Last update: September 2019.
Here’s a question from a reader:
I am using Microsoft Outlook 365. I have noticed that after i click on a specific email entry in the Outlook Mail tab and open it for reading, Outlook naturally mark it as read. What’s annoying is that i have noticed that items that i view in the Reading Pane are shown as being read as well… This makes it difficult for me to follow up on my email and take the required action. Now the question is the following: is there a way to modify the read / unread settings to keep my messages marked as unread in Outlook unless i explicitly set them as read (by making a right click and selecting Mark as Read). Thanks in advance for any tips.
Thanks for the question. In our answer, we’ll be covering both Windows and macOSX. Here we go:
You can follow this procedure to turn off the single click read feature, so that Outlook doesn’t mark messages as read:
Note: There is another interesting setting in the Reading Pane, which allows you to mark items as read when selecting different items in your Inbox. The setting is not checked by default, and probably for a good reason.
To configure Outlook to stop “opening” your email automatically and keep your previewed email as unread kindly follow these steps:
Couple of readers asked about the opposite use case. You want to preview your email and mark it as read afterwards. Setting the time stamp in the Reading Panes dialog (which control the Outlook unread settings) to 2-3 seconds, will most likely do the trick and ensure your emails became read, even if you just previewed them for a short time.
One reader pointed out the fact that by default, Outlook doesn’t set deleted mails as read, which becomes visible in the Deleted Items folder.
To ensure deleted items are marked as read, navigate to the Other section bottom of the Outlook Settings dialog at: File>>Options>>Mail, and mark the “Mark messages as read when deleted”.
Readers asked whether they could use shortcuts to quickly mark an email as read or unread.
Ctrl + Q : Will set to read
Ctrl + U: Will mark as unread.
Kindly leave us a quick comment in case of any questions.