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Free Email TutorialsOutlook ExpressMark an email message as Unread or Read in Outlook Express

Mark an email message as Unread or Read in Outlook Express

This tutorial will show you three ways you can use to change the Read/Unread status of an email, a selection of emails, or an entire email folder! We'll also give you a couple of keyboard shortcuts you can use for higher productivity when managing and processing your emails in Outlook Express. But beyond this setting, you can always decide yourself if an email should be marked as Read or Unread: the last section of this tutorial explains how to customize how long Outlook Express waits before automatically marking a new email as Read (and even force it never to mark a message as read until you do it yourself manually).

Manually mark emails as Read or Unread in Outlook Express

Here are a few techniques you can use to manually change an email status:

Tip: to mark the selected email message(s) as Read, Outlook Express supports the "Ctrl+Q" keyboard shortcut. To mark an entire email folder as Read, use Ctrl+Shift+A. Unfortunately, Outlook Express doesn't support the Ctrl+U keyboard shortcut other Microsoft email programs use to manually mark an email message as Unread.

Customize how long Outlook Express waits before marking an email as Read

When Outlook Express downloads new emails to your inbox, they are generally all marked as Unread - this is sometimes not the case if you have first checked your email account from a web browser, or checked these same messages from another email program (be it Outlook Express on another computer, or a different email program altogether). The default setting used is to make an email automatically marked as Read after 5 seconds: in other words, if you stay with a given email selected for at least 5 seconds, it will have been marked as read by the time you start reading another message. Here is how to configure how long Outlook Express waits before automatically marking new email messages as Read:

You can of course change that option at any time; our favorite interval is zero seconds, which allows us to quickly scan for new emails - when we need to act on a particular message, we'll manually re-mark it as Unread (either right-click on the email in question and choose "Mark as Unread", or choose that command under the "Edit" menu).

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Tutorial last updated on December 2, 2011
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