Your browser does not support video. Install Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player, or Internet Explorer 9.

Reply to or forward an email message in Outlook.

Reply to an email message
  1. Select an email message.

  2. In the Reading pane, or on the Home tab, select Reply.

  3. Type a message in the body of the message.

  4. Select Send.

    Note: The icon in the folder list changes, with a new purple arrow pointing towards the left. It implies that you have replied to the message.


Forward an email message
  1. Select an email message.

  2. In the Reading pane, or the Home tab, select Forward.

  3. In To..., enter a name or an email address.

  4. In Subject, make changes if needed.

  5. In the body, add a message and remove any irrelevant information.

  6. Select Send.

    Note: Note: The icon in the folder list changes, the arrow pointing towards the right. It implies that the email message has been forwarded.


Reply All to an email message
  1. Select an email message.

  2. In the Reading pane, or on the Home tab, select Reply All.

  3. Type a message in the body of the email.

  4. Select Send.

Want more?

Discover more courses like this at LinkedIn Learning

Reply to or forward an email message

Outlook contains some different options for handling e-mailed responses.

We'll go over each one so you'll know which one to pick that meets your needs.

Here's an e-mail that I'm looking at in the Preview Pane on the right hand side.

If I want to directly Reply to this e-mail, I can select Reply from the top of the e-mail itself or Reply from the ribbon toolbar.

I'll click Reply and I'll send an e-mail to Leslie.

You'll notice that the attachments that have been included in this message to start with are stripped out.

This is because if I'm sending a reply back to Leslie, we can assume that since she was the one that sent me the attachments in the first place, that she already has them and doesn't need them again.

To save space, Outlook will remove the attachments.

I'll click Send and off my message goes.

Instantly the icon in the Folder List changes to an envelope with a purple arrow pointing to the left, meaning I've replied to it.

Let's click on this e-mail right here.

This one also contains an attachment.

Leslie only sent this one to me and I think Jonathan would be interested in it.

So I'll click Forward.

Now that I'm forwarding this to somebody else, a few things have happened.

Outlook has kept the attachment in the e-mail.

Assuming that whoever I'm sending it to would also like to get the attachment.

I'll address this one to Jonathan and I can change the Subject.

I can do this in a regular reply also if I wanted to.

I can add any new information and Outlook automatically appends the words FW for forward at the beginning of the e-mail.

I can keep this or remove this, it's up to you.

I can also add my own comments in addition to what Leslie has said.

I could remove any header information from this e-mail.

In fact, it's a good idea if I'm forwarding something along that contains somebody's sensitive data, such as e-mail information, or a signature file.

I'll click and drag to highlight the text and I'll hit Delete.

I don't have to delete this, I could leave it in so Jonathan can see who sent it and the original time it came in.

It's completely up to me.

I'll click Send and my forward has been sent.

Now the icon changes to an envelope with a blue arrow pointing to the right, meaning it's been forwarded.

There's one more choice I have, here's another e-mail that's been sent to me, Jonathan, and Chong.

I can reply to everybody that's involved in this e-mail.

Not just the original sender, who in this case happens to be Leslie.

I can click Reply All.

This is going to create a new e-mail that's addressed to everybody that was in the e-mail.

It's important to note that Reply All will indeed send an e-mail out to everybody that's involved in an e-mail.

So if there's a long list of names in there be careful about what you say, because everybody's going to get a copy, and you should also think about whether it's really necessary for everybody to get a copy of what you're sending.

Would you be better off only replying to the original sender?

I'll click the Send button to send this one off and the icon changes to that of a normal reply.

And that is how you maintain all your correspondence in Microsoft Outlook.

Learning doesn't stop here. Discover more expert led tutorials at LinkedIn Learning. Start your free trial today, at

Enjoy one month of free access to LinkedIn Learning

Learn from recognized industry experts, and get the business, tech, and creative skills that are most in demand.

  • Get unlimited access to over 4,000 video courses.

  • Receive personal recommendations based on your LinkedIn profile.

  • Stream courses from your computer or mobile device.

  • Take courses for every level – beginner to advanced.

  • Practice while you learn with quizzes, exercise files, and coding windows.

  • Choose a plan for yourself or your entire team.

Share Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Email Email

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!