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I am trying to find a shortcut for marking all messages (eMails) in a folder as read by using a keyboard shortcut, but had no luck in finding one so far.

I am using Microsoft Outlook 2010 and when I open the context menu (right click on the folder), it shows the "e" underlined in "Mark All as Read", which is in my opinion a sign for a shortcut.

Does anybody know the shortcut?

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I know you've gotten a satisfactory answer, but just wanted to mention that the underlined e that you see is a shortcut only when the contextual menu is visible... i.e. it still requires the click. – JoshP Oct 8 '12 at 0:20
Which context menu contains the item 'Mark all as read'? I can see a 'Mark as read' item when I highlight one or many messages and bring up the context menu. Is that what you mean? – Iain Elder Aug 23 '13 at 16:41
Some keyboards have a menu key that simulates a context-click. It's usually between right ALT and right CTRL. It looks like a cursor hovering over a menu. – Iain Elder Aug 23 '13 at 16:43
up vote 22 down vote accepted

You could put the "Mark All as Read" command into the Quick Access Toolbar like so: Quick Access Toolbar customization dialog

After that you can access the function via Alt+3. The number depends on the position where you place the command. Press Alt by itself to make Outlook display overlays for all hotkeys.

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Nice suggestion, but I really want to avoid to click. – Bertolt Feb 3 '12 at 12:57
@Bertolt You only have to set it up once, after that the hotkey is permanently available. – Oliver Salzburg Feb 3 '12 at 13:30
Oops, I did not get that elements in the quick access toolbar get automatically assigned to a keyboard shortcut. NIce solution. – Bertolt Feb 6 '12 at 15:20
The thing that it works for whole folder makes it easier to deal with dozens of emails that happen to come during the day.1 – Johnny_D Sep 25 '13 at 12:53
All Commands from the Choose command from drop down list if you can't see: Mark All as Read – Dave Mateer Feb 5 at 11:00

Keyboard shortcut

Click any message in the message list, press CTRL+A then press CTRL+Q.

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Quite close. But is there a way of doing exactly that without clicking on a message? – Bertolt Feb 3 '12 at 12:55
This is slow in a large inbox, but works. I have 25,545 items in my inbox and 4,778 unread items. Outlook became unresponsive for a minute when I pressed CTRL+A to select all. When I pressed CTRL+Q to mark all as read, a dialog appeared for a minute to show a progress bar. After another minute, I have no unread emails. Thanks! – Iain Elder Aug 23 '13 at 16:44


Hope this resolves your issue.

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Sorry, I don't understand this. Do I have to press three keys together? I have only one E key. I tried holding ALT and pressing E twice while focused on the message pane but nothing happened. – Iain Elder Aug 23 '13 at 16:34

Just select/highlight them all (click first message, scroll to last message hold SHIFT and click again) and then press "Read".

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This sounds equivalent to the (Ctrl+A), (Ctrl+Q) answer, but more work. – Scott Apr 10 '13 at 15:59
When you have an inbox with 25,000 messages it's hard to scroll to the last message. It does work, though. – Iain Elder Aug 23 '13 at 17:02

Highlight the folder the emails are in then use: Shift+F10,E

Hope this helps.

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Are you saying that three keys should be pressed together? – Judith May 19 '15 at 18:06

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