Tip 970: Disabling Tool Tips on Outlook's Messages

This is one of those tips I need to repeat about every two years...

Can I disable the tool tips that come up while hovering over messages and folders in Outlook 2010? Maybe increase the amount of time the mouse hovers over a message before a tool tip displays? They are very distracting and are slowly driving me insane.

Outlook drives us all a little insane...

No, sorry, the popups (ScreenTips) you see when you hover over messages (in any version of Outlook) in the message list cannot be disabled or the hover time adjusted. You can reduce the size of the ScreenTip by removing fields, but can't eliminate it completely.

large message list popup

For the following screenshot, I removed all fields from the view, except the Subject, From, and Received Date fields. Although I did not widen the message list, removing fields allowed the full subject to display. Turning off "Show in Conversations" would eliminate the Item count line in both screenshots.

Smallest tooltip in the message list

To keep fields and have a smaller popup, you need to increase the width of the message list.

Other popups, screen tips, or tool tips in Outlook come up when you hover over folders in the Navigation pane. Like the message list popups, this only comes up when the navigation pane is narrow. If it's wide enough to show the full folder name, the ScreenTips won't popup.

The ScreenTips that come up when you hover over ribbon and toolbar buttons can be disabled. In Outlook 2010, go to File, Options, General tab and in earlier versions, those tips are disabled in Views, Customize, Toolbars. (In Outlook 2007, check both places.)

One solution offered on forums was either not tested by the people submitting the solution or the submitters did not understand which ScreenTip was described by the question.

Disabling popups in Windows Explorer's Folder Options (on the View tab) does not affect Outlook's ScreenTips.

The registry edit that changes ShowInfoTip value to 0 will not work either, as it's the key that the Folder Options, View tab, Show Popups... controls. This setting applies to the ScreenTips that come up when you hover over file names in Windows Explorer, not Outlook.

Published April 3 2012