Marking unread deleted emails in Outlook as read

This probably doesn’t bother anyone else like it bothers me… If I have a message in my Inbox that’s unread and I delete it (or if I have a rule that routes certain messages directly to the Deleted Items folder), it still shows as unread in my Deleted Items folder. And since I have my folders set to show the number of unread messages, I always have a number next to the Deleted Items folder that’s completely meaningless to me… and it annoys me. Yes, I’m old, so get off my lawn…

This tip shows you how to have any message (read or unread) that’s moved to the Deleted Items folder to be marked as read…

Here’s what my Outlook folders look like (notice the 12 unread items in my Deleted Items folder):


However, there’s an option that changes this Deleted Items/Unread behavior… Go to Options > Mail > Other > Mark messages as read when deleted:


When you do that, anything that goes into the Deleted Items folder is marked as read, and you no longer see the unread count!


  1. sadly this does not work!!! I still have unread messages in deleted items. This are always calendar invites which get automatically deleted after I accept or decline.

    This is especially annoying because to accept or decline an invite you have to READ it but this message get marked unread anyways


  2. From Microsoft:
    “Important: This new option is currently only available for Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise and Microsoft 365 Apps for business customers on Current Channel who upgrade to Version 1803 (Build 9126.2116) or later. It is not available on versions [SIC].”

    I don’t want to submit a link here, but this can be found on Microsoft Support under “Mark a message as read or unread” toward the bottom of the article.


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