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How to add more color categories in Outlook?

Normally you may label messages, tasks, or others with color categories in Outlook, which help you identify them from a mass of items at a glance, and group/filter them together with same color categories quickly. In addition to one color categories, you can add as many color categories as you need to one item. Here is an easy tutorial to add many color categories for one message, one task, one appointment, and one note, as well as create new color categories in Outlook.

Add more color categories for a message, task, appointment, contact, or note

Add and create more new color categories in Outlook


arrow blue right bubble Add more color categories for a message, task, appointment, contact, or note

The first section will show you how to add many color categories for a message, a task, an appointment, a contact, or a note rapidly in Outlook. Here we will take one message for example.

Step 1: Select the message that you will add many color categories for.

Step 2: Click the Home > Categorize > All Categories in the Tags group.

doc add category color 1

In addition to Categorize button in Home Ribbon, right clicking selected message > Categorize > All Categories is also available.
By the way, there is no Ribbon in Outlook 2007’s main interface. However, you can find out the Categorize button in the toolbar.

Step 3: Check the color categories that you will add to the selected message together.

Step 4: Click OK.

Step 5 (Optional): If you use the Category feature for the first time, it will ask you for renaming categories. You can rename categories according to your needs.

Then all of checked color categories are added to the selected message together, and show in the color lump, reading pane of related message, and related message window as well.

doc add category color 2


arrow blue right bubble Add and create more new color categories in Outlook

Current existing color categories may not enough for your categorizing. Right, this section is about how to create more new color categories in Outlook.

Step 1: Click the Categorize > All Categories in the Tags group under Home tab in Outlook 2010 / 2013; or click the Categorize button in the toolbar in Outlook 2007.

Note: The Categorize button is invalid until you select one message, one task, one appointment, one contact, or one note in Outlook.

Step 2: Click the New button in the Color Categories dialog box.

Step 3: In the Add New Category dialog box, enter a name in the Name: box, and pick out a color from the Color: box.

Step 4: Click OK button.

The new created color will list in Color Categories dialog box at once.

Note: If your Email account type is SMTP, for example the Gmail, you are not able to neither add color category for a message, nor create new color category. But it does not affect adding many color categories for tasks, appointments, contacts, and notes.


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Comments (33)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
This does NOT tell me how to add colors that aren't offered by microsoft. The color choices available in 2016 are hideous.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I agree! We need more variety.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
We just need access to the full color pallette rather than the fixed colors M$ are offering. You do wonder why they apply such a restriction, or is it sheer laziness?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Horrible colour choices, why not just provide a colour picker so we can select our own colour palate?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
PLEASE!!! we need more colors!! any comments ¿?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Agreed, colour picker would be great - more colours needed!

Also, any idea how to get all the colour categories to be displayed when right clicking an email to bring up categories? At the moment it only shows 15 of the 20 or so in use by my work group?
To get around this we either have to click into 'all categories' or assign (& remember) shortcut keys for the routinely used colours, that aren't displayed without extra clicking.
Thanks

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
lol this article in no way answers the question of "How to add more color categories in Outlook?"
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
in the article's defense, I don't believe it is even possible.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Categories (and colors) do not work in Outlook 2016 with IMAP email settings per the very poor customer support I received the other day. They worked fine in Windows 7 and IMAP, but are not supported now. So the ‘custom’ system I had devised using Outlook and FileMaker to handle my monthly project Billings and task records is no longer any good. Although the rep did say at the end of our chat, that I had “no more worries”. WTF?!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Is there a way to add to the color palette? I need more than the 25 colors in the color palette. Thanks.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I have this question too. Does anyone know a solution please?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
me too! I would love to be able to do this!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
me three! can't find this solution on google anywhere
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
ME FOUR!!!!! HELP SOMEONE HEEEEEEELLLLLPPPP!!!!!!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
one year later and me "many"! I'm sure  I want to customize the colours and add many more.  anyone? 

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Why are my New, Rename, Delete buttons grayed out? I can't add colors or name colors?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I am using outlook without this function, do I need to pay for it?

And may I know how can I get the color catagory function? I really need this function.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
If your account is SMTP, there is no catagory button.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
How to have brighter colors in the color category function???? All the color available is depressing.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Sorry,I do not know, either.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I don't like the dark colors for Category. They use too much ink when I print out my weekly schedule. The words are difficult to read against the dark colors. There are not enough colors for a decent selection.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, Annie, you can change the color of category as you need, change them to the light color which can outstand the dark color text.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, the default number of colors are 25 that can be used, I need more about 5-10 more is this possible..?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
did you get it, I need the same
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
did you get it? I need the same here
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Is there a way to do this on the OWA ?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Is there a way to do the same on Outlook on the Web ?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, I have tried, only can add one type of color category when using Outlook on web
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Seems odd to me that Microsoft does not have a trend team, or care how color affects peoples moods and OUTLOOK.
The category color selection is the most underwhelming, and I expect more from a top tier corp like MSFT.
Can't just throw. color wheel in there for people to pick their own?
I don't want the sad-sack colors provided in the software.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Ik ben het volledig eens met het verzoek om uit meer kleuren te kunnen kiezen. Gebruik nu Office 201 maar had beter bij 2019 kunnen blijven. Daar was ermeer kleurenkeuze mogelijk. Zou ook graag zien dat ik zelf kan bepalen wat de achtergornd kleur is maar ook welke kleur de tekst heeft. Soms zijn de zwarte letters heel slecht te lezen en dan zouden witte letters een betere optie zijn. Ook dik maken van letters zou een welkome optie zijn.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
we are microsoft -- resistance is futile
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
My apologies for writing in Dutch

I totally agree with the request to have more colors to choose from. Now using Office 201 but should have stayed with 2019. There was more color choice possible. I would also like to be able to determine myself what the background color is, but also what color the text is. Sometimes the black letters are very difficult to read and then white letters would be a better option. Making letters thick would also be a welcome option.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I hear your pain. But FUNDAMENTALLY, Microsoft do not give a flying f*** what users want. Never have; never will.

As was succinctly put, above: resistance is futile.
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