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How can I stop previewed messages being marked as read in Outlook?

When Outlook opens, and the reading pane is showing, the most recent message is displayed in the preview. When you click onto another message, the previous one may change colour and be marked as read.  The same thing may happen if you preview any other message by clicking on it.

To stop this happening in Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013, follow these instructions:

  1. Open the File menu and select Options.
  2. Click on the Advanced menu item.
  3. In the Outlook Panes panel, click on the Reading pane... button.
  4. Deselect the Mark items as read when viewed in the Reading Pane and the Mark item as read when selection changes boxes (click to remove the tick).
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click OK again to close the Options dialogue box.

Outlook 2010 Advanced Options (Reading pane)


Note that the menu appearance differs slightly between Outlook 2010 and 2013, but the method is the same.



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This is question number 2285, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Samantha Jane Elmer on 31 March 2011 and last updated by Richard Byrom-Colburn on 20 October 2016