Microsoft Outlook 2007 Tip #14 - Tell Outlook Where to Go When You Are Finished with a Message

Microsoft Outlook 2007 Tip #14 - Tell Outlook Where to Go When You Are Finished with a Message
Page content

Message Handling

Outlook offers considerable and configurable control over what it does in certain circumstances. When you are reading an open e-mail message and delete it, where should Outlook go? That is, what should it move to next without user intervention? Not surprisingly, users have demanded a variety of locations. For this reason, Outlook allows the user to configure where the focus goes after deleting or moving an e-mail message.

To configure this setting, navigate to Tools | Options and under the Preferences tab, click on the E-mail Options button. In the resulting window, there is a section called ‘Message handling’ as shown in Figure 1. The very first line in that section reads ‘After moving or deleting an open item:’ followed by a drop down list with these options:

  • open the previous item
  • open the next item
  • return to the inbox

If you read messages in your inbox sequentially, then opening the next item might be fitting. I use a lot of rules to sort messages into subfolders. I don’t often open messages, but rather read them using the preview pane after scanning the inbox for messages that are important to me at the time. As a result, the option to return to the inbox works best for me.

Another option for handling messages when the user performs an action is found in the very next line in Figure 1. When you open a message and then reply to it, or forward it, you have some control on what Outlook should do with the original open message you acted upon. By default, Outlook returns to the open message after you reply to it. Checking the box next to ‘Close original message on reply or forward’ will indeed close the open message you replies to and returns you to wherever you last were in the main Outlook interface.


This post is part of the series: Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 Tips

A series of Tips and Tricks for working with Microsoft Outlook 2007 both as a user and an administrator.

  1. New E-mail Account Configuration in Microsoft Outlook: Tip #1
  2. Use AutoComplete “Nickname” Cache in Outlook: Tip #2
  3. Configure Outlook Custom Message Views: Tip #3
  4. How to Configure RSS Feeds in Outlook: Tip #4
  5. Tip #5 - Making Changes to the Custom Dictionary in Microsoft Outlook 2007
  6. Tip #6 - Configure Outlook Autosave Settings
  7. Microsoft Outlook Keyboard Shortcuts: Tip #7
  8. Microsoft Outlook 2007 Tip #8 - Outlook.exe Startup Switches
  9. Microsoft Outlook Instant Messenger Addons: #9
  10. Tip #10 - Using Outlook 2007 to Access GMail
  11. Showing Full Message Headers in Microsoft Outlook 2007: Tip #11
  12. How to Re-Send an E-mail Message in Outlook: Tip #12
  13. How to View Animated GIFs Embedded in an E-mail in Microsoft Outlook 2007: Tip #13
  14. Telling Outlook How to Handle Messages: Tip #14
  15. Microsoft Outlook 2007 Tip #15 - How to Color Code the Task List in the To Do Bar
  16. Tip #16 - Importing from Incredimail to Microsoft Outlook 2007
  17. Viewing Multiple Outlook Calendars: Tip #17
  18. Removing Cancelled Future Appointments in Microsoft Outlook 2007: Tip #18
  19. Tip #19: How to Create New Outlook E-mail from the Command Line
  20. How to Configure Outlook AutoArchiving: Tip #20
  21. Using Custom Categories in Microsoft Outlook 2007: Tip #21
  22. How to Manage Outlook Add-ins: Tip #21
  23. Microsoft Outlook 2007 Tip #23 - Attachment Previewing Options