Microsoft 365 - Outlook On The Web (Info) Reading and Managing Emails

Outlook Web App offers you several options for working with messages that you've received. This article provides several customizable options for Outlook on the Web.

Working in the message list

The message list is designed to help you work through messages quickly. You can use controls next to every message to find messages that were sent with high or low importance, or that have an attachment. You can also use a single click to delete a message, or to flag it for follow-up. By right-clicking a message, you can access a list of other actions you can take, such as creating an Inbox rule or adding a category.


You have the ability to search for a message.

  • To search for a message or people/contact enter the desired search string.

Click to select, delete, or flag

When you hover over a message, you will see icons to select it, delete it, flag it, pin it, or mark it as unread.

  • To select a message, either click it or hover over it and click the check box next to the message.
  • To delete a message, click the delete icon.
  • To flag a message, click the flag icon. For more flag options, right-click the flag icon.

Right-click actions

Right-click a message in the list view to see a menu of other actions you can take. These actions include:

  • Reply/Reply All/Forward to respond directly you can select the message or right click to get these options
  • Delete/Archive select if you want to delete a message
  • Mark as read/unread Marks an unread message as read, or a read message as unread.
  • Move Lets you move a message to another folder. If you want to create a folder to move the message to, you can right-click a folder in the move window to create a new subfolder. You can also move a message by clicking it and dragging it to a different folder.
  • Ignore Moves all items in the conversation to your Deleted Items folder and creates a rule to move all future items in this conversation to your Deleted Items folder.
  • Categorize You can use categories to help you organize items in your Inbox.
  • Create rule Use this to quickly create a rule based on the selected message.
  • You may also see an option to Assign policy. This will be available only if your administrator has turned on retention policies for your mailbox.


You can select more than one message in the list view either by using the check boxes or by clicking individual messages. To select multiple adjacent items, click the first and last items while you hold down the "Shift" key. To select items that aren't adjacent, hold down the CTRL key as you click each item you want to select.

After you've made your selection, you can either right-click to see a menu of actions, or use the options in the reading pane to delete, flag, or move the items. Click Cancel to clear the selected items.

top of page Top of Page

Flags and reminders

When you flag a message, today is automatically assigned as the follow-up date. You can set a different follow-up date by right-clicking the flag. To mark a flagged item as complete, click the flag and it will change to a check mark. To mark a completed item as not complete, click the check mark and it will revert to a flag. To remove the flag, right-click the flag icon and select Clear flag.

You can find all of your flagged items by going to Tasks, or by clicking the view menu at the top of the message list and selecting Sort by > Flagged.

top of page Top of Page


  • In addition to applying a category by right-clicking a message in the list view, you can apply a category by clicking the Categories dropdown menu on a message that you're reading.
  • You can remove categories individually by clicking Categories and clearing the check mark next to the categories you want to remove. You can also use Clear categories to remove all categories from the selected message.
  • If you want something other than the default categories, choose Manage categories from the Categories menu. Use Add new category to create a new category and assign it a color.

  • You can't rename existing categories, but you can change their color. To change the color of a category, in the Manage categories window, click the triangle next to the category you want to change to show the color palette. Choose the color you want, and then click OK to save your change or Cancel to discard it.

  • To find messages that are tagged with a category, go to the search box at the top of the list view and enter category:<category name>. For example, if you want to find everything in your Inbox with an assigned category of blue, you would search for category:blue.

top of page Top of Page

Arranging the list view

The default setting for the list view is to group messages by conversation, and sort them by the date received with the newest messages on top. You can change this by clicking the filter control at the top of the list view. If you turn off conversations, messages will be displayed in the reading pane individually instead of as part of a conversation.

top of page Top of Page

Filtering the list view

By default, all messages in the current folder will be displayed in the list view. You can use the filters at the top of the list view to show only messages that are unread, messages that have your name in the To or Cc line, or messages that are flagged.

If you choose Unread, only messages that haven't been marked as read will be displayed in the list view. While in the unread view, messages won't be automatically marked as read. You can mark individual messages as read by clicking Mark as read in the reading pane. To mark a conversation as read, right-click in the list view and choose Mark as read. After you mark a message as read while using the Unread filter, the message will disappear from the view.

top of page Top of Page

Keywordsmicrosoft office o365 user outlook web app overview messages categories flags color reminding arranging filtering owa filters inbox rules search by   Doc ID58658
OwnerHelp Desk K.GroupUW-Milwaukee Help Desk
Created2015-12-02 12:59 CSTUpdated2023-07-13 14:28 CST
SitesUW-Milwaukee Help Desk
Feedback  0   0