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How to collapse or expand all groups in Outlook?

For many Outlook users, their inbox messages are too crowded to pick up a certain message that received at a certain time. So most of them would like to keep all the messages collapsed for a clean view in Outlook interface. After collapsing, you can easily expand them all back to the last view you have changed before. Please look at the following tutorial for how to collapse or expand all groups in Outlook.

Collapse or expand all groups by shortcut

Collapse or expand single group or all groups by Collapse/Expand feature

Collapse or expand all groups by default in Outlook

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arrow blue right bubble Collapse or expand all groups by shortcut

With the following shortcut keys, you can easily collapse or expand all groups.

1. For expanding all groups, hold on the Ctrl key and then press + sign on the number keyboard.

2. For collapsing all groups, you can press Ctrl and sign on the number keyboard. After pressing “Ctrl -” to collapse all groups, you can see the result as following screenshot shows:

Note: You should remember, the sign “-”and ”+” must on the number keyboard.


arrow blue right bubble Collapse or expand single group or all groups by Collapse/Expand feature

For Outlook 2010 and 2013, if you just want to temporally collapse or expand a single group or all groups at once in Outlook, please do as follows.

1. If you want to collapse or expand a single group per time, you need to select this group and then click View > Expand/Collapse > Collapse This Group or Expand This Group. See screenshot:

And only the selected single group will be collapsed or expanded.

2. For collapsing or expanding all groups, please click View > Expand/Collapse > Collapse All Groups or Expand All Groups.

And then all the groups in the mail listing will be collapsed or expanded.

In Outlook 2007, please click View > Expand/Collapse Groups, and then choose the options that you want to do from the expanded list.


arrow blue right bubble Collapse or expand all groups by default in Outlook

If you want to collapse or expand all groups or conversations by default in Outlook, you can change the default collapse / expand state of groups as follows:

1. In Outlook 2007, please click View > Current View > Customize Current View. See screenshot:

In Outlook 2010 and 2013, please click View tab, and then click View Settings in the Current View group.

3. In the following popping up dialog, in Outlook 2007, it is named Customize View: Messages; in Outlook 2010 and 2013, it is called Advanced View Settings: Hide Message Marked for Deletion. In that dialog, click Group By. See screenshot:

4. If you want to open the Outlook with all groups expanded by default, please select All Expanded in the Group By dialog under Expand/collapse defaults. If not, select the other one.

5. And then click OK to close this dialog. When it returns to the previous dialog, please click OK again.


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Surfer · 3 months ago
    Hi this worked but I had to go one step forward and use change view and then save current view.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    sri121212d · 4 months ago
    I couldn't find these options in Outlook 2019 on Mac.

    This worked for me:
    Go to Organize-> ArrangeBy->Collapse All Groups
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    alnuaimi · 2 years ago
    outlook 2016 collapse defaults not working

    Every time I pick "All collapse" from drop list as default choice for inbox or for sent folder outlook not save this option. please help me.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      John Williamson · 2 years ago
      [quote name="alnuaimi"]outlook 2016 collapse defaults not working

      Every time I pick "All collapse" from drop list as default choice for inbox or for sent folder outlook not save this option. please help me.[/quote]

      I am experiencing exactly the same thing. I have set the default for "All collapse" and it has worked in the past. Now, when I set it (per the instructions above) for a folder of processed/retained mail items, all the groups collapse at the time I set it. Then, I expand a group, leave the folder, and return to the folding expecting to see all the groups collapsed. Instead, the group I had opened is still open and the View settings have been changed to "As last viewed."

      Interestingly, this change in settings does not occur if I leave all folders collapsed, exit and return to the folder. It only changed if I have I expanded a folder(s), depart, and return.

      I have "Reset" folder settings to Default and applied the change to All collapse. No joy.

      I am using Office 2016 (from Office 365).

      Observations/solutions welcome.
      • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
        Mick · 8 months ago
        What worked for me was going group by group and doing the steps:

        1- Click on the group
        2- Click on View
        3- Click on View Settings
        4- Group by -> All collapsed -> Ok -> Ok

        I did it for each group independently and is working fine.

        Regards,
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    nisam · 3 years ago
    I am using multiple mailbox.Have any option for expand and collapse all the mailbox in a single click.I think outlook not have option for that have any VB script or plugin for solving this issue
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    Sham · 3 years ago
    Yes!!!!!! Thank you so much as well!!!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Ajay · 3 years ago
    Thank you so much!!
    God bless you!! :)