Customize views in Outlook 2016 for Mac

Contributors: Image of Tricia Gill
Last updated: November1, 2017

Most customization options are available on the Outlook menu bar and ribbon. If you don't see the menu bar, you're probably in full-screen mode. Hover your mouse near the top of the screen to make the menu bar visible, or click the green button at the top left to leave full-screen mode.

Menu bar in Outlook 2016 for Mac

To...

Do this...

Show or hide the ribbon

Select View > Ribbon.

Show or hide the sidebar (folder pane)

Select View >Sidebar.

Show or hide folders

  1. Select Outlook > Preferences > General.

  2. Select Show all account folders.

  3. Select Hide On My Computer folders.

Move or hide the reading pane

  1. Select Organize > Reading Pane.

  2. Select Right, Bottom, or Off.

To change the size of the reading pane, rest the pointer on the border between the reading pane and the message list, and then drag the border to the right or left.

Change the sort order in the message list

Select Organize > Arrange By, and then select an option.

Choose columns for the message list

The available columns vary, depending on the type of items in the list.

Columns work best when the reading pane is hidden or positioned below the item list so select Organize > Reading Pane > Bottom or Off.

Select View > Columns, and then click a column name. Columns in the current view are identified with a check mark.

  • Click on a column heading to sort by that column.

  • To rearrange the columns, click a column heading, and then drag it to a new position.

  • To resize a column, rest the pointer on the right edge of the column header until the pointer changes, and then drag the edge.

Change the font size of a message

Select Format > Increase Font Size or Decrease Font Size.

Insiders: You now have the ability to increase the font size of the sidebar, mail list, and reading pane. If you're using version 16.7 (171017) and later, go to Outlook > Preferences > Fonts and move the slider left or right. The feature will be available to all users at a later date.

Change the theme

  1. Select Outlook > Preferences > General.

  2. Under Personalize, select Colorful or Classic.

Organize email by sender

At the top of your message list, select the dropdown control (v) next to By:, and then select From.

Select By > From to sort by sender

Filter email by unread, attachments, or date sent

Select Home > Filter, and then select an option.

Frequently asked questions

How do I change the font size of the folder list and email list and buttons?

The ability to change the font size of the folder list (sidebar), email list, and reading pane is now available to Insider Fast users on version 16.7 (171017) and later. You can't change the size of buttons. Go to Outlook > Preferences > Fonts and move the slider left or right. This feature will be available to all users at a later date.

How do I add buttons to the ribbon?

It's not possible to add or remove buttons on the ribbon in Outlook 2016 for Mac. If you'd like to request this feature, please visit the Outlook Suggestion Box.

How do I change the look of unread messages?

Unread messages are marked with a blue dot and have a blue time and date when the reading pane is positioned to the right of the item list. They have bold type when the reading pane is hidden or positioned below the item list. If you want to mark a read message as unread:

  1. Select the message.

  2. Press and hold the Control key while clicking the mouse button.

  3. Select Mark as Unread.

Show calendar in the reading pane

It's not possible to show the calendar in the reading pane. Select the calendar icon at the bottom of the page to see the calendar.

Select the calendar button at the bottom of your folder list in Outlook

See Also

Change the font in Outlook for Mac

Use BCC

Outlook 2016 for Mac Help

Expand your skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×