Saturday, July 1, 2006

What to do when reading a message makes it disappear


By Francine Otterson

Our reader Mike Morriss seems to lose his email. Once he has read a message, it just disappears!

In the Inbox of Outlook 2000 (, when a message shifts from unread to read, it disappears and then I can't find the message anywhere.
If I move the message manually or by setting up a rule that does that the message stays there after it shifts from unread to read. I've looked for a setting that might cause that but haven't found anything.
I hope you can help. Thanks!

Of course we can help.

First, we let's cover how an email is changed from unread to read. It seems obvious doesn't it? But there are a few ways this can be done, both automatically and manually.

Outlook can be configured to automatically mark a mail message as read once you change your selection (move to the next email) while previewing them. This is done under Tools -> Options -> Reading Pane (on Outlook 2000, check preview pane). If you prefer to do it manually, right click on the message and select the option read.

Now that you know how to change emails from unread to read, let's review why read email would disappear.

The most common reason is the view selected for the folder is "Unread Messages". The read messages are actually not gone; the view is just filtered to only show unread messages. If you want to see all message then select another view such as "Messages" or "Messages with AutoPreview" under View -> Current View.

Also, keep in mind that any view can have a filter on it such as the one above. To check if a particular view is filtered select the view then go to View -> Current View -> Customize Current View.

Other things to consider checking when email disappears: rules and auto-archiving.

For rules, check to see if any rules under Tools have been configured to automatically move emails once they have been read or based on some other criteria. Archiving moves emails based on the date and may be worth a glance if none of the other suggestions above address the issue.