Mark an email message as important, private, or sensitive

Set the level of importance for an email message to indicate whether the message needs the recipients' attention quickly or can be read later. For messages that have an importance-level setting, recipients see a visual indicator in their Inbox.

In addition, you can include a sensitivity setting. This is an advisory to the recipient on how to treat the contents of the message.

Change the importance level for a message

  • In the mail message window, on the Message tab, in the Options group, click High Importance or Low Importance.

Tags group on the ribbon

Change for all new messages

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Mail.
  4. Under Send messages, in the Default Importance level list, click High, Normal, or Low.

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Change the sensitivity level for a message

Each sensitivity setting is only an advisory. Recipients can take any action on the message that they want to, such as forwarding a confidential message to another person. To help restrict actions recipients can do on a message, you should use Information Rights Management (IRM) if available in your organization.

The recipients will see the following text in the InfoBar (InfoBar: Banner near the top of an open email message, appointment, contact, or task. Tells you if a message has been replied to or forwarded, along with the online status of a contact who is using Instant Messaging, and so on.) of the message:

  • For Normal, no sensitivity level is assigned to the message. Therefore, no text is displayed in the InfoBar.
  • For Private, the recipient will see Please treat this as Private in the InfoBar.
  • For Personal, the recipient will see Please treat this as Personal in the InfoBar.
  • For Confidential, the recipient will see Please treat this as Confidential in the InfoBar.
  1. In the mail message window, on the Message tab, click the Options Dialog Box Launcher Dialog Box Launcher.
  2. In the Message Options dialog box, under Message Settings, in the Sensitivity list, select Normal, Personal, Private, or Confidential.

Change for all new messages

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Under Outlook, click Options.
  3. Click Mail.
  4. Under Send messages, in the Default Sensitivity level list, select Normal, Personal, Private, or Confidential.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2010