Deal with email faster: Customize Outlook web mail toolbar

Dealing with the email in your inbox each day can become tiresome, but here is a useful tweak to boost your productivity in web mail at in a browser. Customize the toolbar.

Go to in a browser and select an email in your inbox. Under the search bar at the top of the browser window is a handy toolbar with commonly used email functions. Well, they are what Microsoft assumes are commonly used functions, but you may not use some of them. You may have to access menus to reach some functions.

Wouldn’t it be quicker and easer to deal with the emails that fill your inbox every day if your own personal most used functions were on the toolbar? You may not have realized it, but you can easily customize the toolbar in the Outlook web mail app that runs in a browser.

Functions that you rarely use can be removed and the functions that you use most can be added to the toolbar. You can even rearrange the order of the buttons in the toolbar so that your favorite ones are first where they are most easily reached. This is a great feature and personalizing Outlook makes it quicker and easier to use.

Outlook web mail toolbar

Outlook web mail toolbar in a web browser
The Outlook toolbar is customizable

Here is the Outlook web mail toolbar, a series of icons and text providing easy access to the most common things you might want to do with an email message. You might assume that this is a fixed feature and that it cannot be changed, but it is easily customized.

Outlook toolbar menu

Outlook web mail toolbar menu in a web browser
Show the toolbar menu in Outlook web mail

Not all of the functions that are available can fit in the toolbar and extra ones are on an overflow menu. Click the three dots at the right side of the toolbar to display a menu. At the bottom is Customize toolbar. Interesting! Let’s click it.

Customize Outlook toolbar

Customizing the Outlook web mail toolbar
All the buttons available in Outlook web mail toolbar

A window like this appears and across the top is the current toolbar with its buttons and below is the full collection of buttons that are available. Are there functions here that would be useful in the toolbar?

  • Add functions to the toolbar by ticking the checkboxes
  • Remove functions from the toolbar by clearing the checkboxes or clicking the circular blob next to the item in the toolbar at the top
  • If you mess up, put everything back as it was by clicking Reset toolbar in the bottom left corner
  • Click Save to save the current layout or Cancel to forget the changes

Rearrange Outlook toolbar items

Customizing the Outlook web mail toolbar
Click and drag items in the Outlook toolbar

There is one more thing you can do and that is to rearrange the items in the toolbar. It is not obvious, but if you click and drag an item left or right in the toolbar at the top, it can be moved. Drop your most used items at the start of the toolbar where they are most easily accessed.

Outlook mail is quietly evolving into a great web app. There is obviously a lot of development work going on behind the scenes because it seems to change so often, certainly monthly. Even today it appears to be different to last week. Often the changes are small and are easily missed, like this toolbar customization feature, so keep your eye out for new things appearing in Outlook.

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