Customize the Navigation Pane

The Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes buttons for the Mail, Calendar, and Tasks views and the folders within each view. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.) appears in all views by default. The Navigation Pane can be resized, minimized, or hidden. The contents displayed in the Navigation Pane vary with the view (view: Views give you different ways to look at the same information in a folder by putting it in different arrangements and formats. There are standard views for each folder. You can also create custom views.) you are working in, such as Mail view or Calendar view.

What do you want to do?


Resize the Navigation Pane

  • Point to the right border of the Navigation Pane, and when the pointer becomes a double-headed arrowIcon image, drag the border to the left or right.

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Change the Navigation Pane font

You can change the font and size of the text in the Navigation Pane, from any view in Outlook.

  1. On the View tab, in the Layout group, click Navigation Pane, click Options, and then click Font.
  2. Enter the settings that you want in the Font, Font style, and Size boxes.
  3. Click OK twice to close the open dialog boxes.

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Change the buttons

You can change the number and order of the large navigation buttons that appear at the bottom of the Navigation Pane.

To change the order of the buttons, do the following:

  1. At the bottom of the Navigation Pane, click Configure buttons Configure buttons icon, and then click Navigation Pane Options.
  2. In the Display buttons in this order list, click the button that you want to change, and then click Move Up or Move Down.

 Note    To restore the default button arrangement, click Reset.

To change the number of buttons, do the following:

  • At the bottom of the Navigation Pane, click Configure buttons Configure buttons icon, and then click Show More Buttons or Show Fewer Buttons.

To add or remove buttons, do the following:

  • At the bottom of the Navigation Pane, click Configure buttons Configure buttons icon, click Add or Remove Buttons, and then click the button that you want.

 Notes 

  • To quickly see more or fewer buttons or folders, point to the horizontal splitter bar between the folders and the buttons, and drag the bar up or down when the pointer turns into a double-headed arrowIcon image. If you drag the horizontal splitter bar to the bottom of the Navigation Pane, all the large buttons become small buttons and appear as a single row of icons at the bottom of the Navigation Pane.
  • To maximize the folder pane space, drag the horizontal splitter bar to the bottom of the Navigation Pane, and then use the small buttons to switch folder panes.
  • To see all your folders, and not just your e-mail folders, change the Folder List button into a large button, and then either move it above the Mail button or remove the Mail button from the Navigation Pane.

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Minimize the Navigation Pane

You can increase the amount of work space in your Outlook window by using the minimized Navigation Pane. The minimized Navigation Pane collapses into a vertical bar of buttons that still provides access to your most used folders and views.

To hide or show the minimized Navigation Pane, do the following:

  • In the upper corner of the Navigation Pane or minimized Navigation Pane header, click Minimize the Navigation Pane Minimize the Navigation Pane button or Expand the Navigation Pane Expand the Navigation Pane button.

To see your folders from the minimized Navigation Pane, click the Folders button.

 Note    When you expand the minimized Navigation Pane, the Navigation Pane is reset to the same width as it was previously. If you exit Outlook with the Navigation Pane minimized, it appears minimized when you restart Outlook.

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Use the Folder List view in the Navigation Pane

In this view, all your folders, including your Inbox folders, remain visible in the Navigation Pane when you switch to other views (view: Views give you different ways to look at the same information in a folder by putting it in different arrangements and formats. There are standard views for each folder. You can also create custom views.), such as Calendar or Contacts. Click Folder List Button image at the bottom of the Navigation Pane.

If you click one of the buttons in the Navigation Pane, such as Mail, Calendar or Contacts, the Navigation Pane is changed back to pane view mode.

If you want to keep the Folder List as your main view, do not use the buttons at the bottom of the pane to access other views. Click the appropriate folder, icon, or name in the Folder List itself.

If you are using the Folder List view when you exit Outlook, the Folder List will open when you start Outlook again.

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Change the Favorites list

The Favorites list provides a convenient way to keep your most frequently used folders visible at the top of the Navigation Pane. You choose which folders to include.

 Tip    In the minimized Navigation Pane, the folders listed in Favorites appear as vertical buttons, making them available there as well. The vertical buttons that appear depend on the vertical space available in the Outlook window and the arrangement of the folders in the Favorites list.

Turn on or off Favorites

Turning on or off Favorites does not change the folders in the list. Any folder listed in Favorites when the feature is turned off re-appear when Favorites is turned on again.

  • On the View tab, in the Layout group, click Navigation Pane, and then click Favorites.

A check mark indicates whether Favorites is turned on.

Add or remove folders from Favorites

  • To add a folder to Favorites, drag the folder into the Favorites list. The folder and its contents are not moved, but a shortcut to the folder is created within Favorites.
  • To remove folders from Favorites, right-click the folder that you want to remove, and then click Remove from Favorites.

 Notes 

  • Folders in Favorites must be removed individually.
  • Removing folders from Favorites does not remove them or its contents from the All Mail Folders list.

Minimize or expand Favorites

  • To minimize Favorites, click Expanded icon next to the Favorites header.
  • To expand Favorites, click Collapsed icon next to the Favorites header.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2010