Outlook | Personalize Outlook
This KB Article provides an overview of some personalizations you may wish to make to Microsoft Outlook.
You may want to spend a few minutes in Outlook setting it up to the look the way you prefer. Here are several ways you may want to personalize Outlook:
Use and configure the Reading Pane to preview messages
When you select a message in the message list, you can see the message in the Reading Pane and access many different types of file attachments. You can customize how the Reading Pane works and appears, or you can turn it off.
In addition to using the Reading Pane to help you quickly scan your messages, you can also preview the first few lines of messages in your message list, and you can break up long emails by splitting the message window.
The Reading Pane is turned on by default. Do one of the following:
- To turn off the Reading Pane On the View tab, in the Layout group, click Reading Pane, and then click Off.
- To turn on or move the Reading Pane On the View tab, in the Layout group, click Reading Pane, and then click Right or Bottom.
Selecting Off closes the Reading Pane only for the folder you’re in. To turn off the Reading Pane quickly for multiple folders, on the View tab, click Change View > Apply Current View to Other Mail Folders, and then select folders in the Apply View dialog box.
Use and customize the To-Do bar
The To-Do bar is one of the panes you can add to Outlook for PC. You can use the To-Do bar to display your upcoming calendar events, your task list, or your favorite contacts.
- To display the To-Do Bar, select View > To-Do Bar.
- Select either Calendar, Tasks, or People. You can pick one type of item to display in the To-Do bar, two types of items, or all three.
- To turn the To-Do Bar off, select View > To-Do Bar > Off.
- Click here to learn more about customizing the To-Do Bar.
Setup Your Favorite Folders
Favorites is the section located at the top of the folder pane and lets you keep frequently used mail folders easily available. You won’t have to scroll through the Folder Pane to find the folder that might be several levels deep within the Folder Pane.
There are several ways to add or remove folders to Favorites. Pick the way that’s most convenient for you.
- Click a folder and drag it to Favorites. (You can’t remove a folder this way.)
- Right-click the folder you want to add or remove, and then click Show in Favorites or Remove from Favorites.
- In the Folder Pane, click the folder you want to add, and then click Folder. In the Favorites group, click Show in Favorites. The ribbon command is highlighted when the selected folder appears in Favorites.
When a folder is added to Favorites, it’s a shortcut to the folder. The actual folder and its content remains at the original location in the folder list. Removing a folder from Favorites doesn’t delete the folder or contents—it removes only the shortcut that appears in Favorites.
By default, when a folder is added to Favorites, it appears at the bottom of the list. To re-arrange the folders, drag the folder to the new position in the Favorites list.
Favorites can be turned off if you don’t use the feature and want more space to view the mail folder list in the folder pane.
No folders are added or removed when you turn on or off Favorites—it only changes whether the section appears in the Folder Pane. There is also no effect on folders in the main folder list.
- In Mail, click View > Folder Pane > Favorites.
If you turn off Favorites, and then turn it back on, the same folders appear.