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Outlook Emails Become Read Before You Open Them - Fix and Stop Here

Updated on February 20, 2014

Unopened Outlook Emails Show Opened

I was also finding that some of my Outlook messages would go from a bold, unread color to the lighter, already read, color even if I didn't open it. I think what was happening was that as long as my cursor was on the email in my inbox, even without opening it, it would automatically appear as read. Outlooks presumes that since you can see it in the preview (ie the “reading pane”) the email has been read (which isn’t always true)

Anyway…. Here is how to fix this… we’re on Outlook 2010 but this might still work if you are on another version

Open Outlook and Get In The Inbox

Let’s presume you are in you MS Outlook inbox (you could be in the sent bin or trash bin or most screens but let's just go with inbox for now :-) . At the very top left of your computer screen is the the FILE tab. Click on FILE

Every Use Lotus Notes?

How Does Lotus Compare to Outlook?

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Find OPTIONS on Outlook

Then down the left side of your screen is OPTIONS. Click on OPTIONS

Outlooks Options Window

Then the “Outlook Options” window will appear (see attachment). Down the left side, left column of the screen you will see a bunch of things to choose from. Look down the left side of the window and click on MAIL

The Reading Pane

Then a small section appears in the “Outlook Options” window that is called “Outlook Panes” Inside this section on the right side of the window is the READING PANE button. Click READING PANE

See below... 'Mail' In Upper Left and Reading Pane Button Down Toward the Right

Reading Pane Checked .... Uncheck it

Then a smaller “Reading Pane” window will appear . See where it says “Mark Item as read when viewed in the reading pane” Click on that box so that the check mark disappears.

Now... here's were it didn't quite work for me. I swore just un-checking this box would have done the trick, but you need to remove the check mark from the one below it too. Keep reading

See the Un-Checked Reading Pane Below?

Is The " Mark Item As Read ... Selections " Checked ? UnCheck it

See the Box " Mark item as read when selection changes " box? Make sure there is no check in that box either.

Make Sure You Un-Check Both Boxes

Now Your Messages Won't Turn Read if They Are Not Opened

I hope that helped you to fix your Outlook emails from showing up as read before you read them. I found this very frustrating that Outlook made the emails go to 'read' by default before opening and reading them rather than the opposite. This method will trouble shoot the automatic read by default issue and your email will remain unread until you actually click on it and open it up on the screen.

Still Using Lotus Notes? Want to Make a...

In case you are still using Lotus Notes and you want to set up an email that you can use over and over again, I wrote a post here on one of the greatest sites ever, HubPages, that will show you how to create an email template easy on Lotus

Using Lotus Notes Too - Mouse Not Working

If you also use Lotus Notes and by some chance your mouse is not working, don't fret, you can still scroll up and down those emails on the the screen without it. Of course, by all means go out there and buy yourself a freakin' mouse, but if you find yourself stuck, really stuck, and you don't have any other choice I wrote a post on how you can still scroll Lotus Notes without it. I know, I know, this will never happen but if it does, this post will help you to resolve the problem and help you to get back to reading your mails all over again no matter where they are on the screen.

Outlook Poll

Do You Love Outlook

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    • TurtleDog profile image

      TurtleDog 3 years ago

      Thanks Audrey! Appreciate it and glad you are posting such wonderful poetry here.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Love your work here! You make this technical stuff look easy to deal with!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Stopped by to say hello!

    • economyk profile image

      Artur 3 years ago from Belarus

      Useful Hub

    • bat115 profile image

      Tim 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thanks for sharing this. I had noticed this problem before but never really bothered to look into it until reading your hub!

    • TurtleDog profile image

      TurtleDog 3 years ago

      Thanks Nell Rose!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Great info, thanks for sharing, I have all sorts of trouble with emails, the one thing that drives me mad is when my stupid computer won't let me into them! then I have all this trouble! lol!

    • csmiravite-blogs profile image

      Consolacion Miravite 3 years ago from Philippines

      Awesome! The same name and avatar that I see in other sites. Nice to see you here. :)

    • TurtleDog profile image

      TurtleDog 3 years ago

      Thanks Susan! Love your posts!

    • Susan Recipes profile image

      Susan 3 years ago from India

      Thanks for sharing this hub. Voted up.