Show the subject

Do you want to see the Subject column in your Inbox? Did you receive a message with a blank Subject line? Is the message header missing completely? See the following ways to display the subject of a message.

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Show the Subject column in your Inbox

The Subject line of a message is empty

There is no Subject line at the top of your messages (You don't see a message header)

Show the Subject column in your Inbox

Whether or not you see the Subject line of messages received in your Inbox depends on the view that you are using and if you have your Inbox set up to show the Subject column.


  • Columns are also referred to as fields.

  • If you are using single-line layout for the messages in your Inbox, and cannot see the Subject column, it might be hidden. If that is the case, you can display it by widening your Inbox.

Add the Subject column to your Inbox

  1. On the View menu, point to Arrange by, point to Current View, and then click Customize Current View.

  2. Click Fields.

  3. In the Available fields list, click Subject.

  4. Click Add.

Tip: You can move the column within your Inbox by dragging the column heading to the new location.

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The Subject line of a message is empty

The Subject line of a message must be typed by the sender. If the Subject line appears blank when you receive a message, this field was left blank, perhaps unintentionally. When you reply to or forward the message, you can type a Subject line if you want; otherwise the Subject line only shows RE: or FW:, respectively.

Note: Microsoft Outlook does not prompt you to provide a Subject line. If you think you saw a prompt to provide a Subject line, you may have been using the basic e-mail program Microsoft Outlook Express or Microsoft Windows Mail.

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There is no Subject line at the top of your messages (You don't see a message header)

Unless senders are using a customized message form for their e-mail messages, you should see a Subject line in their messages. If you don't see a complete message header at the top of the messages that you receive, you might have changed your default setting for headers.

Change the message header setting

  • In a message that you have received, on the Message tab, in the Actions group, click Other Actions, and then clickMessage Header. This turns the setting for the message header on or off.

    Note: The setting for theMessage Header command affects all messages in your Inbox.

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