Mark messages as read or unread

The headers of unread messages display in bold text in your Inbox. The number of unread messages can be seen next to the name of the folder in the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes panes such as Shortcuts or Mail and the shortcuts or folders within each pane. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.).

 Note    You can find all your unread messages in the Unread Mail folder under Search Folders (Search Folders: Virtual folders that contain views of all e-mail items matching specific search criteria. The items remain stored in one or more Outlook folders.) in the Navigation Pane; this Search Folder is displayed in the Navigation Pane by default. If you don't see the Unread Mail folder in Search Folders, you can re-create it.

ShowManually mark messages as read or unread.

  1. Select the messages you want to change.


 Note   Changing 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.) for items can make selecting specific items easier. For instance, if you want to select all messages that have the same subject, in the folder containing the messages, click View, point to Arrange By, and then click Conversation. Select the messages you want from the view.

  1. On the Edit menu, do one of the following:
    • To mark a message as read, click Mark as Read.
    • To mark a message as unread, click Mark as Unread.
    • Mark all the messages in a folder, click Mark All as Read.

 Note    If you mark a replied to or forwarded message as unread, the message symbol continues to display as an open envelope. However, it is still considered unread for sorting, grouping, or filtering.

ShowAutomatically mark messages as read in the Reading Pane.

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Other tab.
  2. Click Reading Pane.
  3. 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.
Applies to:
Outlook 2003