Monday, November 28, 2016

Shared Mailbox in Outlook Message Read / Unread Problem

Hello guys, In this article you will come to know, how to fix shared mailbox in Outlook message read or unread problem. As you might have seen that many times during accessing the messages from shared mailbox, If you read any message from shared mailbox inbox folder, then it shows read status to every other member too. Which is really an annoying situation, because sometimes other member couldn't know that whether he has read that particular message or not. This situation could be good, if there are only 3-5 members are accessing the shared mailbox. But, the same situation won't work in case of large number (no of member>5) of shared mailbox members. Because it will increase the confusion among read or unread emails for every members. Let's have a look of this situations with the help of a scenarios.
Shared Mailbox in Outlook Message Read / Unread Problem

Scenarios Related to Shared Mailbox in Outlook Message Read/Unread Status Problem

I am a server administrator in my company, but recently I have configured the shared mailbox, which is shared among 26 employees who are working on a project. Creation of shared mailbox was a good idea but with the increase of conversation, it becomes like a chaos. Because if any of them read a message then it shows every other members as read status of message. Which is really an annoying situation. Many times some member couldn't even know which message they have read and which message they haven't read. They have asked me to something for this situation, therefore I searched a lot regarding this but couldn't get any solutions yet. Actually, I want something like when a member read a particular message then it shows a label or color code which should indicate that this message is read by this particular person.

Way to Fix Shared Mailbox in Outlook Message Read / Unread Problem

There are some possible ways which we could help in getting off from this Outlook message read or unread problem. Following are those solutions:

#1 Change the option for marking the message read automatically in Outlook

Just follow below steps for changing the option of marking the message as read automatically:
  1. In Outlook 2010, 2013 & 2016, Navigate to View.
  2. Then navigate to Reading Pane.
  3. And then select Options.
  4. Now you will see that as default option is set to mark items as read when selection changes. Just disable this option all mails remain as unread unless users manually mark it as read or double click the message to open it in its own window.

#2 Create Separate folder for every members and put the relevant emails into their assigned folder

This option is the worst case for managing shared mailbox emails, because it takes lot of effort for putting each one emails into a folder related to the member. In this case there should be a person in the team, which should be assigned the work for managing emails.

#3 Create Categories for viewing the 'last read by which group member' message

The last option for managing shared folder message read or unread status is best among the three solutions. Each team member can apply conditional formatting for identifying the message status whether the message has read by other team members or not. The member would get notified with the help of a color code and message. In this, if a member have read the message, ask him to assign a category as read by memberName. It will send an immediate action that the message is read by this person. Like this it will notify that the message have read by all members. For this you just have to configure conditional formatting. See following steps for configuring conditional formatting:
  1. Click on Inbox folder in shared mailbox.
  2. In Outlook 2003 & 2007 navigate to View >> Arrange by >> Custom.
    In outlook 2010/13/16 navigate to View >> View Settings button.
  3. Now hit conditional formatting (In Outlook 2003/07 it is Automatic Formatting) button.
  4. Not click on Add button.
  5. To create a rule, assign a name according to your preference, like 'Read by all members'.
  6. Now click on Font button and set the highlight settings like color and strikethrough, and hit OK button for applying.
  7. Now, click on Condition button and select Advanced tab and then add field, condition and value.
  8. And now at last hit OK button for applying all those things.
Note: Conditional Formatting is require to apply in every members Outlook Application to take effect among all members of shared folder. Follow same mentioned steps for all members.

That’s all what you have to do for fixing Shared Mailbox in Outlook Message Read / Unread Problem.


The article completely aims to remove the shared mailbox in outlook message read/unread problem. There are three different methods discussed in this article and each one solution is different according to the problem. But among all solutions, the last one is the best. But it could be little bit tricky than other methods during application.


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