Outlook 2013/2016: Don't Show Message Body in Email List

When you move from Outlook 2010 to Outlook 2013 or 2016, you will find that in the list of Emails, Outlook has added a 3rd line:

  1. Sender
  2. Subject
  3. Start of email body

I wanted to remove that 3rd line as it only takes space and it normally only contains stuff like "Hello John" which adds no real information.

So I thought I could go to the View setting and change

Maximum number of lines in compact mode = 2

But I still saw 3 lines in my email list! It took me quite a while until I found out what to do:

  • Go to the View tab
  • Choose Message Preview
  • Choose Off

Simple, isn't it? Why it took me so long to find that out is that I associated "Message Preview" with the Preview Pane (now called "Reading Pane"), so I never looked in there.

19 thoughts on “Outlook 2013/2016: Don't Show Message Body in Email List”

  1. THANK YOU!!!! Something so minor but such a huge difference! It took me a while to google this till I came across your stellar, yet simple, instructions.

  2. I couldn't discern what emails had been read with all that multi line claptrap. Outlook foolishly insisting that body text appear in what should be a compact view single handedly ruined my ability to read my screen and started to affect my work. Basics.net, THANK YOU.

    Microsoft? Sit on a stick. You won't like it.

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