag messages without a subject, so your subjectless email may never reach its destination. Others believe too much of a good thing is just as bad; users who want to disable this warning should be able to do so - Microsoft should just add a setting.

If you have a strong opinion about this topic, you can use Microsoft's online Submit Feedback form to share your thoughts. I can't promise they'll change Outlook 2010 according to your wishes, but it can't hurt. In the meantime, express yourself in our latest poll:

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.

9 comments
Alex White
Alex White

Does snail mail have a summary of the content on the outside? Why is a subject necessary, it's useful but not always necessary, especially with personal email. I send myself notes all the time, from me to my personal addresses, I dont need or want a subject. If people feel that subject-less email is rude, they are trying very very hard to be offended.

Marshwiggle
Marshwiggle

Should option 5 read "I dislike forcing others ..."?

ssharkins
ssharkins

Things change -- this is a good reason for a setting -- or as radar_z suggested, even an option for each email rather than an all or nothing setting.

BuckeyeTom
BuckeyeTom

I send many SMS through Outlook and a subject is useless

radar_z
radar_z

More than the warning about no subject, I would like a "button" to turn on and turn off whether or not to include the received message in the reply. Having to go to options-->Mail-->scroll down, etc, it would be nice to do this in one step. I don't like setting Outlook to include ALL messages with replies to those messages. It is too much like Gmail and Yahoo! Mail to include incoming messages with all replies.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I've been known to ignore subjectless e-mails until I've finished others. Sorry, if it wasn't important enough for the sender to include a subject, it wasn't important enough for me rush to read. As to the "Do you really want Microsoft to waste valuable development time ..." poll option, MS has already wasted valuable time developing the existing 'No Subject' warning. It shouldn't take as much time to remove or disable it.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Should every email have a subject? Make your case for or against and we'll see if we can form a consensus.

ITManagerOH
ITManagerOH

We have a fax service that does not process anything in the message except attachments and the To address. When sending a lot of faxes, it is tedious to enter a subject or click Send Anyway every time. A registry hack or, better yet, a user setting would be even better to be able to turn this on or off. While I agree that person to person emails are received much better with a subject, there are always exceptions. So, get off your high horses . . . .

j2will
j2will

Personally, I automatically delete emails without subjects from no-subject emails To often I have been hit with malwarere from no-subject emails Subjects also help find specific emails in the hundreds of emails I receive each day so I am always highy grateful for those people who are considerate enough to help categorize my email by providing enough info in the subject.

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