How to Edit a Received Email in Outlook

Change the subject line of a message you've received

If an email subject line does not provide enough description for you to identify what an email is about or if the subject field is empty, Microsoft Outlook allows you to edit the subject line and message text for emails you've received.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook for Microsoft 365, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, and Outlook 2010.

Edit the Subject Line of a Received Email in Outlook

You can change the subject line of any message you receive in Outlook.

Search for emails with empty subject lines and add a subject to make these emails easier to find.

  1. Start Outlook.

  2. Double-click the message you want to edit to open the message in a separate window.

    You cannot edit a message's subject line from the Reading Pane.

  3. Place the cursor in the subject line and press Ctrl-A on your keyboard to select the entire subject line.

    Screenshot of message with selected subject line
  4. Type the subject line you want to use.

    Screenshot of new subject line
  5. Select Save in the upper-left corner of the message window.

  6. Close the message window.

  7. The new subject line appears in the Reading Pane. The message shows the original conversation topic.

Edit the Body of a Received Email in Outlook

The Action menu makes it possible to make changes to the text in the body of an email message you have received.

  1. Start Outlook.

  2. Double-click the message you want to edit to open the message in a separate window.

    You cannot edit a message's subject line from the Reading Pane.

  3. Select Actions in the Move group.

    Actions button in Outlook message window.
  4. Choose Edit Message.

    Edit Message option in the Actions menu.
  5. Make any desired changes to the content of the message. For instance, you might want to add keywords or names that you can search for later.

  6. Select Save in the upper-left corner of the message window.

  7. Close the message window.