Outlook: Filtering for Read Messages

Microsoft Outlook makes it easy to filter for unread email messages and posts. In fact, the default view in Outlook 2007 is unread messages. However, Outlook makes it a bit more difficult to filter only read messages. There’s no built-in way to have Outlook display only read messages in a folder.

My favorite feature of Outlook 2007 is the built-in RSS reader. I use it to subscribe to at least three dozen different feeds. However, because some posts in some feeds interest me more than others, each feed’s folder oftentimes is a jumble of read and unread posts. De-cluttering the folder by deleting or moving the read posts would certainly make my life easier, but there’s no easy way to do it.

Or is there?

To have Outlook display only read posts in a folder, do the following:

1) If you don’t already have the “Advanced” toolbar displayed, do so by clicking on View > Toolbars > Advanced.

2) Click the “filter” drop-down box and choose “Define Views”:

Outlook Message Filter

3) In the window that opens, click “New” and then type a short name for your new filter (I recommend “Read messages”). Leave the “Type of View” at “Table” and then click the “All Mail and Post folders” (unless you only want to use this view on a single folder). Click “OK”.

4) In the next window, click the “Filter” button, then click the “More choices” tab. Check the “only items that are” button and choose “read” from the drop-down box. Click “OK” several times to accept the settings.

5) Click the filter drop-down box and choose “Read Messages” (or whatever name you chose in step 3) to filter only read messages.

If you don’t want to have the Advanced toolbar appearing all the time, go to View > Toolbars and uncheck the Advanced toolbar, then right-click the main toolbar and choose “Customize”. Click on View in the left column and scroll until you see “Current View” and drag it to your main toolbar: presto! You have only the “Current View” applet and none of the other bits of the Advanced toolbar!

One Reply to “Outlook: Filtering for Read Messages”

  1. simple method would be create a temp folder in archive and move all unread msgs. Now you have all read msgs in Inbox 🙂 do whatever you want to do with them and once done move all unread msgs back.

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