How do I Customize the Reading Pane in Outlook?

Customizing the reading pane in Outlook allows you to have a more personalized and efficient email viewing experience. Follow these step-by-step instructions to learn how.

Step 1: Open Outlook

  • Open Microsoft Outlook on your computer.

Step 2: Access the Reading Pane Settings

  • Click on the “View” tab in the Outlook ribbon.
  • Locate the “Reading Pane” option in the “Layout” group.
  • Click on the “Reading Pane” button to open the reading pane settings window.

Step 3: Choose the Reading Pane Position

  • In the reading pane settings window, you can choose from multiple reading pane positions.
  • Select either “Right”, “Bottom”, or “Off” to determine the position of the reading pane.

Step 4: Adjust the Reading Pane Size

  • If you choose the “Right” or “Bottom” position, you can further customize the reading pane by adjusting its size.
  • Drag the splitter bar to the left or up, depending on the position of the reading pane, to increase or decrease its size.

Step 5: Customize Reading Pane Options

  • In the reading pane settings window, you can also customize various options related to the appearance and behavior of the reading pane.
  • For example, you can choose to mark items as read when viewed in the reading pane or adjust the number of lines to preview.

Step 6: Preview Changes

  • Preview the changes you have made in the reading pane settings window.
  • Check if the reading pane is in the desired position and size, and if the options are set according to your preferences.

Step 7: Apply Changes

  • Click on the “OK” button to apply the changes and close the reading pane settings window.


By following these simple steps, you can easily customize the reading pane in Outlook to enhance your email viewing experience. Whether it’s adjusting the position, size, or other options, customizing the reading pane allows you to optimize your workflow and make your email management more efficient.

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