Option to Turn Off Flagged Mail Highlighting Added

In an Office 365 update I recently got, Microsoft has added in the Outlook Options, Mail tab, a way to turn off the Flagged Mail Highlighting feature that they added to Windows Outlook about 6 months ago. Just scroll to the very bottom of that tab.

When I originally announced that Flagged Mail Highlighting feature in my blog back then, I got more replies to that blog than almost any other I’ve ever written—all of them negative and wanting to know how to turn it off.

At that time there was no way to turn it off, but now there is.

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39 Responses to Option to Turn Off Flagged Mail Highlighting Added

  1. Shelley says:

    I have unchecked that box which says “Highlight flagged items in the message list,” rebooted Outlook, and rebooted my computer. Flagging a new email still highlights it yellow, and all older flagged emails are still highlighted yellow. No change! What is the problem and the solution?

  2. Scott says:

    I had that option – and actually like the contrast it provides when reviewing flagged emails for followup. But my laptop was upgraded to Windows 10 today and now I don’t have the option turn on or off the highlighting. I’m using Office 365 ProPlus, so I would assume it would have the option available… Any ideas?

  3. b0b555 says:

    That option just doesn’t effen work. FFS.

  4. Rob R says:

    I’m also on Office 365 ProPlus but don’t see this option (version 1905 build 11629.20210 32-bit). I searched but could not find a Microsoft update announcing this change. If anyone knows the update, please list it here and perhaps I figure out why I don’t have the option. Thanks.

  5. Marilyn Ward says:

    Removing the highlighting does not work.

  6. Some Guy says:

    I believe both on and off options are valid depending on user preferences but it doesn’t actually turn off! I only flag messages to reference later but have no Due Date or follow up timeline. These do not need to be highlighted and turning the option off has absolutely NO result! This has been an issue for several months and it is now 2020 but the problem still exists. Microsoft needs to actually put some code behind the option to make it work and not give us a useless checkbox…

  7. Dave says:

    Same complaint as everyone else. New software update turned on the highlighting. I don’t like it at all. Why is Microsoft changing things when we don’t ask for the change??? Anyhow, found this thread about how to turn it back off. But unchecking the option “Highlight flagged items in the message list” doesn’t to anything. Everything is still highlighted.

  8. Bozo says:

    Unchecking the box, flagged items still highlighted. Win10 1709. Upgrading to 1909, will report the results

  9. Bozo says:

    No change with upgrade. What I did find is that if the reading pane is off, the highlighting will show. Or if the reading pane is on but reduced size so the email is one line the highlighting also shows. Band-aid fix from MS!!

  10. Carl says:

    Same issue, unchecking the option has no effect, still seeing the yellow background.

  11. JT says:

    Same here.Version 1908 build 11929.20562

  12. Charles says:

    Same here. Turning the option off does not work.
    This started for me in early January.. The awful highlighting is very distracting – I was quite happy with the way it looked before. Poor effort from MS that there is no fix yet.

  13. Cheryl LaChapelle says:

    Is this feature available in Office Professional Plus 2019?

  14. silvia says:

    any idea on how to turn off this setting with a Mac?

  15. Glenn Soler says:

    you are too winded in your writing. you need to cut to the chase for the solution.
    item#1 do this
    item#2 do that

    now its done bye!!!

  16. Fiona M says:

    Doesn’t work me for either – received upgrade today and find the changes annoying.

  17. Jules says:

    I am looking to turn this feature back on but don’t have the “Highlight flagged Item in the message list” check box.

    Any idea how to turn it back on without the check box?

  18. JT says:

    Right click on highlighted email, select Clear Flag. Light pale yellow highlight gone.

  19. Jackie W says:

    This worked for me on Windows 10 with the Outlook for Office 365 desktop application. Thank you for the help.

  20. Muhammad Shehzad Ashraf says:

    Good News guys, “Highlight flagged item in message list” checkbox has started working now after my outlook is automatically updated.

  21. Why do you need to distinguish “flagged” and “unflagged” names and addresses etc? All I need is one continuous list of them, not two separate lists of each. How do I achieve this task, please?

  22. Stacy says:

    can you change the color to something different than the pale yellow?

  23. Sheryl says:

    Still haven’t found a way to remove. Using Outlook Office Professional Plus 2010. There is no “highlight flagged items in message list” option. All new emails are red flagged and added to tasks. I have to manually remove them. PLEASE find a way to stop!!!!

  24. Valerie says:

    You saved my sanity – thank you!

  25. Valerie Bono says:

    Thanks. Worked great. Highlighting message is off and Flag is on. Just what I wanted.

  26. Sheryl says:

    I don’t even have that option in the others category. “After moving or deleting an open item:” is the last line. Nothing there to uncheck! Please help! Outlook red flags EVERY new email that arrives.

  27. I like the flag for the bookmark.

  28. Dawn Boehm says:

    Thank you soooooo much! My organization just upgraded to a newer version of Outlook this weekend and the highlighting of the email in my list was making me batty. Bless your soul for posting this tip.

  29. April Singer says:

    It’s July 2021 and I just did an update and ended up with the flagged message highlighting auto-enabled. The solution offered above by Michael worked in a blink.
    It did take me a second to see that I needed to scroll down in the Mail options screen to find the Other group of settings. Initially I thought, bummer, I don’t have that option…but I do. I’m using the Outlook desktop app Version 2106 (Build 14131.2078). Thanks Michael!

  30. Prasad says:

    Thank you

  31. Jeff says:

    Thank you!!! It took me a long time to find information on how to turn off the highlighting for new email messages that I receive using Outlook 365.

  32. Michele says:

    I really want this option back! using Office 365 Corporate license

    my old 32-bit version 2102 has the option to highlight flagged email (and I was very happy about that)

    my new 64-bit version 2210, while more recently released, does NOT!

    is there any way to get it back????

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