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How to view messages (all items) by categories in Outlook?

You may have marked some email messages with categories in Microsoft Outlook before. However, sometimes it is tough to pick out messages with specified categories, if numerous items list in the messages list. Actually there are several tricks to view messages by categories with ease in Microsoft Outlook.

Arrange and view all email messages by categories

Search and view all email messages with categories in Outlook 2010 and 2013

Search and view all email messages with categories in Outlook 2007

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arrow blue right bubbleArrange and view all messages by categories

As you know, the messages are arranged by date by default. But you can change the arranging criteria and arrange all items in the messages list by categories.

Step 1: Open the folder in which you will view messages by categories.

Step 2: Arrange messages by categories:

  • In Outlook 2007, please click the View > Arrange By > Categories.
  • In Outlook 2010 and 2013, please click the Categories button in the Arrangement group on the View tab.

Then all messages with categories are moved to the bottom of the messages list, and grouped by categories.

Note: If your email account type is SMTP, for example the Gmail, you cannot arrange all emails by categories. Because a SMTP email account does not allow you to create new color category for an email.


arrow blue right bubbleSearch / view messages with categories in Outlook 2010 and 2013

This method will help you search and filter messages with specified categories in Microsoft Outlook 2010 and 2013, which enable you to view only messages with specified categories.

View all messages with any categories in Outlook 2010 and 2013

To filer and view all email messages with any categories, please do it as following.

Step 1: Open the folder in which you will view messages by categories.

Step 2: Put the cursor in the Search box to activate the Search Tools.

Step 3: Click the Categorized > Any Category in the Refine group on the Search tab.

Then all messages with any categories are filtered and listed in the messages list.

View all messages with one category in Outlook 2010 and 2013

The following steps will guide you to filter and view all email messages with one specified category.

Step 1: Open the folder in which you will view messages by categories.

Step 2: Put the cursor in the Search box to activate the Search Tools.

Step 3: Click the Categorized > X Category (For example, the Yellow Category) in the Refine group on the Search tab.

Then all messages with your specified category are filtered and listed in the messages list at once.

View all messages with two or more categories in Outlook 2010 and 2013

This section will show you how to filter and view email messages with two or more specified categories.

Step 1: Open the folder in which you will view messages by categories.

Step 2: Put the cursor in the Search box to activate the Search Tools.

Step 3: Click the Categorized > X Category (For example, the Yellow Category) in the Refine group on the Search tab.

Step 4: Repeat the Step 3: click the Categorized > another category (For example, the Green Category).

Then all messages marked with green category and yellow category are filtered and listed in the messages list. If one message has been marked with more than green categories and yellow categories, let’s say the message is marked with categories of green, yellow, and blue, it will also be included in the messages list too.


arrow blue right bubbleSearch and view all email messages with categories in Outlook 2007

If you are using Microsoft Outlook 2007, you can filter and view emails messages with specified categories with following steps.

Step 1: Open the folder in which you will view messages by categories.

Step 2: Click the at the right side of search boxto expend the Search tool.

Step 3: Click the Add Criteria > Categories. See the following screen shot:

Step 4: Click the Categoriesbox, and specify a category in the drop down list.

Then all email messages with the specified category are filtered and listed in the messages list in a minute.


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    Ryan · 4 years ago
    I've tried your instructions regarding "View all messages with one category in Outlook 2010 and 2013".
    However, when I click on the Categorized drop down, the list of Categories is incomplete. The list appears limited to only 15 categories for some reason when, in the folder I'm navigating, there are over 60 categories.
    Any suggestions on how to get a complete list of Categorized categories in the Search Tools?