Quick Actions in Outlook

You might have noticed that when you hover your mouse over an email in Outlook, a set of small icons appears that look something like this.

Outlook quick actions

These icons let you quickly and easily perform actions on the email. In the example above, you can delete the email,

Delete email quick action

mark the email as unread,

Mark unread quick action

flag the message for future action

Flag email quick action

and pin the email to always appear at the top of the folder.

Pin email quick action

Did you know that you can change these icons? You can choose which actions are visible from an available list. This means that you can choose the actions that you perform most often to save you time and effort when working in Outlook.

To find out how to change the actions to match your needs, follow these instructions.

Quick Actions for Outlook in a Browser

Click on the settings icon from the top right-hand corner of your browser window. It looks like the cog of a wheel.

Outlook settings icon

The settings pane will appear on the right-hand side of your browser window. At the bottom of the pane, click on the line that reads “View all Outlook settings”.

View outlook settings link

The settings window will open. In the first column, click on “Email” and in the second column, click on “Customise actions”.

Eail customise actions link

The contents of the right-hand side of the window will change to display the different quick actions that are available.

Quick actions list

There are three areas where you can choose to change your quick actions. The first area is the email message list. This is the example we showed at the top of this post. For any email shown in a message list, you can display any 4 of these 6 available actions.

Email list actions

Just place a tick in the box next to the action that you want to be displayed.

Scroll down the right-hand side of the window and you will come to the second area. This shows all the quick actions that are available when you open and read a single email.

Read emails action list

The list of available actions for a single email is much more extensive and there is no limit to the number you choose that will be visible.

Scroll down the right-hand side of the window again and you will come to the final area. This shows all the quick actions that are available when you are composing an email to send to someone.

Compose email actions list

There is also no limit here for the number of actions that you can choose to be visible.

When you have made all the changes you want for the visible actions, click on the “Save” icon which will appear at the bottom right of the settings window.

Quick actions save button

The settings window will close, the settings changes will be saved and the new action icons will be visible to you in Outlook.

Quick Actions for Outlook on Windows Desktop

Hover your mouse over any email in your email list so that the quick action icons appear.

Quick actions on desktop outlook.

Right mouse click and a drop-down menu will appear.

Outlook desktop drop-down menu.

From this menu, click on the line “Set Quick Actions…”.

Set quick actions menu option.

The quick actions window will open.

Quick actions window.

Unlike Outlook in a browser, you can only choose a maximum of 2 visible actions here. Click on the arrow next to each field

Quick actions window with drop down arrows highlighted.

and you will be able to choose which action you want to see from the available list.

Quick action available values.

When you are happy with your choices, click on the “OK” button.

Quick actions ok button.

This will close the window and save any changes you made.

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