Outlook: 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.

20 thoughts on “Outlook: Don't Show Message Body in Email List”

  1. wish this site came up as one of the 1st hits.
    why is it so hard to view just single line items in your Outlook Inbox as it has been in its previous versions, I don't know, but thank you for showing how easy it is.

  2. 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.

  3. 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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