How To Mark All Emails As Read In Outlook? [Use Custom Search Folder]

In the preview article, you have learned to find the unread email in outlook, sorting unread emails, conditional formatting, move unread emails into a specific folder all are really incredible methods.

After all that, in case you need to mark all unread emails as read, which indicates read unread messages in Outlook, it’s a quite simple method.

In this article, you will learn “How to mark all messages as read in Outlook“.

Every Outlook user (including me) observes parentheses next to the Outlook folder (Inbox, Draft, Outbox), that indicates something is pending, depending upon the nature of the folder.

parentheses in outlook

The straightforward method to mark all unread mail as read is to click the right mouse button on the folder Choose the Mark All as Read option from the list.

mark all unread mail as read

Mark All Emails As Read In Outlook Using Custom Search Folder?

The only issue with the above example is, you need to entertain every folder and subfolder one by one and mark all as read. How about grouping all unread messages into one folder and mark all read in a single attempt.

Using a custom search folder, which provides a view of customizing specific matches for your search query. the Unread Mail Search Folder enables you to view all unread messages in one folder.

Let’s understand step by step process:

  • Open Outlook application on your computer.
  • Find Search Folder from the navigation section, which is located on the button of all folders.
  • Click on the search folder >> New search folder

new search folder

unread mail

Read In Outlook Using Custom Search Folder

  • Right-click the Unread folder and click Mark All as Read.

Mark All as Read

This step marks all folders unread email into Read, which remove parentheses of all folders except the Deleted items folder. Finally, you can delete the folder permanently if not required by clicking on the right mouse button.

Few Direct Shortcut Methods To Mark All Emails As Read In Outlook

In the above method, you can easily right-click on the folder and click mark all read and parentheses disappear. In case you need to take a review before marking all read, click on the folder, and the list of emails (read and unread) appears.

There are two methods:

First, click on “Unread” just above the headers of emails, list of unread email filtered, click “Ctrl + A“, all unread email selected, now click right mouse button and click (Mark as Read).

Direct Shortcut Methods

Secondly, there are few filtration/sort options like (Date, From, To, Size, Subject, Type, attachment), the outcome results in specific emails, you can repeat the above process and unread email list out, click “Ctrl + A“, all unread email selected, now click right mouse button and click (Mark as Read).

Mark All Emails As Read Quick Access Toolbar

The majority of users required the “mark all emails read” icon in the quick access toolbar as a shortcut. By default short cut is not in QCT.

Step by step method to get the short cut icon in Quick Access Toolbar:

  • Open Outlook >> Click File Tab >> Hit Options from the left portion of the screen.
  • Click “Quick Access Toolbar” from the general options on the life side >> Select “All commands” from the dropdown list of choose command.
  • Select “Mark all as Read” from the drop-down list. (It’s an alphabetic list, easy to find).
  • Click Add, “Mark all as Read“, which added to Customized Quick Access Toolbar.
  • Finally, Click OK

Mark All Emails As Read Quick Access Toolbar

You can check the “Mark all as Read” icon on the top left-hand corner of the screen.

You can access the function via “Alt+3". The number depends on the position where you place the command. Press “Alt" by itself to make Outlook display overlays for all hotkeys.

Mark all as Read shortcut key

Click and Mark as read instantly 

Some users need to “Mark Messages as Read” as Soon as they click on them, In general, practice outlook don’t mark as read until you switch to another email on the list.

Here is Step by Step process to make Outlook mark messages as read as soon as we view them in the Reading Pane.

  • Lunch Outlook >> Click File >> Options >> Outlook options dialog Box pops up.
  • Click Mail from the left side options of the screen >> Click Reading Pane

Reading pane Outlook


  • Reading Pane Dialog Box appears, which consists of few default active options, those outcomes, we all are familiar with. There is one option unchecked “Mark items as read when viewed in the reading pane“.

CheckBox this option results “Outlook mark your messages as read when you view them in the Reading Pane”>. This action will execute after a certain time period, which can be adjusted manually by entering the number of seconds in “Wait [X] seconds before marking items as read“, just below this option. You can enter a maximum of 999 seconds.

Note that the ‘Mark item as read when selection changes’ box is automatically unchecked when you check the ‘Mark items as read when viewed in the Reading Pane‘ box.

The major difference between both of them is:

Mark item as read when selection changes

Working with default features in Outlook, sometimes annoying, slight adjustments make it work just you wanted for a long time. This article almost covers all related options of “How To Mark All Emails As Read In Outlook“.

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