Windows Outlook (365 Desktop) Option to Turn Off Yellow Highlighting of Flagged Mail Is Finally Fixed

If you have a subscription to Office 365 (now called Microsoft 365), and you have been regularly updating your desktop Outlook app, then here’s a recent change you might care about: the ability to turn off yellow highlighting of flagged mail in the Inbox has been fixed.


Back in January of 2019, Microsoft rolled out an update to the Windows
desktop Outlook app that added a yellow highlight to any item in the Inbox that you set a flag on. It looked like this:

The trouble is, a lot of people hated it, for various reasons. One is that if you used a yellow category assignment, that category color was now hidden in the Inbox. The other is that it was distracting for many people—too glaring.

So six months later, in August of 2019, Microsoft rolled out an update to Outlook that added a setting in the Options section to turn off the yellow highlighting. But the setting never worked! Even if you cleared the check box show below, the yellow highlighting did not go away.

Latest Outlook Update Fixes This

Well, finally, a year later, Microsoft has fixed this bug. Now, if you install the latest Office Updates for Outlook, you’ll see that the check box does work, and flagged mail is no longer highlighted once you check that box in Options.

I actually like this yellow highlighting in the Inbox, so I don’t care about this fix. But my February 2019 blog article first announcing that yellow highlighting feature got more comments than just about any article, all saying that they hated it. So the fix is in!


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8 Responses to Windows Outlook (365 Desktop) Option to Turn Off Yellow Highlighting of Flagged Mail Is Finally Fixed

  1. The will see that the check box does work!

  2. Bibi says:

    Yep, they fixed it, No longer available!!!
    In my new updated and improved outlook, there is no longer an option to turn “the highlight flagged items” on or off. It is just not there!
    I liked it, now I don’t have an option to put it back! Good going MS!!!

  3. Graham says:

    i too am missing the yellow highlight, is there a fix to get it back?

  4. Michele says:

    Is there a way to turn this off in the web version? I did it in the app, but it doesn’t carry over to the web and I don’t see the same option under setting! So annoying!

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