How to Change the Font to View Unread Emails More Clearly on Outlook 2013

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I have never used Microsoft Outlook to handle my emails ever since I started using Gmail but the day I switched over to because of its minimalistic and simple interface, I have started using the Outlook 2013 desktop client on Windows as well.

new email

However, I have been already missing the priority email service of Gmail and on top of that, spotting a new email is not easy on Outlook because of marginal formatting difference. After working for hours, when reading out emails itself looks tiring, categorizing them into unread and read using just the bold and regular font type respectively does not provide much of a help.

Today I will show you how you can apply some color and font effects on unread mails in the preview pane and easily spot them without the need of keen observation.

Change Style of Unread Mails in Outlook 2013

Step 1: Open Microsoft Outlook 2013 on your computer and navigate to View tab. Make sure you have at least one unread mail in your inbox. It’s not necessary, still it would be easy to know if the trick is working successfully after following the steps.

Step 2: In the View tab, click on View Settings to open Outlook 2013 Advanced View Settings.

view settings

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conditional formatting

Step 3: Click on Conditional Formatting in Advanced View settings to change text formatting of a number of elements in Outlook 2013. In the conditional formatting window you will see some rules for different kind of views. Select Unread messages here and click on the button font to customize it.

conditional forward


Step 4: Choose the new text style, color and size for the unread messages style and save the settings.

new change

That’s all, now all the unread emails will change to new font settings you applied and it will be very easy for you to spot the difference.


This technique of applying custom font and color settings can also be used to categorize other emails apart from the new ones. You may also create a new condition and configure it to your personal use to help you in organizing your inbox better.

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Show archived comments (15)

Archived Comments

  1. jbnimble says:

    This works great! Thanks!

  2. SR says:

    How can it be applied to all folders???

    • CMfly says:

      Under the View tab beside the View Settings button you had used earlier press the Change View button. From here there is an option ‘Apply current view to other mail folders’ select this and pick the folders you wish to apply the view settings to.

  3. phoeniks says:

    thanks man! very helpful!

  4. bm97ppc says:

    Thanks, very helpful, outlook 2013 was driving me nuts. slowly getting it the way I like it. I think Microsoft have sacrificed usability and ergonomic in favor of their new
    minimalist look. :(

  5. Peph says:

    Like the others, many thanks for this helpful article.

  6. trose80 says:

    Thank you!!!

  7. Ryan says:

    Exactly what I was looking for!! Thanks

  8. Kev29 says:

    Really needed this. From header is too washed out in the default, needed some bolding to make it easier to find senders. Thank you!

  9. Samer says:

    Thanks!! very helpful

  10. Ariana says:

    Thank you!!! You saved me from missing e-mails!

  11. Mac Baby can't M$ says:

    The blue bar that indicates read/unread is not displaying and I can’t get it to come back. Several blogs suggested changing the view to “compacted” to get it to come back, but I have tried this and it isn’t working. I tried resetting the folder back to default and it still didn’t come back. Where is that stupid bar? I need it.

  12. M says:

    Thanks..was helpful

  13. Magpie says: