What Does Exclamation Mark Mean in Outlook Email?

Last Updated on January 23, 2023 by Amit Bansal

In Outlook, a red color exclamation mark, next to an email message indicates that the message has been Highly important for follow-up.

This means that the user has set a reminder for themselves to follow up on the message at a later time. The exclamation mark is a visual cue to remind the user that the message requires attention.

Why To address Email as High Important with Exclamation Marks?

Exclamation Mark is added to any email message to mark a message with elevated importance by clicking the High Importance options, available both in the Outlook application and Outlook Web.

You have seen your inbox folder with numerous emails and some of them are marked with an exclamation mark (!) alongside it, which indicated that your sender marked that email message as important.

That will draw your attention. You can very easily sort emails with High Importance, Exclamation Mark (!).

How to Sort Messages with High Importance?

Here is the step-by-step method to sort email messages in your inbox:

  • Go to your Inbox folder.
  • Click the little three-line symbol at the top of your inbox.
  • Choose Importance from the drop-down menu.
  • You will checkout, and all the messages tagged with the red exclamation mark are arranged at the top of the inbox.

How to create High-priority messages in Outlook Application?

In case you like to send an email message marking it as a high priority, you need to mark the high importance.

  • Open Outlook Application
  • Click New Email.
  • Select the Message tab.
  • Choose the High Importance tag.

Note You will also get “Low Importance” and “Follow Up” Options in the Tags group.

Create Messages in Outlook Web using Red Exclamation Mark (!)

If you wish to send a message with high priority, you can do so from the priority drop-down menu in Outlook web.

  • Open Outlook Web.
  • Create New Email from the top left corner of the screen.
  • Click Message and click the Red Exclamation Mark icon from the options.
  • Select High.

Once you send the email either from the Outlook application or the Web, in both cases your receiver will get the email message with having Red Exclamation Mark icon.

Mark Email as High Importance with Exclamation Mark using [Keyboard Shortcut]

Alt + H + H

Once you create a new email Message or even while Reply and Forward, click on the message body one, Click Alt + H + H.

Important Things to Know About Outlook High Importance Email Settings.

  • Once your email is sent to your recipient, you won’t be able to add that importance level. In case both you (sender) and your recipient are using the Exchange server, you can officially recall the message and add the Exclamation Mark.
  • You can add only one tag at a time, your email message would be either High Importance or Low Importance.
  • In case you are getting emails with red exclamation marks indicating a high urgency on them, it is very to sort those email messages and treat them on a priority basis.
  • Adding Red Exclamation Mark next to that message and the recipients receive it in their inbox and they may choose to act on that message instead of a different one.

Many Outlook users have a tendency to mark all of their email messages as high importance, but this is an inefficient practice.

This practice defeats the purpose of the exclamation mark, as users are unable to easily distinguish between truly significant emails and all other emails.

This can also result in other users not taking the mark seriously, as all emails are marked as high importance.

If all of your emails have that red exclamation point, your recipients won’t sense urgency anymore.

Wrap Up

In Conclusion, the exclamation mark in your email message is a useful tool, that easily identifies important messages.

That will help you and your receiver with an Exclamation Mark that easily sorts the message from the folder.

It’s important to note that the exclamation mark won’t be applied automatically, and you should only use it when appropriate.

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Amit Bansal

Hello, my name is Amit Kumar Bansal, and I am the founder of MailSmartly.com. 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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