Mark a message as read or unread

Applies to: Outlook for Office 365, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007.

  1. Right-click the message.
  2. Select Mark as Read or Mark as Unread.
  3. To flag many messages as either read or unread at once, select the first message, press down Ctrl, choose the other messages, and then pick the option you want.
  4. Repeat to alternate between a message status from read to unread and back again.
Press Ctrl+Q to mark the message as read or Ctrl+U to mark it as unread.

Newer versions

Mark all messages in a folder as read or unread

  1. From the folder pane, pick a folder (only one at a time).
  2. Select any message in the list of messages, and then choose Ctrl+A to pick all the folder’s contents.
  3. Right-click the chosen messages.
  4. Then, choose Mark as Read or Mark as Unread.

Change how quickly messages are marked as read

If you want, you can reduce the speed at which messages get assigned as read. For example, after you choose a message, Outlook can wait 30 seconds before marking it as read.

  1. Press File > Options > Advanced.
  1. Under Outlook panes, press Reading Pane.
  1. Check the Mark items as read when viewed in the Reading Pane check box.
  1. In the Wait n seconds before marking item as read box, state the number of many seconds you want to elapse between when you select a message in the Reading Pane and it appears marked as read.

Change how and when messages are marked as read

Outlook marks a message as read when you select it. To change this behavior:

  1. Select File > Options > Advanced.
  2. Under Outlook panes, select Reading Pane.

  3. Uncheck the boxes for Mark items as read when viewed in the Reading Pane  and Mark item as read when the selection changes.
  4. Click OK twice to return to Outlook.

Automatically mark messages as read when deleted

Important: This new option is currently only available for Office 365 ProPlus and Office 365 Business customers on the Monthly Channel who upgrade to Version 1803 (Build 9126.2116) or later. It is not available on versions.

If your Deleted Items folder shows that you have unread items, there’s now a quick fix to make sure all deleted messages are marked as read.

  1. Select File > Options > Mail.  In the Other section, check Mark messages as read when deleted.

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