Microsoft Outlook settings

We strongly recommend configuring Microsoft Outlook with the following settings once you've successfully connected to your POP3 or Exchange mailbox.

Most settings are available within Tools -> Options.

Data protection and manage that mailbox disk space

POP3 only. If you're on an Exchange server, ignore this one and skip to next item.

Using Outlook with a POP3 mailbox means there's usually a storage limit on the server mailbox.  However, once the emails are downloaded to Outlook there's no point leaving them on the server for any longer than the backup cycle on your PC.

Two days should be fine, assuming you're doing daily backups to a USB drive or suchlike.

To configure Outlook to leave messages on the server for two days after download, select 'Tools': 'E-mail Accounts': 'View or change existing email accounts': select account and 'Change': 'More settings': 'Advanced': check 'Leave a copy of messages on the server': check 'Remove from server after 2 days': check 'Remove from server when deleted from Deleted Items'.

Get a usable window layout

If you prefer the message content at the bottom rather than the right hand side, right-click the vertical grey background between the Inbox and message panels and select 'Bottom'.

Let's have full menus

If you don't like the partial menus on the toolbar dropdowns, right-click the pale blue background to the right of 'Help', select 'Customize', then check 'Always show full menus'

Keep my replies with the sender's email

You may want to move messages into Folders then have replies saved in the same folder.

In which case select: 'Tools': 'Options': 'Preferences' tab: 'E-mail Options': 'Advanced E-mail Options': check 'In folders other than the Inbox, save replies with original message'.

Don't lose or forget those drafts

Save unsent items in the Inbox rather than Drafts (where they'll get forgotten!).

Select 'Tools': 'Options': 'Preferences' tab: 'E-mail Options': 'Advanced E-mail Options': 'Save unsent items in "Inbox" '.

Whoa!...I havn't read it yet!

By default, Outlook is trigger happy when marking items as 'read'.

To prevent this, select 'Tools': 'Options': 'Other' tab: 'Reading Pane': uncheck 'Mark item as read when selection changes' and uncheck 'Single key reading using space bar'.

Where's it gone?

By default, Outlook is overly eager to auto-archive your precious emails.

You probably don't want this to happen as you should use PST files to archive content in a structured manner.

To prevent auto-archive, select 'Tools': 'Options': 'Other' tab: 'AutoArchive': uncheck 'Run AutoArchive every nn days'. This disables it.

Why Word?

By default, Outlook will use Word to edit messages. This can cause all sorts of problems as Word isn't a clean and tidy editor when it comes to the important presentation layer underneath what you see. Use Word and many people will get your email as gobbledeegook.

Personal preference, and depends what you're used to but to disable it, select 'Tools': 'Options': 'Mail Format' tab: uncheck 'Use Microsoft Office Word 2003 to edit e-mail messages'.

Make it look snazzy

Setup font and signature preferences via 'Tools': 'Options': 'Mail Format' tab.

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