Last reviewed on December 30, 2013   —  11 Comments

Properties dialogIn older versions of Outlook, you can access a Properties dialog from the File menu of an open message. This dialog lists dates, Importance, and Do Not Autoarchive.

In Outlook 2010, File, Properties opens the "Options" dialog that includes the Internet header and the Do not Autoarchive checkbox.

To view the dialog that has the sent, received, and modified dates fields (shown at the right), you need to customize the ribbon or quick access toolbar (QAT).

  1. Open the Message
  2. Go to File, Options
  3. Select either Customize Ribbon or Quick Access Bar
  4. Select All Commands in the Choose commands from menu
  5. Click im the list of commands (or tab into it) then Press P to jump to the commands that begin with P
  6. Scroll down to find Properties, select the second Properties command and add it to the QAT or a group in the ribbon.
  7. Close the Options dialog.

When you want to check the dates, open the message and click the Properties button you just added.

Appointments only display the modified date. For a macro to display the created date of any Outlook item, see Display the Created Date field of any Outlook item.

Remember: The Do not AutoArchive option is on the Options dialog, accessible either through File, Properties or by clicking the Expand button on the Tags section of the ribbon.

Add Properties to the ribbon


    • Diane Poremsky says

      Did you open a message and then go to it's File, Options, Customize? If you try to do it from the main Outlook window, you'll have folder properties.

  1. steve says

    On the 07 Outlook I could view email properties BEFORE opening the message. This version appears to require opening a suspect message first. Why? If this is the only way to view properties it is a retrogressive "update".

  2. Nancy Ford says

    I also didn't find "Properties" listed as a command in Outlook 2013 (at File | Options | Customize Ribbon), but I was able to view the properties of an unopened message after creating a new Command Group and adding a View Message Options command.

  3. James Kelsey says

    I have Outlook Professional 2010 and have NO 'properties' button under the 'file' tab. . . any idea how to find it? Thanks!!

  4. James Kelsey says

    OH! I normally read my messages in the 'preview window'. . . if I double click on a message and it pops up in a NEW window the 'properties' is there!

    You truly are a problem taker-awayer, Diane. .. .. THANKS! :-)

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Ah, thanks for the update. I'll bet you aren't the only one that couldn't find it. If you add the Message Options command to the ribbon or QAT, you can bring up the same dialog while in the reading pane.

  5. nobody says

    WARNING: Enabling the "Preview Window" allows some infected emails to infect your system without having to open them. I would advise against ever using the preview window.
    Note: The Properties dialog accessed by right clicking on an email, used to allow you to view the entire raw contents of the email, not just headers and path info. Allow it was a bit like looking at raw html code, it was possible to read the contents of an infected email without danger. Why did microsoft so weaken their software?

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      No, the reading pane is completely safe. It does not run active content and hasn't since the Outlook 2000 post-SP1 "HELL" patch put an end to active content. I wouldn't disable the reading pane - but if you are worried, you can read all mail in plain text format. This is a heck of a lot easier than reading the raw message and changing to formatted text is a click on the InfoBar.

      How safe is the reading pane?

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