How to Set Up One-Click Actions for Emails in Outlook.com

Microsoft replaced Instant Actions with toolbar icons in 2016

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When Microsoft migrated Outlook.com to its new interface in 2016, it dropped the Instant Actions option that allowed users to set up one-click actions for emails. Instead, users were advised to use the toolbar options at the top of the email screen to quickly delete mail, move or categorize mail, sweep mail from a specific sender, or mark mail as junk. Additionally, users can pin an email, mark it as unread, flag it or print it from the toolbar.

The goal was to give Outlook.com users the same options they were using when they customized their one-click buttons without the need to do the customization and deal with buttons.

Setting Up One-Click Actions in Outlook.Com Pre-2016 Interface

Stop wasting clicks and looking at emails you are going to delete or mark as junk anyway without cluttering the interface with buttons. With Outlook.com, you can set up instant actions for the message list that deal with these issues. The buttons act on emails even when you don't open them. They appear only as you move the mouse button over an email—though you can opt to make them always visible—and they take action with only a single click.

To configure quick actions available in the Outlook.com message list:

  1. Click the Settings gear in the toolbar.
  2. Select View full settings from the menu that shows up.
  3. Now select Instant actions under Customizing Outlook.
  4. Make sure Show instant actions is checked.
  5. Take the actions to add a new button, remove a button or make a button always visible.

Add a New Button

  1. Click Add actions.
  2. Select Move to or Categorize for one-click filing and labeling.
  3. Select Sweep to set up cleaning emails from the same sender; choose Move all from a sender or Delete all from a sender.
  4. Select Junk to add a button that marks the message as spam.

Remove a Button

  1. Click the button you want to remove from instant actions in the list under Show on mouse over or Show always.
  2. Select Remove from list.

Make a Button Always Visible

  1. Highlight the button under Show on mouse over.
  2. Click Move down until the button is at the desired place under Show always.
  3. Move buttons up into the Show on mouse over to see them only when the mouse button is over an email in the message list. You can also use Move down and Move up to rearrange buttons.
  4. Last, click Save to save your changes.