Outlook lets you edit emails… but should you?

By: standss , Mar 1st, 2011

You may not know this but it is possible to edit received and sent emails in Outlook. In this post we will discuss why you may want to edit emails, why you really shouldn’t… and an alternative to editing emails that still achieves your goals for editing emails… without actually editing the emails (I hope that makes sense).

But first…

How to Edit Emails in Outlook

  • Double-click the email to open in a new window.
  • In Outlook 2010, Select Actions > Edit Message from the Move section in the Message ribbon.
    In Outlook 2007, Select Other Actions > Edit Message from the toolbar.
    In Outlook 2003 and earlier, Select Edit > Edit Message from the menu.
  • Make the changes to the Body and Subject of the email
  • Press CTRL+S on the keyboard to save the changes to the email.

Why you may want to edit emails?

We did a survey of close to 10,000 of our readers last year and we found out that many users edited their emails to capture additional notes.

These notes were basically ideas that users had while reading the emailor additional information gathered by follow up phone calls etc.

For many users, it was easier to simply edit the email and enter their notes so that all the information was in one place.

Why you should NOT edit emails?

The two big reasons we recommend that you do not edit your actual emails are:

  1. Editing emails is DESTRUCTIVE to the original message i.e. you may no longer have a true record of what the original email was. You may need it later for reference (or even for legal reasons).
  2. You may accidentally pass on confidential information to others when you forward or reply to an email which you have edited.

A better way of making notes on emails

According to our survey, the main reason that users edited emails was to add notes. So we created Email Notes for Outlook.

Email Notes for Outlook lets you add notes to your emails without changing the actual email.

You can view a video on how easy Email Notes for Outlook is to use by clicking on this link.

You can even download and start using the trial version of Email Notes immediately if you can’t wait.

But… later this week (hopefully by the 4th of March 2011), we will be releasing a FANTASTIC update to Email Notes. This update makes Email Notes even easier to use and (I know I’am probably biased) just so much sexier to look at.

We’ll let you know when it is ready.


PS: We haven’t decided yet if there will be a price increase after the update but all existing users will get the upgrade for free.

9 Replies to “Outlook lets you edit emails… but should you?”

  1. Before editing an Outlook 2010 message, you need to open it in its own window. Else you won’t have the Actions option on the ribbonbar.

  2. The best way to edit the subject, Inbox or Sent, is to right click on the “Subject” header and select “Customize Current View”, then click on “Other Settings”. here you will find the option to “Allow in-cell editing”, check that box and you’re good to go. You can now just click on the Subject, like changing a file name, and edit the contents of the Subject.

  3. I suppose that for this reason, we cannot use e-mails for legal matters in Court. As far as I know, Outlook is the only mail cliente that allow users to edit messages. Had Microsoft disgarded this resource, then I believe that e-mails could be used as legal documents.

  4. Excuse me, there are many email clients that enable you to edit the incoming messages.
    This can be very handy to attach notes, etc…

  5. Emails can be used as legal documents because they can’t be edited after opened. Like being driver signed by both individuals

  6. If you’re like me (college student who accidentally sent an inappropriate PDF to her professor) and wants to know if you can edit a sent message in 2017.. you can!! Thannnnk the heavens!!! After hours of fustrations and crying I finally out how.

  7. Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it
    was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m
    thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything.
    Do you have any helpful hints for first-time blog writers?
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  8. I received an email from a friend of mine. He sent me an address to a place to send a package to. He told me the address but I said it wasn’t posted. If I edit the email and will it notify him on his outlook that I edited his email?

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