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How to Set Up One-Click Actions for Emails in Outlook.com

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Why waste a click? Why look at emails, if only peripherally, you are going to delete or mark as junk immediately anyway? Why clutter the interface with buttons?

Outlook.com and Windows Live Hotmail let you set up instant actions for the message list that deal with these issues. The buttons act on emails even when you have not opened them; they appear only as you move the mouse button over an email (though you can make them always visible as well); and they take action with but a single click.

Set Up One-Click Actions for Emails in Outlook.com or Windows Live Hotmail

To configure quick actions available in the Outlook.com or Windows Live Hotmail message list:

  • In Outlook.com:
    • Click the settings gear in the toolbar.
    • Select More mail settings from the menu that shows up.
  • In Windows Live Hotmail:
    • Click Options in Windows Live Hotmail.
    • Select More options… from the menu that comes up.
  • Now select Instant actions under Customizing Outlook (or Customizing Hotmail).
  • Make sure Show instant actions is checked.
  • To add a new button:
  • To remove a button:
    • Click the button you want to remove from instant actions in the list (under Show on mouse over or Show always).
    • Select Remove from list.
  • To make a button always visible:
    • Highlight the button under Show on mouse over.
    • Click Move down until the button is at the desired place under Show always.
    • (Move buttons up into the Show on mouse over to see them only when the mouse button is over an email in the message list. You can also use Move down and Move up to re-arrange buttons, of course.)
  • Click Save.

(Updated October 2012)

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