How to Send Plain Text Message in Outlook Mail on the Web

Use plain text in webmail to eliminate unwanted formatting and code

Retro typewriter with a magazine on the desk.

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A message in plain text does not rely on fancy fonts, colors, graphics, and smilies to impact and influence. As an added benefit, plain text emails don't send dangerous, superfluous, or unwanted code. Plain text emails can be read by every email client, and are easy to compose in Outlook Mail on the Web.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook.com and Outlook Online.

Send a Plain Text Email from Outlook Mail on the Web

To write and send an email message that uses only plain text from Outlook Mail on the Web:

  1. Select New message. Or, choose a message and select Reply or Forward.

    The message can be open in the Reading pane or in a separate window.

    Creating a new message in Outlook Online.
  2. ​Select More actions (●●●) in the message toolbar.

  3. Select Switch to plain text.

    If Switch to HTML appears in the menu but not Switch to plain text, the email is set to be sent in plain text only.

    Switching an email to plain text in Outlook Online.
  4. If prompted to confirm your choice, select OK.

    Confirming the switch to plain text in Outlook Online.
  5. Compose the message and select Send.

Send Plain Text Email by Default in Outlook Mail on the Web

To set up Outlook Online so plain text editing is the default for new emails:

  1. Select Settings (the gear icon ⚙️).

    Selecting settings in Outlook Online.
  2. Select View all Outlook settings.

    Viewing basic setting in Outlook Online.
  3. Go to Mail > Compose and reply.

    Viewing advanced settings in Outlook Online.
  4. In the Message format section, select the Compose messages in dropdown arrow and choose Plain text.

    Selecting plain text for all emails in Outlook Online.
  5. Select Save.

    Saving settings in Outlook Online.
  6. Close the Settings dialog box.