Mark email messages as read or unread

The headers of unread messages appear in bold text. A count of unread messages appears next to the folder name in 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.).

Mark messages as read or unread

  1. Select one or more messages that you want to mark as read or unread.

ShowHow do I select more than one message?


  1. On the Home tab, in the Tags group, click Unread/Read.

Unread/Read command on the ribbon

Keyboard shortcut    To mark message as read, press CTRL+Q. To mark message as unread, press CTRL+U.

If you mark a message as unread after replying to or forwarding the message, the message symbol continues to appear as an open envelope. However, it is considered unread for sorting, grouping, or filtering.

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Mark all messages in a folder as read or unread

You can quickly mark all of the messages in a folder as read or unread. Multiple folders cannot be selected.

Mark as read

  1. In the Navigation Pane, click the folder.
  2. On the Folder tab, in the Clean Up group, click Mark All as Read.

Mark All as Read command on the ribbon

Keyboard shortcut    Click any message in the message list, press CTRL+A, and then press CTRL+Q.

Mark as unread

  1. In the Navigation Pane, click the folder.
  2. Click any message in the message list, and then press CTRL+A.
  3. On the Home tab, in the Tags group, click Unread/Read.

Unread/Read command on the ribbon

Keyboard shortcut    To mark all messages as unread, after you press CTRL+A to select all messages, press CTRL+U.

Automatically mark messages as read in the Reading Pane

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Advanced, and then under Outlook panes, click Reading Pane.
  4. Select the Mark items as read when viewed in the Reading Pane check box, and then type a number in the Wait n seconds before marking item as read box.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2010