Mail in Outlook on the web for business

When you open Outlook on the web for business, your Inbox is the first thing you see. Your Inbox is where messages sent to you arrive, and where you’ll probably spend the most time reading and responding to messages.

Important: If you’re on a mobile device, for the best experience we recommend that you install the latest Microsoft app for your device: Outlook for iOS or Outlook for Android.

Working with Mail

  1. Sign in to Outlook on the web for business.

    Note: If you want to use the light version of Outlook on the web for business, see Options>Outlook Web App version. The light version of Outlook on the web for business is designed for use with older web browsers that are not supported by the standard version of Outlook on the web for business, for use over slow connections, and to meet accessibility needs by providing a simplified interface that’s easier to use with screen readers.

  2. At the top of the page, choose Outlook (or Mail). Or, choose the app launcher Office 365 app launcher icon > Mail.

    Office 365 navigation options

Forgot your password? If you have an Office 365 account, go to passwordreset.microsoftonline.com to reset your password. Or contact your organization's administrator for help.

What you'll see in Mail

When you open Mail, you get a quick view of your standard and any custom folders, a list of received messages, and a reading pane that lets you instantly review the content of any message you choose.

Mail in Outlook Web App

Block

Description

Action(s)

1

Message

Create a new message by choosing New mail .

2

Folders list

The list includes the folders in your mailbox. It may include other folders, such as Favorites and Archive folders.

  • Choose Expand Expand to show the Folders list, or choose Collapse Collapse to hide it.

  • In the Folders list, choose Show Expand to expand a list, or choose Hide Collapse to collapse a list.

See Working with message folders in Outlook on the web in business to learn more about available options.

3

Search box

In the Search mail and people box, type what you want to search for. For example, type the name of a person you want to find messages from, or enter text that you want to search for to find a particular message.

4

Message list

Messages in the current folder are listed.

5

Reading pane

The conversation or message that you chose appears in the reading pane. You can respond to any message in the conversation by using reply Reply, reply to all Reply all, or forward message Forward at the top of the message.

For more information about:

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Messages

To create a new message

  1. Choose New mail above the Folders list. A new message form opens in the reading pane.

  2. Do one of the following to add a recipient:

    • Type the name of anyone who is in your contacts folder or organization’s address list.

      or

    • Type the email address in the To or Cc box.

    Note: The first time you enter a person’s name, Outlook on the web for business searches for that person’s address. The name then is cached so in the future the search is resolved quickly.

  3. Type a subject.

  4. Type the message you want to send.

    Note:  For information about formatting your message, see Formatting messages in Outlook Web App.

  5. When your message is ready to go, choose Send send .

As you create a new email message (or respond to an existing one), Outlook on the web for business automatically saves it in your Drafts folder. This default action is useful, particularly if a situation arises that requires you to suspend creation of a new message. You can finish composing message when you choose.

To finish a draft message

  1. Choose Drafts in the Folders list.

  2. Choose the message you were working on to see it in the reading pane.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Continue editing edit if you want to change the message before sending it.

      or

    • Choose Discard delete if you've decided not to send the message.

  4. Choose Send send .

Add an attachment, picture, or signature to a message

To add an attachment to a message

  • Choose Insert insert > Attachment at the top of the message form and browse to the file you want to attach.

For more information, see Working with attachments.

To embed a picture in a message

You can embed a picture in a message so that it appears without the recipient having to open it.

  • Choose Insert insert > Pictures inline, and browse to the picture you want to add to your message.

To attach a message to a new message

  1. In the list view, choose the message you want to attach and press Ctrl+C to copy it.

  2. Open a new message, or reply or forward an existing one.

  3. With the new message open in the reading pane, press Ctrl+V to attach the message you copied.

To add an existing signature

If you haven't created a signature, see Create and add an email signature in Outlook Web App. You can choose to manually add your signature or to automatically add it to all messages or to individual messages.

  • Choose Insert insert > Your signature.

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Open a message in a separate window

By default, you read and create messages in the reading pane, but that isn’t always what you need. Sometimes you need to be able to view a message in a separate window.

When you’re composing a new message or replying to or forwarding a message you received, you can choose the pop-out window Open in new window in the upper-right corner of the message to open it in a new window.

To open a message in a separate window,

  1. Choose the message you want to view in a separate window.

  2. Choose More extended menu > Open in separate window.

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Deleted messages

When you delete a message, it's sent to the Deleted Items folder. Messages in the Deleted Items folder may be permanently deleted by an automated policy set by your helpdesk, by selecting them while in the folder and deleting them, or by emptying the Deleted Items folder. For information about recovering deleted messages, see Recover deleted items or email in Outlook Web App.

Empty the Deleted Items folder
  1. Right-click (or tap and hold) the Deleted Items folder.

  2. Choose Empty folder.

  3. Choose OK to confirm that you want to permanently delete the items.

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Message list

When you open Mail, the message list is in the center pane, flanked on the left by the Folder list, and on the right by the reading pane. By default, the message list shows the messages in your Inbox, the current folder. This default setting doesn't limit you to which messages are displayed. You can manage the displayed messages by choosing a filter or by using search. There also are other tools available with the message list to let you take care of some tasks.

  • Choose Expand Expand to show the Folders list, or choose Collapse Collapse to hide it. Choose any folder in the list to view its contents.

  • Choose icons at the right of the message list to delete a message or conversation or to add a flag. Other icons show you which messages have attachments, importance of (high or low), and how many unread items there are in a conversation.

  • Right-click a message to see a menu of options. There are options such as mark a message as read or unread, move it to another folder, or create a rule based on that message. On a touch screen, use tap and hold to view the message options.

  • Choose Expand to show all messages or conversations to the left of a message to expand a conversation to see all messages in that conversation.

  • Use the label at the top of the message list to switch between viewing Conversations by date and Items by date.

    outlook message list

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Reading pane

The reading pane is where messages are displayed. You can read and respond to a message in the reading pane. Or, you can open a message in a separate (new) window.

  • To respond to a message, choose reply Reply, reply to all Reply all, or forward message Forward at the top of a message. A new message appears in the reading pane at the top of the message.

  • To change the read status of a message, use Mark as read or Mark as unread.

  • To view more options, choose More extended menu for an extended menu.

To change the location of the reading pane
  1. On the nav bar, choose Settings Settings icon > Display settings > Reading pane.

  2. Choose one of the following:

    • Show reading pane on the right, the default setting.

    • Show reading pane at bottom

    • Hide reading pane

  3. Choose OK to save your selection and to close the Display settings window.

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Search and built-in filters

You’ll find a search box and built-in filters at the top of the message list.

OWA_mailsearchandfilters

  • To search, in the Search box start typing what you want to look for. A list of suggestions appears underneath, and you can select one of those suggestions to search for that item. Or you can finish entering your own search text and then press Enter to start your search. To clear your search, choose the icon at the right of the search box.

  • The built-in filters—All, Unread, To me, and Flagged—are a way to quickly choose what to display in the message list. All shows all messages, Unread shows messages that haven’t been marked as read, To me shows all messages where your name appears in the To or Cc list, and Flagged shows all messages marked for further action.

For more information about searching, see Search in Outlook Web App.

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Use Outlook on the web for business on a mobile device

Important: If you’re on a mobile device, for the best experience we recommend that you install the latest Microsoft app for your device: Outlook for iOS or Outlook for Android.

If you use Outlook Web App on a mobile device such as a tablet or a smartphone, you may see something different from the images above.

Mail

Most features work the same as they do when you use Outlook Web App on a desktop or laptop computer, but some things are done differently.

Tap Go to Navigation in the lower corner to move among Mail, Calendar, and People.

To search, tap the search icon Search . To read a message in a full screen, tap the reading icon View in full screen . Tapping the more icon More options shows more selections.

Instead of using a right-click to see an on-screen menu, tap and hold. To choose multiple items in the message list, swipe each item that you want to add. To deselect an item, swipe it again.

Tap New to create new items. And tap Chevron left and Chevron up to expand or collapse, respectively, the part of the screen on which they appear.

To get to Options when you’re using a mobile device, tap More More options , then tap Options. For more information, see Options on a mobile device.

See OWA for iPad and OWA for iPhone for information about the OWA for Devices.

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Folders list

The Folders list shows the default folders that are created for all mailboxes and any folder that you create. Depending on the setup in your organization, you may also see Favorites and Archive folders.

OWA_mailfolderlist

You can choose Expand Expand to show the Folders list, or choose Collapse Collapse to hide it. Choose any folder in the list to view its contents.

You can right-click any item in the Folders list to see a menu of things you can do, such as create a new folder, delete an existing folder, or empty a folder. On a touch screen, tap and hold an item to the menu for that item.

Create a new folder
  1. Right-click (or tap and hold) any folder in the Folders list and choose create new folder. A new, unnamed, folder is added as a subfolder to the folder you selected.

    To create a folder that's not a subfolder, right-click (or tap and hold) your name above your Inbox folder.

  2. Type a name for the new folder, and then press Enter.

Junk Email folder

Mail identified as possible junk email is automatically moved to the Junk Email folder, and any potentially dangerous content within the message, for example, links or executable code, is disabled.

You can manage junk email reporting and other settings under the Options menu. See the topics below to learn more about Junk mail, and how to manage the settings.

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What else do I need to know?

And you can learn more about:

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