Tech & Gadgets

Automatically Marking Your Emails as Read

One of my little pet peeves while working was that I always had to move to a different email in Outlook in order to switch it to the “already read” gray. Frequently, I would stay on the same email for quite some time in order to read instructions as I was completing a task. But even though I’d read and re-read the email multiple times, Outlook still perceived it as “unread” because I hadn’t selected a different email.

Here’s how I fixed that.

  1. Go to the “View” tab at the top of your Outlook menu.
  2. Select “Reading Pane” towards the righthand side of the screen – once on that button, choose “Options” at the very bottom of the menu.


  3. That will bring up a screen that will allow you to select the option of marking your items as read while you are reading them. You can adjust the settings to wait a few seconds before marking them as read, or leave it as-is and it will mark the emails you click on as read within a few seconds of you selecting them in the Reading Pane.


  4. Voila! You no longer have to click off an email for the email you’re reading to be marked as read.
  5. You may also be interested in selecting “Single key reading using spacebar” which is the last option mentioned above. What this does is allows you to scroll through a message using your space bar – and if you tap the spacebar again after you’ve scrolled to the bottom of the current email, it will move you on to the next email in your inbox. This can be helpful in terms of eliminating unnecessary mouseclicks or scrolling with your mouse or the arrow keys on your keyboard – you can just hit the spacebar and quickly get through your emails. Try it out!
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