Unread Your Email

October 8, 2009

When most email programs show you your list of emails, they usually display the emails that you haven’t read in bold or in a different color than the ones you have read. Of course, your email program doesn’t know for sure that you really read the email. All it knows is whether or not it displayed the text of the email to you.

If you have a preview window turned on, that means that when an email is selected in your inbox, it is displayed in a window below. Displaying an email in this preview counts as having “read” and email. If you don’t have preview turned on, you have to double-click on the message to read the message.

Once your email program thinks you have read the email, it will change how its displayed in the list of emails so that it is no longer highlighted as an unread message.

Why is this important? When new email comes in, we tend to check it out but we tend to ignore all of that old email in the inbox that we already read. Sometimes I will read an email and it is something I need to respond to. However, I can’t respond right now for some reason. But I don’t want to forget. But since I have read it, it won’t be listed in bold and I might forget about it. So what I do is I tell my email program that I haven’t read the email yet. That way, it displays the email as if I haven’t read it.

You can set a message to “unread” in most email programs. In Outlook, you simply right-click on the message and choose “Mark as Unread” from the pop-up menu. Other programs work similarly but the exact wording of the option or how you select that option might be different.

For example, if you use Google Mail (Gmail), you click on the box next to the message to select it. Then at the top, click on “More actions” and then select “Mark as Unread” from the pop-up menu.

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