Tech Made Simple

Hot Topics: How to Fix Bluetooth Problems | The Best Coffee Grinder | Best Fitness Trackers Under $50 | Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy

Use It

author photo

Make Important Email Standout in Outlook with Color Coding

by on February 23, 2017
in Computers and Software, Software & Games, Productivity, Tips & How-Tos, Tech 101 :: 16 comments

Outlook Color Coding

To make sure emails from important contacts stand out and do not go unnoticed, you can set up a rule that makes the email appear in a specific color or a specific size and type of font. For example, you can make emails from your boss appear in a larger font or have emails from family members all appear in red. To set up the way emails are displayed for Outlook 2016, Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007:

For Outlook 2016:

  1. Go to the View tab
    Outlook View tab
  2. Select View Settings
  3. Choose Conditional Formatting
    Conditional Formatting
  4. Click Add
  5. Name your rule
  6. Click on Font and pick a color, style and size and click OK
    Outlook Font selection
  7. Click on Condition
    Outlook Condition
  8. Type in the email address of the sender or senders you want to highlight. For multiple people, separate the emaill addresses with a semicolon.

For Outlook 2010:

  1. Go to the View tab
    Outlook View tab
  2. Select View Settings
    Outlook Conditional Formatting
  3. Choose Conditional Formatting
    Conditional Formatting
  4. Click Add
  5. Name your rule
  6. Click on Font and pick a color, style and size and click OK
    Outlook Font selection
  7. Click on Condition
    Outlook Condition
  8. Type in the email address of the sender or senders you want to highlight. For multiple people, separate the emaill addresses with a semicolon.

For Outlook 2007:

  1. Go to the Tools menu outlook tools menu
  2. Select Organize, Using Colors
  3. Then choose specific colors for emails from specific people
  4. More advanced automatic settings for applying font type and size to emails can be added by selecting Automatic Formatting in the top right corner of the Using Colors screen
  5. Click “Add” to create more rules

When you're finished creating your rule, important email will stand out.

Updated on 2/23/2016 with instructions for Outlook 2016



Discussion loading

gravatar

Given that macs make up

From James Eliot on January 18, 2011 :: 11:15 am

Given that macs make up the majority of computers for early adopters, and an even higher percentage for female early tech adopters, you might note that the color coding of email works easily in Mac Mail as well. 

Merely go to Mail > Preferences > Rules and add a rule that assigns a color to specific senders as you designate.
Keep up the good work.  By the way, I really liked the daily coverage of CES.

Reply

gravatar

Macs do not appear to have this feature under rules

From Paco V. on February 12, 2012 :: 2:12 am

Outlook from mac does not appear to have an option to modify colors, nor modify fonts under rule actions.

I have not been able to “merely” go to Mail > Preferences > Rules and add a rule that assigns a color to senders, recipients, etc…

Are there extra steps or commands that might be missing?

-PV

Reply

gravatar

Thanks!

From Cynthia Tews on September 30, 2014 :: 2:12 pm

Outlook is so unintuitive, I could not for the life of me figure out how to color code. Your article was the only thing that helped me!

Reply

gravatar

Awesome, thanks....

From Cynthia H on April 01, 2016 :: 11:38 am

great instructions…made this task very easy! Thanks

Reply

gravatar

How do I send color coded email ?

From Jacob T on July 14, 2016 :: 10:28 pm

I occasionally get an email in Outlook that stands out by its red color, as opposed to all the emails in the list that are plain black.  How can I send an email that will show up on the receivers side in red color ?

Reply

avatar

Color is controlled by the receiver, not the sender.

From Josh Kirschner on July 15, 2016 :: 8:44 am

The color coding in Outlook is controlled by the receiver of the messages (based on their Outlook settings), not the sender. If you are seeing messages in red, it may because they were sent as “high priority”. You can check your own Outlook settings to see which messages default to red on your end and, perhaps, your recipient will have it set up the same way. Also, this only applies to Outlook. If the person is reading those messages on a mobile device or via the web (e.g., Google Mail), settings will be different.

Reply

gravatar

Still not working :(

From Jill on January 31, 2017 :: 11:00 am

I went through all these steps and even rebooted my system and the color code rule is not working. Any additional tips? Should I select Reset View to make the change occur?

Reply

avatar

I just went through the

From Suzanne Kantra on February 23, 2017 :: 5:08 pm

I just went through the process again with Outlook 2016 and it works the same. Just make sure you click “ok” on all of the boxes.

Reply

gravatar

Mark emails without using a rule

From Yunus on October 30, 2017 :: 2:14 am

In Outlook2010 I want to select random emails to be different colours so I can go back to them later. How can I do that? And can I then filter based on colour?

Reply

gravatar

You can

From jatinkg on April 12, 2017 :: 5:03 am

You can effectively do it using ‘Change View settings’ button from View menu. Bingo!

Reply

gravatar

Can you tell us these same steps if you're using Outlook 2016 for Mac?

From Liz on June 02, 2017 :: 7:44 am

Our company is mostly PCs so these instructions will work for them, but we have 6 Mac users and these directions don’t work for the Outlook 2016 for Mac.  Can you write up directions for that?  Thanks!

Reply

gravatar

Phone View

From J on June 29, 2017 :: 11:43 am

I was wondering if there is any way to get the color coding to show up on the Iphone app view??

Reply

gravatar

I want a manual setting

From Patrick on July 05, 2017 :: 10:43 am

Is there a way that I can decide? If I get 15 emails from the same person and only 1 is important enough to be flagged, that’s the only one I want highlighted, bold, Arial, with a 16 pt font size, can I make a menu item to do so?

Reply

gravatar

filters

From Mary on July 25, 2017 :: 9:02 am

I tried to follow the directions.  On the advanced View Settings: Compact dialog box, I choose conditional formatting; I then identify a few people I want to receive in a different color, hit ok.  their names appear in the Filter section of the dialog box.  I want to add more names but will they all appear?  Your screen shot just says “advanced” in the filter section.

thanks

Reply

gravatar

add on to previous message

From Mary on July 25, 2017 :: 9:05 am

and I just had to clear everything I did in previous message as my inbox disappeared.  I guess what I did was to only have emails from certain people appear. 

so, I am missing something.

Reply

gravatar

Worked for me!

From KJS on August 02, 2017 :: 11:44 am

THANK YOU!!!

Reply

© Techlicious LLC. Home | About | Meet the Team | Sponsorship Opportunities | Newsletter Archive | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

Techlicious participates in affiliate programs, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provide a small commission from some, but not all, of the "click-thru to buy" links contained in our articles. These click-thru links are determined after the article has been written, based on price and product availability — the commissions do not impact our choice of recommended product, nor the price you pay. When you use these links, you help support our ongoing editorial mission to provide you with the best product recommendations.

site design: Juxtaprose