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Read Items in Outlook

How annoying do you find it that MS Outlook automatically marks any message displayed in the Preview / Reading Pane as read.

Just because I open the Inbox and a new message is selected doesn’t mean that I’ve actually read it. Often I’ll get the program started and then move off to something else… sometimes the message selected has been looked at and sometimes not but, either way, after a couple of seconds it’s marked as read.

So now, when I’m doing a quick scan through my messages I can’t rely on the bolded ones being the only unread ones.

If you’ve felt the irritation of this situation and wished that Outlook would just stop it then I have good news for you… it will stop, if you just tell it to.

Outlook’s Options is where we’ll be able to let our opinion on this subject be heard.

Start at the Tools menu, Options choice.

In the Options dialog box go to the Other tab.

You’re looking to click the button marked as Preview Pane or Reading Pane (depending upon your version of Outlook).

A dialog box like this will open.


Uncheck the first option, “Mark items as read when viewed in the Reading / Preview Pane,” and click OK.

Click OK again to exit the Options dialog box and you’re back to business. The good news is that now Outlook is doing business your way!

~ April