Tip 1068: Change the size of the font in Outlook's Folder list

This tip comes from Cowboy:

As we all know, Microsoft removed the ability to change the font and font size in the Outlook 2013 folder list. But all is not lost. For those people with high resolution monitors and/or poor vision there is something we can do short of enlarging the whole display image.

Right click on the Windows 8 desktop and choose Personalize then click Display . There is an item "Change only text size". If you click on the dropdown you will see the items where you can change the text are Title Bars, Menus, Message Boxes, Palette Titles, Icons and Tool Tips.

Change on the Menu text size

You cannot change the font, but you can change the size and make it bold. I found if I just change the menus size from 9 to 10 it makes the folder list text larger. It also increases the size of the ribbon which in my case is fine. One client changed almost everything to 12 which I think is a little over the top, but he really likes it. So if you are having trouble reading text in Office 2013 applications, play around with it and I think you will be able make some adjustments which will really improve the look and feel of outlook and other applications as well.

Thanks Cowboy!

If the font size in the message list is too large, you can change the size in View Settings, Other Settings and Conditional Formatting.

In these screenshots, I changed the font from the default 9 pt to 10 pt.

Default menu text sizeThe folder list with a slightly larger font

Windows 7

Although Windows 7 does not include the same options as Windows 8, you can still change the Menu font. Open Control Panel, Personalization.
Select Windows Color

Click Window Color and find Menu in the list of Items.

Change the font for the Menu

Change the font size tutorial

Published February 14, 2013. Last reviewed on January 22, 2015.

  • Cheryl Metzger

    Changing the font size for menus does not enlarge the names of the folders in my Outlook 2013 folder list. I need a larger size for my eyes.

  • Diane Poremsky

    If you changed the menu, it should - you may need to restart Outlook - the navigation pane is sometimes goofy about the new sizes. Screenshot: http://slipstick.com/ss/24-point.png

  • alex

    I don't see this option being available in Windows 7 which 99.99% (excluding XP) of companies use. Do you know of a workaround to change on the text size in Windows 7 without changing the DPI?

  • Diane Poremsky

    Correct, this is a Windows 8 feature. In Windows 7, you can change some fields in Personalization > Windows color.

  • Amanda

    This was insanely helpful. I actually want to make everything smaller. I have great eyesight and high resolution, and I want to maximize space. Thanks!!

  • ChickieO

    OMG...SO incredibly helpful! My eyes thank you:)

  • Joe Sby

    But how about Outlook 2011, Version 14.4.7 for Mac on Yosemite?

  • dannwebb

    In your image that shows the windows settings, I have a big blank space where yours says "Change only the font size". There is only the "smaller, medium larger" options for me. .... ??

  • http://www.slipstick.com/ D Poremsky

    You have Windows 8? I'm on the road and don't have a windows 8 computer with me to check those settings.