Change the look of your Outlook.com mailbox

You can change the appearance of the message list and reading pane in Outlook.com. Choose whether your messages should be sorted into Focused and Other tabs and whether you want your email displayed as individual messages or as conversations.

Choose your version for instructions

The instructions are slightly different depending on whether you're using the Outlook.com beta. Choose which version of Outlook.com you're using to see the instructions that apply to you.

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

A screenshot of the top left corner of the Outlook.com beta mailbox

See Instructions for the Outlook.com beta.

A screenshot of the top left corner of the classic Outlook.com mailbox

See Instructions for classic Outlook.com.

Instructions for the Outlook.com beta

Change display settings

  1. Go to Settings Settings > View full settings > Mail > Layout.

  2. Change one of the following settings:

    • Reading pane

      Choose how you want the reading pane displayed, or if you want it hidden.

    • Message list format

      Choose if the sender name or subject should appear first, and whether or not to show preview text.

    • Message organization

      Choose if the newest messages should appear at the top or bottom of the thread, and whether or not to show deleted items.

    • Focused Inbox

      Choose if messages should be separated into the Focused and Other tabs, or not separated.

Change how your email is sorted

  1. At the top of the message list, select Filter.

  2. Select Sort by and choose how you want to sort your email.

Turn Conversation view on or off

  1. Go to Settings Settings > View full settings > Mail > Layout.

  2. In the Message organization setting, choose whether you want your messages sorted by conversation or as individual messages.

Turn Focused Inbox on or off

  1. Go to Settings Settings > View full settings > Mail > Layout.

  2. In the Focused Inbox setting, choose your preference for sorting your inbox.

Instructions for classic Outlook.com

Change display settings

Use display settings to control the appearance of the message list, reading pane, and layout of conversations in the message list.

  1. Go to Settings Settings > Display settings.

    A screenshot of the Settings button on the navigation bar.

  2. Select one of the following tabs:

    • Reading pane

      Choose how the reading pane is displayed, or if you want it hidden.

    • Message list

      Choose if the sender name or subject should appear first, and whether or not to show preview text.

    • Conversations

      Choose if the newest messages should appear at the top or bottom of the thread, and whether or not to show deleted items.

    • Focused Inbox

      Choose if messages should be sorted into Focused and Other tabs, or not sorted.

Change how your email is sorted

  1. At the top of the message list, select Filter.

  2. Select Sort by and choose how you want to sort your email.

    A screenshot of the Filter menu with Sort by selected

Turn Conversation view on or off

  1. At the top of the message list, select Filter.

  2. Select Show as > Messages or Conversations.

    A screenshot of the Filter menu with Show as selected

Turn Focused Inbox on or off

  1. At the top of the message list, select Filter.

  2. Select Show Focused Inbox.

    A screenshot of the Filter menu with Show Focused Inbox selected

Still need help?

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