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Make Important Email Standout in Outlook with Color Coding

by on June 01, 2020
in Computers and Software, Software & Games, Productivity, Tips & How-Tos, Tech 101 :: 51 comments

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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 for Microsoft 365, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007:

For Outlook for Microsoft 365, Outlook 2019 and Outlook 2016:

  1. Go to the View tab
  2. Select View Settings
    Outlook View tab
  3. Choose Conditional Formatting
    Outlook 2016 Conditional Formatting
  4. Click Add
  5. Name your rule
  6. Click on Font
    Conditional Formatting
  7. Pick a color, style and size and click OK
    Outlook Font selection
  8. Click on Condition
    Outlook Condition
  9. Type in the email address of the sender or senders you want to highlight. For multiple people, separate the email addresses with a semicolon. And, if you all emails from a particular company with a unique domain name, you can use the "@" domainname.com. For example, Techlicious would be: @techlicious.com
    Outlook 2016 conditional formatting: from Techlicious

Here's how email will appear if you assign red to a contact.

Outlook Color Coding

If you want to apply this color coding to all of your email folders, go to: 

  1. View
  2. Change Views
  3. Apply Current View to Other Mail Folders.
  4. Select the folders where you want the conditional formatting. There's a box at the bottom that lets you choose to "Apply view to subfolders" so you'll be covered if you create new subfolders.

Outlook 2019 apply view to other email folders

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.

AnchorFor 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 6/1/2020

[Image credit: important email concept via BigStockPhoto]



Discussion loading

Still not working

From Wendy on July 15, 2021 :: 12:13 pm

I am trying to colour code a sender.  I have read most of the instructions above but for some reason, the rule is not saving.  I have tried closing outlook and going back on.  Any thoughts?

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