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How to stop Outlook from automatically marking emails as read?

Generally speaking, when you switch unread emails in the mailing list with the Reading Pane turning on, the emails will be marked as Read automatically. Sometimes, you may just want to switch emails but not read them. In this article, I will introduce the solution to stop Outlook from automatically marking email as Read when you clicking them in the mail list.

Stop Outlook from automatically marking emails as read


Stop Outlook from automatically marking emails as read

To stop Outlook from automatically marking emails as read when switching them in the mail list, you need to change the options of Reading Pane.

1. In the Mail view, click View > Reading Pane > Options. See screenshot:

2. In the Reading Pane dialog box, please uncheck both Mark items as read when viewed in the Reading Pane and Mark items as read when selection changes options. See screenshot:

Note: Alternatively, you can also specify the options as follows: (1) check the Mark items as read when viewed in the Reading Pane option, (2) enter the average time you spend on reading an email, and (3) uncheck the Mark item as read when selection changes option. See screenshot:

3. Click the OK button to save the changes.

From now on, when you switch unread emails in the mails list with the Reading Pane turning on, these emails will not be marked as Read automatically.


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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
That was very helpful. Outlook has been driving me crazy with the default setting.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I changed the settings as described - uncheck Mark as read when viewed in Reading Pane, and uncheck Mark as read when selection changes - but the messages are STILL changing to not-bold after several minutes. HELP?!?!?!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Still doing it here, is there and answer ?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I changed the settings as described - uncheck Mark as read when viewed in Reading Pane, and uncheck Mark as read when selection changes - but the messages are STILL changing to not-bold after several minutes. HELP?!?!?!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thanks a lot, super helpful.I overlooked tons of e-mails because of this default setting.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Super helpful! Saved me a lot of grief in two seconds flat. Thank you :)
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Works perfectly - thank you!!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
GREAT Support on this option , thanks ;-)
Keep up the good work
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
This obviously has NOT worked for a number of people. I have tried everything INCLUDING turning off the preview pane, and it STILL marks it read at 5 minutes. Someone said somewhere that it's being marked read on your phone, but that's not it EITHER. My phone marks read AFTER outlook marks it read. I've unchecked all the boxes, still marks read. I "mark item as read when selection changes" and it marks it read even if I don't touch that particular email but just change from one email to another elsewhere.
It's bloody ridiculous.

I have to say, I've been working in MS 365 for about a week now, after a multiple year break using an open source program, and I HATE IT. I used to LOVE Microsoft way back when, but they've made so many changes that are HORRIBLE. You can't add custom keyboard shortcuts in EXCEL (apparently you can in Word, but no, why would be need it in Excel???).
Also Excel: add the little arrows back to skip to the first or last page. Who at Microsoft makes these decisions? Seriously. I'd like to throat punch them.

NO MATTER WHAT I DO, OUTLOOK MARKS THE EMAILS AS READ. PERIOD.
If someone has an actual answer for this issue, please put it out there somewhere!!!!!!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
This hasn't worked for me either. It still marks everything as read even without a preview pane. They show as unread on my phone. I have turned off email on my phone and it continues to change each email to read.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I finally did figure something out. I have a 1 year old laptop, and I’m not sure if it’s the operating system or an MS thing, but I would get a little pop out notification for mail and it had the first couple lines on it, and it turned out it was THAT that was making Outlook think I had read it. Try turning that off. The little notifications in the bottom right tray with the calendar. It’s not the phone.
MS has made a complete mess of this sort of crap, and ESPECIALLY Excel!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
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