How to Disable the Preview Pane in the Windows 10 Mail App and Outlook

Boost email security by hiding message previews

Screenshot of how to disable the preview pane in Windows Mail
Heinz Tschabitscher

Email programs like Microsoft Outlook and the Mail app for Windows 10 show you a preview of your incoming messages by default. For security purposes, it is best to disable previews in Outlook and similar programs.

Instructions in this article apply to the Windows 10 Mail app, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, 2013, and Outlook for Office 365.

How to Turn Off Message Preview in Mail for Windows 10

To disable the preview pane in the Windows 10 Mail app:

  1. Select Settings gear in the bottom-left area of the Mail app.

    Select Settings gear in the bottom-left area of the Mail app.
  2. Select Message List in the Settings menu.

    Select Message List in the Settings menu.
  3. Set the toggle switches under Preview text and Image preview to Off.

    Set the toggle switches under Preview text and Image preview to Off.

How to Disable Message Previews on Outlook.com

If you're an Office 365 subscriber using Outlook.com:

  1. Select Settings gear in the top-right area of Outlook.com.

    Select Settings gear in the top-right area of Outlook.com.
  2. Select View all Outlook settings in the Settings menu.

    Select View all Outlook settings in the Settings menu.
  3. Select the Layout tab, and then select Hide reading pane under Reading Pane.

    Select the Layout tab and select Hide reading pane under Reading Pane.
  4. Scroll down and select Hide preview text under Message Preview Text.

    Scroll down and select Hide preview text under Preview Message Text.

Now you will only see the message subject, and you will have to select it to load and read the message.

How to Turn Off the Preview Reading Pane in Outlook

You can turn off message previews in Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, and Outlook 2013 for each individual account you have set up:

  1. Select the View tab at the top of Outlook, then select Reading Pane.

    Outlook 2016 View and Reading Pane menu selections
  2. Select Off from the drop-down menu.

    Outlook 2016 Reading Pane dropdown with Off selected

The message list pane will expand to fill the available space.

Select View > Message Preview > Off to hide the preview text that appears under the message subject.

Outlook 2016 with Reading Pane turned off