Tip 1113: Icons missing in Outlook 2013?

The envelope will not appear in the screen unless I reply or forward to an email. I removed the icon column and added it back in. I removed all add-ins and that did not work either.

It's not an addin or corrupt view that removed the icon and you can't "fix" it. It's the new Outlook look, with minimal distractions. In Outlook 2013, Unread messages have a vertical bar on the left and the text is bold, replies and forwards display an icon.

Outlook 2013 doesn't use many icons

What happened to my folder icons? I see the folder icons when I use the Folder list pane but not when I'm in the Mail pane.

The folder icons were removed to "clean up" the interface and remove distractions. While the folder icons help identify the Deleted Items, Junk mail and other folders, you'll need to look at folder names in Outlook 2013. To make it easier to find your most used folders, you can drag them to the Favorites list or drag to re-order folders in the folder list (as I've done in the screenshot).

For comparison, below is a screenshot of Outlook 2010's Mail navigation module and message list.

Outlook 2010 colorful icons

My preference? I like Outlook 2013's cleaner message list, but would like bolded folder names, not just bolded unread message counts. I don't need the extra icons.

Published October 24, 2013. Last reviewed on October 24, 2013.

  • david grubb

    Outlook icon missing on unread messages. Envelope un-opened missing on all incoming emails. There is an icon when I reply, but nothing if I open a new email and just read it. Very new to 2013 and it is a fresh installation of OS and 2013. Help. Thanks in advance....

  • Diane Poremsky

    That is all normal for Outlook 2013 - they cleaned up the clutter and only show icons if it's different than the "normal" icon.

  • Rocket

    It may be 'normal' but it isn't what I want. The read/unread wasn't clutter to me. Don't I get a vote as to how MY mail is displayed? If the answer is no then I guess I'll need to find another front end for my email. Outlook is not the only game in town. The New Normal is not better.

  • david grubb

    understood, thanks

  • AB

    Totally agree with Rocket. It is quite a waste of column real-estate, in my opinion, to SHOW the column header, but yet no content under it. Most mails are "normal" which means the cell corresponding to the 'Icon' column merely shows blank. Quite frustrating. There is a reason why they say a picture (icon, in this case) is worth a thousand words!

  • JA

    I prefer looking at icons first before reading the titles. To all the developers of Outlook 2013 and Office 2013...thanks for making my life difficult. Not to mention I have to look at your bland white/grey interface. Whose idea was it to make a CLEAN interface? You should be fired.