Auto Highlight Important Emails in Outlook

By: standss , Apr 5th, 2013

Outlook has an in-built feature which automatically highlights by color coding emails so that you remain focused and easily identify important emails from the hundreds of emails you receive every day.

How is this useful?

If you subscribe to several newsletters/mailing list (like me), you are likely to receive hundreds of emails per day.

More often the emails received or topics discussed will be of little interest to you.

So how do you identify emails which are of interest to you WITHOUT opening the email?

For me, I’m only interested in emails that have the word Outlook in them.

I’ve setup Outlook so that it automatically highlights (Red Bold) any email with the word Outlook in it.

This way you don’t have to waste time scanning through hundreds of emails.

Here’s how to auto-highlight important emails in Outlook:

  1. Go to the Folder in which the emails are. This can be the Inbox or any other folder.
  2. In Outlook 2013/2010, Click View on the Ribbon and then click View Settings.
    On all other versions of Outlook, on the menu at the top, Click View > Current View > Customize Current View to display the Customize View screen.
  3. In Outlook 2013/2010, Click Conditional Formatting… button
    In other versions of Outlook, Click the Automatic Formatting… button.

    automatic formatting outlook

  4. Click the Add Button
  5. Enter a name e.g. “Colour Code Outlook Emails”
  6. Click the Font button and using the resulting screen to choose how you want emails to be highlighted (I chose the colour Red and Bold). Click OK to return to the previous screen.
  7. Click the Condition button to display the Filter screen and enter your criteria and click OK.

    utlook filter

    In my case I chose;
    Search for the word(s): Outlook
    In: Subject and message body

  8. Click OK 3 times to return to your Folder.

Your Emails are Now Color Coded

Any emails in the folder that meet the criteria you specified will automatically be highlighted. Any new emails will also be highlighted.

You can use this technique whenever you need to highlight an email e.g. highlight all emails from your most important client.

I hope you find this tip useful.

Do you know of other methods to highlight important emails in Outlook?

Share it with our readers by leaving a comment on this blog.

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