How to Change the Font Size of the Message List in Windows Mail

Eye chart with glasses laying on it

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As the resolution of displays increases, the legibility decreases — exponentially it seems.

Windows Live Mail and Outlook Express are no exceptions, and while increasing the font size for messages is easy, you are still stuck with tiny, barely decipherable fonts in other parts, most agonizingly the message list. Or are you?

Fortunately, Windows Mail and Outlook Express use a standard Windows interface font for folder names, message lists, icon descriptions and more. These Windows fonts can be changed.

Change the Font Size of the Windows Mail or Outlook Express Message List

To make Windows Mail or Outlook Express use larger or different fonts for message lists and other interface elements:

  • Select Control Panel from the Windows Start menu.
  • In Windows Vista:
    • Make sure Control Panel Home is highlighted.
    • Click Customize colors under Appearance and Personalization.
    • Follow the Open classic appearance properties for more color options link.
  • In Windows XP:
    • Go to Appearance and Themes if available.
    • Click or double-click Display.
    • Go to the Appearance tab.
    • Click Advanced.
  • Select Icon from the Item: drop-down menu.
  • Choose the desired Font, Size, and attributes.
  • Click OK.
  • The Icon font is used for the list of folders and messages as well as toolbar icon text in Windows Mail or Outlook Express.
  • Click OK.