How To Change Outlook View? [Complete Tutorial]

Last Updated on June 21, 2022 by Amit Bansal

The minute you open Outlook, you see a list of different emails based on their importance. It’s possible to change the default view or sort order of Outlook, though it’s a bit complicated.

For example, you may change the default view of your inbox, but when you open a specific email, it will still be sorted in a default way.

So, if you want to change the email view without changing the default sorting order, you need to create a custom view. Here’s how to do it.

By default, the visibility of the Outlook font page is no doubt beautiful, the Reading Pane, Tabs, Email Folder everything is predesigned it seems perfect.

You can modify it according to your convenience, in this article, you will learn entire the information about Outlook View, “How to Customize Outlook Reading Pane (layout)?

Compact View

By default, the Inbox is displayed in the compact view in Outlook. The compact view consists of messages in three lines:

  • First-line represents the sender of the email (Email address / Name of person or sender).
  • The second line indicates the subject and received date of the email.
  • Finally, in the third line, you can preview the message body of the email.
Compact View

You can expand or disappear the third line using the “Message Preview section” under the arrangement.

message preview

Single View

A single view is quite different from a compact view, you can display it in the single view by clicking View >> Change View >> Single.

Single view outlook

In the single view, the visibility changes entirely, which contains the message list and reading pane,

  • The first line shows all kinds of information about an email’s importance status, sender, mention, subject, received date, reminders, attachments, etc.
  • And the second line, you can preview the message body of the email, similarly to the above method.

You can also check the many columns you have added, they will display in the message list.

Outlook Preview

Preview View

Switching preview view from (compact view or Single view) by clicking View >> Change view >> Preview.

preview view outlook

The preview view is like the single view, except for turning off the reading pane. You can easily review the email message in a wide range.
Outlook Single View

Under Preview view every email contains two lines.

  • The first line shows every field of an email in a column, such as from, received, subject, size, flag, etc. No matter how many columns you have added to this view, they will display in the message list.
  • The second line shows the received date and subject of the email.
  • Finally, in the third line, you can preview the message body of the email message.

Customized Current View

Apart from the above feature, you can also customize your own view according to your workstation and match your need.

How to Add Column in the Current View in Outlook

The compact view doesn’t show you the columns, you can switch to Single or preview view to check out the columns, Outlook by default show you some columns, but in case you need to add an additional column or remove some of those you can follow the steps:

  • Open the specified mail folder (for instance inbox folder) and click View >> Add Columns.
add coloumn
  • Show Columns dialog appears with multiple options. There are two segments (options) available.
  1. Available Columns
  2. Shows these columns in this order.
  • Show these columns in this order consist of particulars that are already available in the folder header.
  • In the Available columns list box, please click to select the specified column you will add.
  • Select available columns from the drop-down list which opens the list of categories, it is recommended to select All Mail fields.
Show colomn
  • In the Available columns list box, please click to select the specified column you will add.

Let’s take an example:

  • Select “Cc” >> Click the Add button.
Add CC in the colomn

Note: – Instead of Clicking add button, you can simply double click the particular to add in the column.

  • Cc potion adds in the right-hand side options, you can use move up and down options to move it to the proper position.
Show these columns in this order
  • Finally, click Ok and you can see Cc added in the column.
How to customize Outlook to make it your own

Methods To Remove Column from the Current View in Outlook?

There are a couple of methods to remove columns from the existing folder, you will learn methods to make it happen:

In the compact view columns are not visible you have to switch to Single or preview view, and if you want to remove the Cc column from this view, you must follow the steps:

Click View >> Add Columns to open the Show Columns dialog. On the right-hand side options, you have already added Cc to the list, Select Cc and click the Remove button.

remove colomn

Note: You can also double-click on the options to simply remove them from the list.

Secondly, you can also remove any column from the list by clicking the right mouse button. In the message list, right-click the specified column header which you will remove and select Remove This Column from the right-clicking menu.

Remove this column

Remove a column from the current view using the drag and drop method.

Removing a column using the drag and drop method is quick and interesting, At the top of the message list, click the right mouse button on the specified column header that you will remove, drag it and drop out of the message list.

Then the specified column is removed from the current view immediately.

drag and drop column

How To Create Customized Folder View from Scratch?

Each folder allows you to change and customize its Font Type, Font Size, Reading Pane, and other items in it. You can change the Inbox View to organize the items in the folder as per your requirements.

To create and modify your own view, Click View >> Change View >> Manage View, you are forwarded to the “Manage all view” dialog box, where you can connect to all the available views of the current folder and its associated settings.

manage all views

You can check a few available views of the current folder. Click New to create your own customized folder view.

Type the name of the new view, select the type of view you need, and the visibility of the folder. Click OK to move on.

create a new window

There are multiple options for “Type of View” for instance:

  • Table
  • Timeline
  • Cards
  • Business Cards
  • People
  • Day/Week/Month
  • Icon

All of the above selection brings different views, one of my favorite views is Day/Week/Month, Let’s have a look:

  • Click New from the create a new view dialog box.
  • Select Day/week/month.
  • Choice one of the options “This folder visible to everyone, This folder visible only to me, All mails and post folder
  • Click OK, Advance view setting new view dialog box appears. you can click the clickable options available (which are changed according to the selection above).
  • Click Ok until all dialog boxes are closed.

Now click change view from the view tab, and you can see added new view options.

New view option added
  •   The entire screen view is changed for the folder,
Day Week Month view

Outlook layout entirely changes, the group of emails available on that specific date is visible clearly, to open the email in a different window, you need to double click on it.

How To Change View in Outlook to Default?

You can change Outlook back to Classic View easily, click on the View tab >> View Setting >> Advance view setting dialog box appears >> Click Reset Current View. That will change the Outlook view to default.

Apart from this, customized and sorting emails in a folder according to your requirement are other options available, changing the font size while replying to or receiving from a specific person is one of the excellent features in Outlook.

With these options available, you can truly customize outlook inbox format and experience in Outlook.


In conclusion, the Outlook view setting is a quick way to see what’s going on in your Inbox. You have full control over the features you use. Use the reading pane features that can help you get the most out of Outlook.

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Amit Bansal

Hello, my name is Amit Kumar Bansal, and I am the founder of Through this blog, I focus on Microsoft Outlook, offering insightful and informative content. Additionally, I produce educational videos on YouTube to further enhance the understanding of my audience. visit my YouTube Channel

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