Ways to Change the Way Unread Messages Look in Outlook – Apply Conditional Formatting to Unread Messages

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Ways to Change the Way Unread Messages Look in Outlook – This article explains how to make Microsoft Outlook unread messages stand out by using conditional formatting to change their appearance with a different color, font, or style.

For example, set a conditional rule that specifies all unread messages appear in red. Instructions cover Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010, as well as Outlook for Microsoft 365 and Outlook.com.

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Ways to Change the Way Unread Messages Look in Outlook – What to Know

  • Go to View > View Settings > Advanced View Settings > Conditional Formatting. Select Add and enter a name for your format.
  • Select Font to change the font settings, then select OK. In the Conditional Formatting dialog box, select Condition.
  • In the Filter dialog box, go to More Choices. Select the Only items that are check box and choose Unread. Select OK.

Apply Conditional Formatting to Unread Messages

Here’s how to specify conditions and formatting for incoming messages:

  1. Go to the View tab and select View Settings.

  2. In the Advanced View Settings dialog box, select Conditional Formatting. A set of default rules appears.

  3. In the Conditional Formatting dialog box, select Add.

  4. In the Name text box, enter a descriptive name for the new conditional formatting rule, such as Custom unread mail.

  5. Select Font to change the font settings.

  6. In the Font dialog box, change the FontFont styleSize, or Color. In this example, we’re changing the settings to a different font, bold, and the color red.

  7. Select OK.

  8. In the Conditional Formatting dialog box, select Condition.

  9. In the Filter dialog box, go to the More Choices tab.

  10. Select the Only items that are check box and choose Unread.

  11. Select OK.

  12. In the Conditional Formatting dialog box, select OK.

  13. In the Advanced View Settings dialog box, select OK.

  14. Go to your Inbox.

  15. All unread messages now follow your new conditional formatting rule.

    In Microsoft Outlook 2007, the Organize feature enabled you to create conditional text formatting rules for email messages.

Make Unread Messages Stand Out in Outlook.com

If you’re using the free webmail version of Outlook, there’s no way to set conditional formatting. You can, however, use Rules to make unread messages stand out.

  1. Open Outlook.com and select Settings (the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen).

  2. Select View all Outlook settings.

  3. In the Settings window, select Mail > Rules.

  4. Select Add new rule.

  5. Enter a descriptive name for your rule.

  6. Select the Add a condition drop-down arrow and choose Apply to all messages.

  7. Select the Add an action drop-down arrow and choose Categorize. Then select the category to apply to all new messages.

  8. Select Save, then close the Settings window. Your unread messages will now appear in the color category you selected.

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