I'd like Outlook to mark any messages I delete to be marked as read. For bonus points, I'd like it to only do this on messages that I have opened/previewed before pressing delete since this means I've looked at the content and chosen to delete it.

I know I can set it to mark as read after x seconds when I'm looking at it, that's not what I want. I also know that I can move off the message & back on to it or right click to mark as read - still not what I want.

I'm using Outlook 2007 in case that matters.

[Edit: I just found I can at least mark as read with a keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-Q, but again, it'd be nice to not have to do this. More shortcuts here.]

[Edit2: I am now on Outlook 2010 :)]


1 Answer 1


Hmm, I did it but won't get the bonus points I guess...

I'm running outlook 2010 so I could use a new feature called the "Quick Access" menu where you can define chains of actions as a single button with a shortcut key (unfortunally, it has to be Ctrl+Shift+NUM, so since I wanted this action to run when I press Delete, I had to do an extra step. See below.)

In Outlook 2007 you can still define macros. I stole this from another entry on the same subject:


Sub DeleteAndMarkAsRead()
    Dim oItem As Object
    Dim oMailItem As MailItem
    Dim oRSSItem As PostItem

    If Application.ActiveExplorer.Selection.Count = 0 Then
        Exit Sub
    End If

    For Each oItem In Application.ActiveExplorer.Selection
        If oItem.Class = olMail Then
            Set oMailItem = oItem
            oMailItem.UnRead = False
        End If

    Set oItem = Nothing
End Sub

You can then add the macro as a button and assign a shortcut to it:


Then to be able to run it when I press Delete, I used AutoHotKey and add the following to my script file:

#IfWinActive Inkorgen - 
        Send ^+1

The part after #IfWinActive is the Caption (Title) of my Outlook window ("Inkorgen" is Swedish for "Inbox" FYI...) so you'll have to change it to reflect the Caption of your Outlook window.

The Send ^+1 tells AutoHotKey to simulate a Ctrl+Shift+1 keypress (that's the shortcut key for my macro (Quick Access Button)).

(There is a way of matching against the class name of the window (ahk_class), but this worked for me so I couldn't be bothered to find that out.)

  • As per edit just now on the question, I'm now on Outlook 2010 anyway. Thanks for the info :)
    – x3ja
    Nov 29, 2011 at 20:24
  • Wow. An AutoHotKey script to mash the shortcut code for a custom VB macro. Quite clever! But it would be super nice for this feature to be a setting in Outlook someday. Sep 28, 2017 at 16:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.