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How to Edit a Received Email in Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook logo

The subject and body of a received email are at the whim of the sender, but you can change the subject line to something better or add notes to the body quickly and easily using Microsoft Outlook.

Have you ever forwarded an email to yourself or created a new task instead of marking an email for Followup just so you could add notes to it? Maybe you’ve dragged an email into OneNote or Evernote so you can write a little context around it? Or perhaps you’ve just quietly cursed the sender for not adding a useful subject line or not adding a subject at all.

One way or another, received emails would sometimes be more useful if you could edit the subject or add notes to them. But there’s no need for a clunky process or third-party software because, in Microsoft Outlook, you can edit a received email.

How to Edit the Subject Line of an Email

To edit the subject line of an email, open the email in Microsoft Outlook by double-clicking it. From there, place the cursor on the subject line and start typing.

An unedited subject line.

When you’re finished, click the “Save” button and close the email.

An edited subject line and the "Save" button.

That’s it—no settings to change, no buttons to click, no menus to navigate. Simply open the email and type in the subject line.

How to Edit the Body of an Email

Editing the body of an email in Microsoft Outlook is almost as simple as editing the subject line.

Open the email by double-clicking it, then select Actions > Edit Message on the ribbon.

The "Actions" option and "Edit Message" menu option.

Now place your cursor in the body of the email and add text or edit the existing text. When you’ve finished, click the “Save” button and close the email.

The edited body of an email and the "Save" button.

That’s all there is to it. You can edit any email in Microsoft Outlook, no matter who sent it or what folder it’s in.

Rob Woodgate Rob Woodgate
Rob Woodgate is a writer and IT consultant with nearly 20 years of experience across the private and public sectors. He's also worked as a trainer, technical support person, delivery manager, system administrator, and in other roles that involve getting people and technology to work together.
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