By default, Outlook displays the number of unread messages on most Mail folders. That’s handy on the “Inbox” folder, but what if you want to know how many total messages (unread and read) there are in other folders, such as the “Deleted Items” folder or custom folders?

It could be helpful to know when you get so many messages in your “Deleted Items” folder that you should empty it, or how many messages are in your custom “Pending Reply” folder waiting for you to take action and send replies. You can change which Mail folders show unread messages and which show total messages. We’ll show you how.

NOTE: The “Drafts” and “Junk E-mail” folders, as well as the “For Follow-Up” Search folder (if you’ve enabled it), show the total number of messages by default. We discuss how to change additional settings for the “Junk E-mail” folder in our article about managing email in Outlook using Quick Steps and Rules.

RELATED: Save Time With Search Folders in Outlook 2007

Unread messages on a Mail folder display as a bold, blue number next to the folder name, as shown below.

We’ll leave the “Inbox” folder displaying the unread message count, but we’ll change the “Deleted Items” folder to display the total message count to remind us to empty that folder once in a while. To do this, right-click on the “Deleted Items” folder (or a Mail folder of your choosing) and select “Properties” from the popup menu.

The “Properties” dialog displays for the selected folder. On the “General” tab, select the “Show total number of items” radio button and click “OK”.

The “Deleted Items” folder now show the total number of messages, both read and unread, in the folder, rather than the number of unread messages.

When you change the message count setting for a folder in your “Favorites”, the change applies to the folder in both places: the “Favorites” and the Mail folder list.

NOTE: You cannot change the message count property for multiple Mail folders at the same time. You must change it one folder at a time.

Profile Photo for Lori Kaufman Lori Kaufman
Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
Read Full Bio »