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Select next unread message automatically

When I return after some free days, I handle all my unread mail starting at the bottom (as it is the message that I received first after I went away).

When I’m done with the email, I usually either delete it or move it to another folder. After this, Outlook automatically selects the email before it; which I’ve already read.

Can I make Outlook to move up the list of message and thus automatically select my next unread item instead of going down the list of received messages?

Unread Emails buttonThere is an option in Outlook to determine which email gets selected after you move or delete the currently selected or open item.

You can combine this with other settings to make sure that it automatically selects the next unread email.

After moving or deleting an open item

Mail Options buttonTo control which message get selected after moving or deleting the current message, you can set the following option:

  • Outlook 2007 and previous
    Tools-> Options…-> button E-mail Options…-> option: After moving or deleting an open item: open the previous item
  • Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016
    File-> Options-> section Mail-> option group: Other-> option: After moving or deleting an open item: open the previous item

After moving or deleting an open item: -open the previous item -open the next item -return to the current folder
Control which message gets selected after moving or deleting the
current message.

Use the “Unread Mail” Search Folder or “Unread Messages Only” view

Filter buttonIf you really want to focus on only your unread messages, you can set your view to “Unread Messages Only” or use/create the “Unread Mail” Search Folder.

This will filter out all your read messages so you will automatically go to the next unread message. You can change your sorting order by pressing the “Received” column.

Option 1: Switch to the Unread Messages view

All / Unread View buttonTo switch your view to the Unread Messages in This Folder view use;

  • Outlook 2003
    View-> Arrange By-> Current View-> Unread Messages in This Folder
  • Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010
    View-> Current View-> Unread Messages in This Folder
  • Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016
    Under the Search field above your message list, click on “Unread”.

All/Unread filter listed above the Message List.
There is a quick All/Unread filter listed above your Message List.

Option 2: Creating the Unread Mail Search Folder

Unread Mail Search Folder buttonTo create the Unread Mail Search Folder use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+P or;

  • Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007
    File-> New-> Search Folder…-> select: Unread Mail-> button OK
  • Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016
    Folder-> New Search Folder-> select: Unread Mail-> button OK

Creating a new Search Folder
Creating an Unread Mail Search Folder to quickly catch up
with newly received mail.


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