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In Outlook, how can I change the appearance of my unread mail?

It is possible to change the appearance of different categories of emails as displayed in Outlook's message list (on a folder-by-folder basis), as follows.   These instructions apply to Outlook 2013 and 2010.

  1. Click to select a folder (such as your Inbox), then click the View menu tab.
  2. In the Current View tool group, click on View Settings.
  3. In the Advanced View settings dialogue box, click the Conditional Formatting... button.
    A set of standard formatting rules appears.
  4. To change the view criteria for a rule, click on the rule to highlight it, then click the Font... button.
    For example, select the Unread messages rule.
  5. Change the font and colour settings as desired, then click OK.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 as required for other rules.
  7. Click on OK and then OK again, to close the View Settings dialogue.
    You should see the current folder showing the chosen new display characteristics.

If you want to apply the same formatting rules to other folders, follow these steps:

  1. In the Current View tool group, click on Change View.
  2. In the drop-down menu, click on Apply Current View to Other Mail Folders....
  3. In the list of folders shown, click to select the boxes alongside the folders to which you want to apply the same formatting rules.
    If you want sub-folders to have the same appearance, click the Apply view to subfolders option box.
  4. Click OK.

Please see FAQ 2725 for instructions on how to create a new rule, e.g emails from a certain address or set category.

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This is question number 2293, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Samantha Jane Elmer on 7 April 2011 and last updated by Richard Byrom-Colburn on 21 October 2016