I receive a lot of complaints about the change in the unread message preview option introduced in Outlook 2013. In Outlook 2010 and older, you could show a 3 line preview of Unread messages and no preview for read messages. In Outlook 2013, this was changed to an option of 1, 2 or 3 lines but applies to all messages, read or unread and not everyone likes this change.
I spent a half hour this morning looking for a fix or some clever workaround to the useless preview of unread messages with no luck.
One option is to use the Unread view. Look for All Unread at the top of the message list; click Unread to switch to seeing only unread messages and All to see all messages. Yes, I know it's not the same, but it can reduce some of the clutter when you use the 3 line preview.
One client added the 1 and 3 line commands to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) so he could quickly switch between views. He has the QAT below the ribbon and the 1 and 3 line commands are right above the message list, which makes them easy to use.
To add the buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar
- Open File, Options and choose Quick Access Toolbar.
- In Choose commands from, select All Commands.
- Click in the command list and type S to jump down the list.
- Look for Show [count] Lines of Preview commands.
- Select the commands you want on the QAT and click Add ».
- To show no lines, add Turn off AutoPreview to the QAT.
Vote for the suggestion to bring back AutoPreview for Unread messages at Outlook Uservoice:
Bring back the "Show AutoPreview only for unread messages" feature
Published June 10, 2016. Last reviewed on June 10, 2016.
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