Here’s how to change the Outlook folder labels from large text labels to smaller icons. Also tricks hiding under those folder labels.
Microsoft’s default in modern Outlook is large text labels across the bottom. Click on any label to switch to that folder view.
The text is large and might be suitable on a big screen. However on laptops and smaller screens, the text takes up a lot of space at right. It’s not only large but takes space away from the item list, reading pane or other important views.
Icons aka Compact Navigation
The fix is under the ‘three dots’ button at the end of the folder list.
Choose Navigation Options …. Or go to View | Layout | Folder Pane | Options to reach the same dialog.
Compact Navigation will change the text labels into icons.
Not only are the icons lot smaller than the text, they also fit under the folder pane only. No extra space is taken up to the right.
Any icons that can’t fit in the space available, show up under the ‘three dots’ menu.
Open in New Window
‘Open in New Window’ has been in Outlook for well over a decade yet it’s horribly underused.
Outlook doesn’t have to be a single window. Like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Outlook can open multiple windows at the same time.
Right-click on any folder icon/label and choose ‘Open in New Window’ to see that folder, in all it’s glory, as a separate window.
The same ‘Open in New Window’ option is available from individual folders in the folder pane.
Pop up or Peek views
Whether you use text or icons, hover your mouse or tap to see a little pop-up view. Microsoft calls them ‘Peeks’.
Dock the Peek
If you like the peek and use it a lot, add it to the main Outlook view by right-clicking and choosing ‘Dock the Peek’.