Note: The other languages of the website are Google-translated. Back to English

How to assign and edit color categories to Outlook items?

Assigning color categories to certain Outlook items, such as email messages, events and contacts, allows you to quickly recognize and group related items in Outlook, so that you can easily track them and improve efficiency. If any of the items are related to more than one category, just assign more color categories to it. In this article, we will introduce the methods to assign a color category to an Outlook item, and create your own categories, change the color or name of an existing color category, and other quick methods to apply categories to highlight Outlook items.

Note: Color categories do not work for IMAP accounts.

Create a color category and assign a shortcut key to it in Outlook

Outlook comes with a set of default color categories, but it will be easier to create and use your own categories, so that you can better spot the associated items.

1. In the Mail view, on the Home tab, in the Tags group, click Categorize > All Categories.

2. In the pop-up Color Categories dialog box, click on the New button.

3. In the new Add New Category dialog, give the category a name in the input box, and assign a recognizable color to it. If you want, set a shortcut key to it.

4. Click OK. You will see the created category is now listed in the Color Categories dialog as shown below. Click OK to save the category and close the dialog.


Assign a color category to Outlook items (or with shortcut key)

To assign a color category to one or more messages, appointments, contacts, or tasks in Outlook, you can do as follows:

1. Select the Outlook items that you will assign a color category to.

2. Assign the category with either way as shown below:

  • If you did not set shortcut key for the color category you want to assign to the selected Outlook items: Right-click on any of the selected items, click Categorize on the drop-down menu, and then select the category you want to assign.
    Note: If you accidently assigned a color category to an item, you can select the item, right-click on it and then choose Clear All Categories.
  • If you have set shortcut key for the color category you want to assign to the selected Outlook items: Press the shortcut key.
    Note: If you accidently assigned a color category to an item with a shortcut key, you can select it and press the same shortcut key to clear the category on it.

Assign a color category to an Outlook item with Quick Click

To assign a color category to an email message, you should go to View > Change View > Single or Preview. To assign a color category to an event or a contact, please click View > Change View > List. Once finished, please do as follows:

1. In the Mail view, on the Home tab, in the Tags group, click Categorize > Set Quick Click.

2. In the Set Quick Click dialog, select the color category that you will assign with Quick Click.

3. If you selected a category that you’ve never used before, a Rename Category dialog will pop up asking if you want to rename the category:

  • Click Yes to close the dialog and save the changes once you finished renaming it, giving it a different color, or setting a shortcut key for it.
  • Click No if you don’t need to make any changes.

4. Now, I will use an email message as an example. In your mail folder, hover your mouse cursor over a message that you will assign the category with Quick Click. You will see an empty box on the Categories column as shown below. A single click on it will assign the category to the message.

Note: If you accidently assigned the color category to an item, you can select the item, and click on the category box again.


Assign a color category to Outlook messages with Quick Step

Outlook has a Quick Steps feature that allows you assign a color category to one or multiple email messages in Outlook with one click. To do so, please follow the steps below:

1. In the Mail view, on the Home tab, click Create New in the Quick Steps box.

2. Click Choose an Action to open the drop-down list of multiple actions. Then select Categorize message.

3. Click Choose category to select a color category that you will assign to messages in Outlook with Quick Step.

4. The name of the action will be filled in the Name box automatically, you can change it to make it more recognizable. Also, you can set a shortcut key for this action (here I set CTRL+SHIFT+2 as the shortcut key), or edit the tooltip text. Then click Finish.

5. Repeat above four steps if you need to create quick steps for other categories.

6. Now, go back to your mail list. Select the messages that you will assign the color category to, then click on the quick action (EO Forum) you just created in the Quick Steps box. The selected messages will then be categorized.

Note: If you accidently assigned a color category to an item, you can select the item, right-click on it and then choose Clear All Categories from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, in the above step 2, you can choose Clear Categories instead of Categorize a category to create a quick action that clears categories.


Edit a color category and its shortcut key in Outlook

1. In the Mail view, on the Home tab, in the Tags group, click Categorize > All Categories.

2. In the pop-up Color Categories dialog box, please do as follows to edit a category:

  1. Select the category you will edit.
  2. Click Rename and type a new name.
  3. Click the drop-down arrow under Color to give it a different color.
  4. Click the drop-down arrow under Shortcut Key to give it a different shortcut key.

3. If you need to edit more categories, repeat the above step. Once finished, click OK to save the changes.


Related articles

How To Automatically Color Categorize Emails Based On Subject In Outlook?

Color categories allow you to quickly recognize and group related items in Outlook, so that you can easily track them and improve efficiency. In this article, we will talk about how to create a rule in Outlook to automatically assign color categories to email messages based on their subjects.

How To Automatically Assign Color Category To Meetings After Accepting Them In Outlook?

In your daily work, you may receive multiple meeting emails in Outlook. Sometimes, you wish to assign a specific color category to meetings automatically when they are accepted. Normally, you can assign them manually, but, this will be troublesome to set them one by one. In this article, I will talk about how to auto accomplish it in Outlook.

How To Group Email Messages By Specified Color Categories In Outlook?

Sometimes, you mark email messages with specified color categories, and then you can rule or find out these email messages easily, or for other purposes. When a mass of email messages crowd in a mail folder, it is hard to find out the email messages marked by specified color categories at a glance. Actually, there are a couple of tricks to group email messages by specified color categories in Microsoft Outlook quickly.

How To Collapse Or Expand All Color Categories By Default In Outlook?

Suppose that you have assigned color categories to the email messages in Outlook, and have grouped all your messages based on different categories. However, each time you expanded or collapsed the folder in Outlook, and then exist and go back to the folder, you may find that the category groups back to the original view. In this tutorial, we will talk about the method to keep Outlook collapse or expand the color categories. Please read on to find out how.


Kutools for Outlook - Brings 100 Advanced Features to Outlook, and Make Work Much Easier!

  • Auto CC/BCC by rules when sending email; Auto Forward Multiple Emails by custom; Auto Reply without exchange server, and more automatic features...
  • BCC Warning - show message when you try to reply all if your mail address is in the BCC list; Remind When Missing Attachments, and more remind features...
  • Reply (All) With All Attachments in the mail conversation; Reply Many Emails in seconds; Auto Add Greeting when reply; Add Date into subject...
  • Attachment Tools: Manage All Attachments in All Mails, Auto Detach, Compress All, Rename All, Save All... Quick Report, Count Selected Mails...
  • Powerful Junk Emails by custom; Remove Duplicate Mails and Contacts... Enable you to do smarter, faster and better in Outlook.
shot kutools outlook kutools tab 1180x121
shot kutools outlook kutools plus tab 1180x121
 
Comments (0)
No ratings yet. Be the first to rate!
There are no comments posted here yet
Leave your comments
Posting as Guest
×
Rate this post:
0   Characters
Suggested Locations