How to stop Outlook from marking previews as read

Many people utilize the Outlook preview pane to read their email, personally I set my preview window to the horizontal view (as opposed to the default vertical view).  As you scroll through you inbox, Outlook will mark the email as read (change the icon in the inbox) as soon as the message is displayed in the preview window, even if you don’t actually read the message.

Some clients have asked if this marking as read feature can be turned off, and the answer is yes.
Here’s how to change the setting:

In Outlook 2010:

  1. At the top of your inbox, click on the View menu tab
  2. Click Reading Pane, and then Options
  3. In the options, you may select the option to mark as read after a certain duration of time, or simply uncheck the mark items as read altogether, then click OK

In Outlook 2007:

  1. Use the Tools menu, and click Options
  2. Click Other
  3. Click Reading Pane
  4. In the dialog box, select the option to mark as read after a certain duration of time, or simply uncheck the mark items as read altogether, then click OK, then click OK again

Note for Corporate Users:  As with any Outlook settings, you may use the Group Policy framework to apply default Outlook settings, and push them out to your Group. This could include disabling the preview pane, or turning the marked as read feature off.

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