How to Find Unread Emails in Outlook?

Last Updated on December 9, 2023 by Amit Bansal

Ever had trouble finding those important unread emails buried in your Outlook inbox?

I’ve got you covered.

In this blog post, I’ll walk you through multiple quick and easy methods to locate those unread gems, making your email management a breeze.

Let’s dive right in!

How to Search for Unread Emails in Outlook?

Microsoft Outlook offers various methods for searching and locating unread emails.

I will guide you through these multiple approaches, enabling you to effortlessly identify unread emails in Outlook.

Not only will we explore these methods comprehensively, but we will also delve into finding specific combinations of unread emails.

Find Unread Emails Using the Search Bar

The Search Bar stands out as the most valuable tool within Outlook. It’s your key to swiftly and effortlessly locating unread emails.

Let’s explore the steps together.

Open Outlook Classic or New Outlook to find out unread Email.

To discover unread emails in either Outlook Classic or New Outlook, simply type “isread:no” into the search bar and hit Enter.

This will generate a list of all unread emails within the folder.

In addition, the search bar allows you to find an unread message using this code [isread:no] from other categories of folders, refer to snapshot.

automatically filter emails in outlook

Find Unread Emails Using Refine Section

The “Refine” section in Outlook is purposefully crafted for filtering out specific email types or using a combination of refiners.

The “Unread Email” option simplifies the process, instantly providing all unread emails with just a single click. Let’s get started!

The “Refine” section is located within the “Search” tab. However, the “Search” tab becomes visible in Outlook when the system detects your intent to search, which you confirm by clicking the search bar to provide the necessary input.

Begin by clicking the Search Bar located at the top of the screen. This action will activate the Search Tab. Within the Refine section, select “Unread.”

Find Unread Emails Using Refine Section

Now you will get the list of all unread emails below.

Search Unread Emails using the New Search Folder in Outlook

The “New Search Folder” feature in Outlook is designed to categorize specific types of emails. You can effortlessly separate unread emails into a New Search Folder and instantly review them.

In Outlook Classic, navigate to the “Folder” tab, and within the “New” section, click on “New Search Folder.” This action will open the New Search Folder dialog box.

outlook highlight emails with no reply

The “New Search Folder” dialog box includes pre-defined categories and a custom search folder option.

Choose the “Unread Email” option under the “Reading Mail” category. The next crucial step is to select the email address located below the dialog box and then click “OK.”

Folder for unread emails in Outlook

You can confirm the existence of an individual folder named “Unread Mail” in the navigation section, which exclusively contains unread emails.

create unread folder in outlook

In this folder, you can always view only unread messages in Outlook, after reading the message is automatically wiped out from the folder.

Using the Unread Emails View

If you closely examine the area just above the list of emails in the folder, you’ll notice two options: “ALL” and “UNREAD.”

To locate unread emails in the folder, simply click on the “UNREAD” option, and you will instantly access all unread emails. It’s as simple as that!

unread email

Filtering Unread Emails and Other Combinations in Outlook

Once you have obtained a list of unread emails, many users often find the need to apply additional filters to refine their search for more precise results.

To help you grasp this pattern, I’ve created a few examples.

Let’s begin with~

# Search Unread Emails from Specific Sender?

I’m certain your inbox contains numerous unread emails. However, the question is, are you looking to search for a specific sender?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you with that.

  • Step 1 – Open Outlook Classic >> Click on instead search bar >> Go to the search tab above
  • Step 2 – Go to Refine section >> Click unread – You will get the list of unread emails and a text on the search bar “isread:no”
  • Step 3 – Now click “from” from the refine section, you will get an additional text on the search bar along with “isread:no”, which is [isread:no from:”Sender Name”].
Search Unread Emails from Specific Sender?
  • Step 4 – Replace “Sender Name” with the name or email address of the sender to get the results.
How to check unread emails from specific sender

# Searching for unread emails from a specific sender with a specific subject.

As an extension of the previous filter, if you still find yourself faced with a lengthy list of emails and are seeking a specific text within the subject line, simply click on a subject within the refine section.

Searching for unread emails from a specific sender with a specific subject.

This action will automatically add additional text to the search bar, combining the criteria of unread status and sender name.

Replace “Keyword” with the word you are looking for in the subject line.

How to check unread emails from a sender having specific subject

The above image explains itself; all three filters gave you results of unread emails received from WordPress and having smartly in the subject line.

Outlook also highlights your specifics, and the list is truly clear.

In addition, if you further filter your unread search with attachments or time, you can get the results accordingly.

# Find Emails by Unread then Date in Outlook?

Outlook typically arranges emails based on their received date. However, there may be instances when you need to display all unread emails at the top while maintaining the chronological sorting by date. This essentially involves a dual filtration process.

You can opt for advance find an unread email folder, or you can use the search bar using both [isread:no] & [date range] ~ received:25/04/2019..30/04/2020.

For instance: (isread:no received:25/08/2019..17/04/2020) after entering this you will get the list of emails according to the input entered in the search bar.

How to Change the Color of Unread Email in Outlook 365 Classic?

By default, unread messages are distinguished by their blue font color, setting them apart from read messages.

However, if you wish to enhance visual distinction further, changing the appearance of unread email messages can be quite effective.

Modifying the color of unread messages in Outlook 365 can provide a more striking visual separation.

This can be accomplished by adjusting not only the font color but also style, size, and formatting through the Outlook conditional formatting unread option.

Let’s understand the step-by-step process:

  • Open Outlook >> Go to your inbox >> Click View Tab >> Then click “View setting” under current view.
outlook unread mail settings
  • Advanced view settings dialog box appears >> click conditional formatting.
change unread email color in Outlook
  • Conditional formatting opens an additional dialog box, which contains various options. Among these options, you will find “Unread Messages” selected by default.
  • Select the Checkbox of unread messages and click on the Font option.
How to change unread email color
  • Font dialog popups, adjust font, style, size, and color drop-down list, and select color as per user choice.
  • Check the preview on the sample box [refer to snapshot]
How to change unread email color in Outlook 365

Click “OK” repeatedly until all the dialog boxes are closed. You can now observe the unread messages displayed in various colors. When you click on an unread message, it will not only mark it as read but also automatically change its color to the default color for read messages.

unread messages

How to Convert Read Email to Unread in Outlook?

Each time you receive an email message in your inbox, it initially bears a “New Mail” status, but once opened, it transitions into a “Read” status, along with corresponding changes in visibility and characteristics.

However, some users may have a specific reason for wanting to mark a read email as “Unread.” But why is this the case?

There are multiple reasons, depending upon the user, here you can learn, how to do it?

Click the right mouse button on the read email message and select “Mark as unread“. That will convert the read message into an unread message.

make read mail as unread in Outlook

View Unread Emails in Outlook 365 Web

When Outlook 365 was launched, many users were pleasantly surprised to discover that it was possible to view unread emails when viewed on Outlook 365 Web.

In Outlook 365, all emails are synchronized with the Outlook desktop application. So, if you have unread emails in Outlook 365, they will synchronize to your email client as well.

To find the unread email in Outlook web, a couple of clicks give you the desired results:

  • Open Outlook.com >> Login to your account.
  • Select the folder (Focused/Other) you like to sort unread emails.
  • Click on Filter [refer to images below] and select Unread from the drop-down list.
View unread emails in Outlook 365 Web
  • Once you click on Unread, all emails visible are unread, you can check them out one by one.
unread email outlook web

To remove the filter, you can click on the cross icon, which brings actual data.

How to Find Unread Emails in New Outlook

The New Outlook, recently launched and closely resembling Outlook Web, shares similar functionality. Let’s explore a few options for searching unread emails in this new interface.

  • Using the Search Bar – Searching for unread emails using the Search Bar is similar to what you’ve learned above with Outlook Classic.
  • Using Filter Option – At the top of the list, you’ll find the Filter option represented by a reverse pyramid symbol. By default, it will display “all” as the selected option. You should switch it to “unread” from the dropdown list, which will then provide you with all the unread emails.
How to Find Unread Emails in New Outlook

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to Automatically Mark Deleted Messages as Read in Outlook?

Once you’ve deleted your email messages, right-click the Deleted Items folder in the Navigation Pane, then click Mark All as Read.

How to Automatically Mark Deleted Messages as Read in Outlook

How to Delete all Unread Emails in Outlook?

All the above methods assemble all unread emails on your screen, one of the biggest productivity struggles is keeping your inbox in order.

The easiest way to do this is to delete all unread emails in Outlook. It can be a very effective way to start fresh and focus on your most significant emails.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to deleting all unread emails in Outlook.

Note: There are two ways to select all emails in the mailing list:

  • Click any one of the emails in the mail list, and then press the Ctrl + A keys at the same time.
  • Click the first email in the mail list, and then press the Ctrl + Shift + End keys simultaneously.

Once all the emails are selected click the Delete button from your keyboard or click the mouse right button and hit delete from the dropdown list.

How do I make unread emails appear at the top in Outlook?

To make unread emails appear at the top in Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Go to the folder where you want to see unread emails at the top, typically the Inbox.
  3. Click on the column header labeled “Arranged by” or “Sort by” at the top of your email list.
  4. A dropdown menu will appear. Select “Custom.”
  5. In the “Custom View Organizer” window, click “Sort.”
  6. In the “Sort” dialog box, under “Sort items by,” choose “Received” from the dropdown menu.
  7. Under “Order,” select “Descending” to sort emails in descending order, which will place unread emails at the top.
  8. Click “OK” to confirm your sorting settings.
  9. Back in the “Custom View Organizer” window, click “OK” to apply the custom view.

Now, your unread emails will be displayed at the top of the selected folder, sorted by the date received in descending order, making them easier to access and manage.

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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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