Outlook automatically shows the sender, subject, date, and time of every email. The folder pane can also display some text from the reading pane with the “Message Preview” setting. With email preview, Outlook pulls the first one to three lines of the message from the preview pane into the folder pane. As a result, you can see a bit of your emails before clicking on them.

Follow these steps to change the email preview length.

1. Open the “View” menu

Click the “View” tab at the top of the Outlook window. This menu has preview settings for emails.

2. Navigate to the “Message Preview” setting

In the “Arrangement” section, click the setting called “Message Preview” to see the specific preview options for your messages.

3. Select a preview option

When you click “Message Preview,” you will have four options for the email preview length:

  • Off: Your emails will show zero lines of the email content, so you will have to open the email to start reading it.
  • One line: You will see the first line of the message in the folder pane.
  • Two lines: Outlook will display two lines of text as a preview.
  • Three lines: Your folder pane will show the first three lines of content from the preview pane.

Click on your preferred preview setting.

4. Decide which folders to apply the setting to

After you select a preview length, a dialog box will ask you to confirm if you want to apply the setting to:

  • This folder: Your preview length setting will only apply to the messages in the current folder. Your other folders will reflect the preview length you selected for them.
  • All mailboxes: Your email preview length will apply to your inbox and all folders, meaning every email message you have will show the number of lines you choose.

Choose the option you want. Your folder pane will automatically adjust to show the number of preview lines you selected in the previous step.

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