Display the total number of emails in an Outlook folder

To the right of each mail folder, Outlook displays the number of unread messages. With a few clicks, you can change that number to the number of total messages in the folder instead.

Outlook displays the number of unread email messages to the right of each folder. Depending on how you use your folders, knowing the total number of messages in a folder might be more beneficial to you. For instance, if you only store messages that have unfinished business, knowing the total number of unfinished tasks at a glance might be very helpful.

The good news is, you can display the total number of messages or the number of unread messages for each folder. The bad news is, you'll have to choose. You can have one number for each folder. To reset this property to display the total number of messages, do the following:

  1. In the Navigation Pane, right-click the folder in question.
  2. Choose Properties from the resulting submenu.
  3. Click the General tab (if necessary).
  4. Click the Show Total Number Of Items option.
  5. Click OK.

The green number in square brackets, [92], equals the total number of messages in the Inbox. Below, RadActiviti is still set to the default; the blue number in parentheses is the total number of unread messages. The display properties are different so you can visually identify whether the number reflects the total or the number of unread.  Unfortunately, there's no way to identify those folders with no number-they could be either. The folders might be empty or they might have no unread messages.


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.


I love the 6654 messages sitting in the "Deleted Items" folder!!! It cracks me up when users store emails in the trash!!


Down in Outlook's status bar, on the left-hand side, it shows "Items:275 Unread: 75". Not sure why one would need to change default folder view.


Actually, I dump the trash regularly -- that's an indication of the number of emails I receive, not my storage habits. :)


I'm a firm believer in using what works and not making more work for myself than I need, but here's the difference -- the status bar shows statistics for the current folder. If that's all you need, that's great. But, if you want a fuller picture at a glance, or you want the figure for a folder that isn't selected, you'll need this tip.

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