How to Change the Default Font and Size in Outlook

You have many options for changing text font, size, color, and style

Microsoft Outlook's default font for composing and reading messages is set to a small Calibri or Arial font. If this is not your preference, you can change the default font for messages in Outlook to anything you want.

Smaller, fancier, bigger, or conventional fonts—you're only limited by the fonts installed on your system.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook versions 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, and Outlook for Office 365, as well as the web-based Outlook.com.

Illustration of a person changing font options on a laptop
Lifewire / Ashley Nicole Deleon

Change Fonts in Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, and Outlook for Office 365

Follow these steps to change the default font in Outlook 2016, 2013, and 2010.

If you are working in Outlook 2010, your screens will differ in appearance, but the menu options, locations, and functionality are the same.

  1. Go to the File > Options menu.

    Options menu in Outlook
  2. Select the Mail category on the left side.

  3. Select Stationery and Fonts.

    Stationery and Fonts button in Outlook options
  4. Select Font under each of the sections you want to change:

    • New mail messages changes the default font in emails.
    • Replying or forwarding messages changes the font used whenever you respond or forward an email.
    • Composing and reading plain text messages changes how plain text messages appear to you only; plain text messages sent to others remain in plain text for the recipients.

    If you already have a theme or stationery set up, you can choose Theme and then the (No Theme) option to disable it.

    Font button in Outlook options
  5. Choose your preferred font, style, size, color, and effect.

    Outlook font selection window
  6. Select OK once to finish and then twice more to close out of the Signatures and Stationery window and Outlook's options.

    OK button to confirm Font changes in Outlook

    Change Fonts in Outlook 2007 and 2003

    Changing default fonts in Outlook 2007 and 2003 is a very similar process. The screenshots below are for Outlook 2007, and any differences in Outlook 2003 will be noted.

  7. Go into the Tools > Options menu.

    Outlook 2007 Tools and Options menu selections
  8. Select the Mail Format tab.

    Outlook 2007 Options and Mail Format tab screen
  9. Select Stationery and Fonts.

    Outlook 2007 Stationery and Fonts option screen
  10. Select Font under New mail messages, Replying or forwarding messages, and Composing and reading plain text messages to choose the desired font styles, sizes, and colors.

    In Outlook 2003, select Choose Font for When composing a new message, When replying and forwarding, and When composing and reading plain text.

    Outlook 2007 font selection screen
  11. Select OK.

    In Outlook 2003: If stationery is set as the default under Use this stationery by default, the font specified in it may override the font you have just chosen. You can either modify the stationery to include your favorite font or set Outlook to ignore fonts that are specified in the stationery altogether.

  12. Select OK to close the Options menu.

    If you set a default color for replies and forwarded emails, but Outlook refuses to use it, try setting up a default signature.

  13. Your default font features should now be permanently changed.

Change the New Message Default Font on Outlook.com

You can change your outgoing message fonts on Outlook.com by following these steps. Unfortunately, you can't change the default font for messages displayed on Outlook.com the way you can in the software versions of Outlook.

  1. Select Settings > View all Outlook settings.

    Outlook.com Quick settings menu
  2. Select Mail > Compose and reply.

    Outlook.com Compose and reply menu
  3. Under Message format, select the font dropdown and choose the new default font you want to use. You can also change the default font size; set bold, italics, and underline for text; and choose your default font color.

    Outlook.com font selection dropdown and choices
  4. When you have your font choices set, select Save.

    Outlook.com Save button for saving font choices
  5. New messages composed on Outlook.com will now use your chosen default font choices.

If you want to change the font options for only a single message, you can do this while composing the email. At the bottom of the window in which you're writing the message you'll find many options for changing the appearance of your text. These settings will apply to this email only.