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How Important and Star Gmail messages appear in Outlook

In Gmail online, messages can be tagged as ‘Important’ or ‘Star’, clicking the little arrow or star next to a message.   Important and Star are treated very differently in Outlook for Windows.

Flags in Outlook – Starred in Gmail

Gmail has a ‘Star’ option for messages, just click the star icon on the message list.  The first two messages in this example are Starred.

The (almost) exact equivalent in Outlook is Flag.  Here’s the same three messages in Outlook, the first two have ‘Flags’ instead of Stars, but it’s the same meaning.

Flagging a message in Outlook will appear as a star in Gmail online.  Starring a message in Gmail will show as Flag in Outlook.

If you look at the Flag options in Outlook for a Gmail message, you’ll see the limitations.

Flag for Microsoft hosted mailboxes have many more options; Reminders, Quick Click and Quick Actions.  None of these are supported in Gmail, so all you get is a simple on/off Flag (aka Star).

Important does NOT show in Outlook.

Here’s the same ‘important’ message shown at the start of this article, but now in Outlook. 

There’s no important indicator because ‘important’ has no meaning in Microsoft’s email world.

That means you can’t filter to see Important Gmail messages. 

There’s no way to mark/unmark messages as Important in Outlook.

Use Gmail Flags not Important

If you need a simple ‘on/off’ tag for Gmail messages that works online and in Outlook for Windows.

Use Star (Gmail) and its twin-brother Flag (Outlook)

Ignore the Important option in Gmail online because it won’t appear in Outlook.

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