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How can we improve your Desktop Outlook 2016 experience?

Bring back the "Show AutoPreview only for unread messages" feature

Outlook 2010 had the ability to show Auto Preview only for read messages. Lack of this feature in Outlook 2016 dramatically reduces the number of mails that I can view without scrolling. For example, my Inbox today in Outlook 2016 shows less than half as many messages as the same Inbox in Outlook 2010.

My work day usually involves 10-20 email conversations. Being able to see them all on the same page without scrolling is important to my efficiency at work. Please bring this feature back!

The "Unread Mail" link above the messages list is not an acceptable substitute (and honestly I don't find it helpful at all), because I'd have to constantly toggle back and forth between unread mail and all mail. Instead, I just want to see my inbox in a space-efficient way.

For conversation view, AutoPreview (if limited to unread messages) should show the most recent unread message, *not* the most recent message which may be read.

556 votes
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    Justin GrantJustin Grant shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    93 comments

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      • Vito AsaroVito Asaro commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I will be downgrading to Outlook 2010 to bring back the "single-line / multi-line preview for unread messages only" feature.

        It's ridiculous that it was such a popular option and was removed.

      • Jennifer VanHornJennifer VanHorn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please, please, please bring back preview for unread items only. Cannot tell you how sad it made me just now to search for the solution only to find this thread telling me 'tough luck!'

      • KarthikKarthik commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree. Bring back Message Preview (Auto Preview) For Unread Items Only option. The 2016 version of message preview takes up too much space in the email viewing list.

      • kristy wehrkristy wehr commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree. Bring back Message Preview (Auto Preview) For Unread Items Only option. The 2016 version of message preview takes up too much space in the email viewing list.

      • PauloPaulo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This was really one of the best outlook had. Visually it is very important specially when you have a lot of emails every day

      • Lionel ColeLionel Cole commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why Microsoft feels the need to fix things that ain't broke is beyond me! Bring back preview for unread only, and bring back the Document Information panel!! my users need to have their hands held to complete metadata!!!!!

      • Phillip GoodsonPhillip Goodson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Just upgraded to Outlook 2016 and I am not at all happy with the fact that this feature is not available.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This would be one of the most useful features of Outlook. Did someone decide it was too much to maintain? Or that no one used it? Very bad marketing. The lack of this feature greatly reduces the usefulness of Outlook.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Microsoft, please consider the fact that everyone who arrived at this site and left a comment (or voted) had to go through the process of (1) Googling for how to get this feature enabled, visiting site after site, only to find out that it's no longer supported... then, follow a link to a Microsoft site for suggestions. How many hours of productivity do you think have been used *RESEARCHING THIS LOST FUNCTIONALITY*? I don't play the dev card often, but if I was Product Owner on Outlook, we'd be having a meeting this week to consider a hotfix.

      • Valerie FoggValerie Fogg commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Agree with comments about autopreview - this only needs to apply to Unread messages, otherwise Inbox is cluttered. Please bring this feature back - we are about to roll out 2016 in our firm and I know people will complain bitterly about this. Also finding the themes hard to read - what used to be black text now appears as a wishy washy grey, with borders hard to see and so really ******* the eyes. Microsoft please include some better options!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Come on MS, why do this? Are you being paid by the click these days? Because that's what your new system feels like. It's less efficient in so many ways.
        How hard is it to understand that I (and many others) don't want to preview read messages - we've already *read* them! With preview on for unread only it's easy to triage my inbox each day. Please, bring back this option.

      • Panagiotis NikasPanagiotis Nikas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Trying to addapt from Outlook 2010 to 2016 what a lost of time and frustration. Some times I wonder how does MS cross check usefulness of a function in its application... simply put a step backwards.
        Most missing function the preview for unread messages only.... speechless!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        When using conversation view, the unread messages in the thread are completely off the bottom of the window (if the thread is long enough). It should position so that the oldest unread message is visible without scrolling.

      • PaulPaul commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I can no longer sort emails with one right click. Instead, I have to select a drop down on the right and use multiple clicks. Why was this done?

      • Paul AdamsPaul Adams commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I am using Microsoft Outlook within Office 365 ProPlus, and was recently automatically updated to Version 1704 (Build 8067.2115). I am using Windows 7.
        Prior to this update, I could right click on the title bar in my email list (Inbox) and it would provide a list of different ways to sort emails.
        I use this very frequently to locate emails from specific individuals or based on dates or attachment sizes.
        As of the new build, the ability to right click on this bar has been removed; in its place is the less convenient functionality of clicking a button that says "All" with a downward arrow, and selecting an "Arrange By" submenu.
        I think this is strictly an oversight by Microsoft in removing convenience and adding more clicks for a highly used function.
        Can Microsoft please revert back to the previous way of changing sort criteria in the next build?
        Also, after arranging by From, selecting an email to view in the Reading Pane, and re-arranging by Date, I am unable to drag the scroll box to the top to get back to the most recent emails - it glitches and won't navigate to the top of the scroll bar, the scroll box just jumps back to the original position. I have to restart Outlook to be able to properly navigate the email list by date again. This is a glitch, and hopefully will be resolved by a full reinstall.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Fully agree with comments below. Bring back the preview on Unread Message ONLY. It was a great feature. Very Frustrating the Microsoft takes away feature and yet adds completely unnecessary BS.

      • Mark LaGrangeMark LaGrange commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        E-Mail - why was the "Arrange By" and sort toggle replaced with a drop-down, fly-out menu, that leave no indication of the current setting? Who thought THAT was a good idea???
        Calendar - the colors are ridiculous. It looks like something for children.
        To-Do Bar - before, once it was selected, it acted as a slider. Now, it has to be selected or deselected from the View menu. And the Calendar option tells me "you have nothing scheduled for the next 7 days", when I actually do.
        In all areas, the borders between sections and items are so faint, I can barely see them.
        Office has been getting worse & worse with every new release since 2003, but 2016 is really bad. Thank goodness the other O2010 components are still on my laptop; I have gone back to using them. But I can't go back to OL 2010. Really bad...

      • SpencerSpencer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Here’s a workaround originally posted by AYColumbia, then modified:
        • In Outlook 2013, click “Folder” | “New Search Folder”
        • At the bottom, select Outlook file beside “Search mail in:”
        • Under “Custom”, click “Create a custom Search Folder”
        • Click “Choose…” To specify criteria
        • Name the folder, eg “Inbox-unread only”
        • Click “Criteria…”
        • Click “More Choices” tab
        • Check box “Only items that are: unread”
        • Click “OK”
        • Click “Browse…”
        • Select “Inbox”
        • Click “OK”, “OK”, “OK” – will build new folder
        • Click View | Message Preview | 3 Lines | This folder
        • Right click new folder under “Search Folders”
        • Click “Show in Favorites”
        • Can drag up (I have Inbox in Favorites too)

        You can change/add search criteria by right clicking the new folder, then “Customize This Search Folder…”. I find Received last month or this month under Advanced search criteria helpful.

        When you open & close a msg. in this new folder, the msg. will remain in the folder until you open another folder. To differentiate Read vs. Unread msgs. in this new folder, use Conditional Formatting to assign a different color to each.

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