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Mark as Read in MS Outlook

If you’re like me then when MS Outlook let’s you know that you’ve got a new message you usually see an envelope down in the bottom corner of your taskbar (the system tray).


I happen to have a love/hate relationship with that little envelope.

I love that it let’s me know that a new message has arrived – since my work computer is used for teaching purposes and is displayed most of the time I can’t have the type of notification that would display actual information about the message – but I can use that little envelope!

On the other hand, when I get a moment where my computer isn’t displayed I’ll often take a quick peek at what’s come into my Inbox. I tend to look at the message details (sender, subject) and if it’s not something I need right that moment then I’ll quickly minimize Outlook and move on with class.

That’s where the “hate” part comes in.

I tend to maximize Outlook, look at the new message information (without actually selecting it) and then minimize it.

Notice that in all of that I never actually looked at the new message so Outlook still has it marked as unread… meaning that the little envelope is still there.


If that’s a scenario you can sympathize with – or any situation that triggers this problem – then you might like to know that you can choose to mark a message as “Read” manually. Once that’s done you’ll find that the new mail icon is gone from the taskbar so when it shows up again you’ll know that it actually does mean that you do have a new message.

Here’s how:

1. Right-click on the message.


2. Choose “Mark as Read” from the menu.


Message marked – “hate” part of the relationship gone – now we’re left with only the “love” part :)