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Free Email TutorialsWindows MailShow or hide the preview pane (Reading Pane) in Windows Mail

Show or hide the preview pane (Reading Pane) in Windows Mail

Windows Mail with preview pane and email headers visible You can read your emails in several different ways in Windows Mail: the easiest way is to use the preview pane (typically called "reading pane" in other email programs). The preview pane, as we'll call it to use Windows Mail's terminology, allows you to see the content of the selected email message without actually having to open it. Like in most other email clients, you can move the reading pane to the bottom of the screen, or align it to the right; either way, this portion of the screen will be divided between your emails, and the content of your emails (email body). The alternative is to hide the preview pane altogether - in that case, the only way to read an email is to double-click on it to open it in a new email window. While this seems a bit impractical, we've seen quite a few people who prefer to work with the reading pane turned off (hidden). The screenshot on the left shows Windows Mail with the preview pane and email headers visible (highlighted in blue).

Show or hide the preview pane in Windows Mail

Let's start this tutorial by showing you how to turn on or off the preview pane:

Resize the preview pane and folder listing

You can also resize the Reading Pane by dragging its borders around (and can do the same thing for the folder pane, which gives you more width for the preview pane and the folder listing). If you are using a vertical preview pane (docked on the right), you can only resize it in width: move your mouse pointer above the left border, and start dragging left (wider) or right (narrower) as soon as your cursor becomes a double-headed arrow:

Resize the preview pane (reading pane) in Windows Mail

When you are using a horizontal preview pane (docked to the bottom of the Windows Mail window), you can also resize the reading pane up or down, which shows more of the message's content (drag up), or more emails in the folder listing (drag down).

Side info: Windows Mail will "remember" exactly how you resized your preview pane between sessions: this setting is automatically saved (just like the window size and position when the program is not maximized when you close it).

Windows Mail Tutorial Windows Mail Windows Mail download Windows Mail for XP Windows Mail for Windows 7 Windows Mail help Setup email accounts Setup / add an email account Setup Hotmail in Windows Mail Setup Yahoo in Windows Mail Setup Gmail in Windows Mail Change email password Delete an email account Read & send emails Delete copies of sent emails Change default email text font Create an email signature Spell checking options Display all emails in plain text Mark emails as Read / Unread Forward emails inline / attached Delete / create email folders Delete/restore email messages Request read receipts Sort email messages Print email messages Customize Windows Mail Enable/disable new email sound Change how often to check for new messages / Work offline Add email sender to contacts Junk mail filters (spam) options Make WM default email client Move or rename email folders Find messages (email search) Show or hide the preview pane Show, hide, customize toolbars
Tutorial last updated on August 22, 2012
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