Why Does Outlook Strikethrough Emails? Expert Tips to Manage

Ever stumbled upon an email in your Outlook inbox crossed out with a strikethrough and wondered what’s going on? We’ve all been there, scratching our heads over this peculiar sight. It’s not just you; this is a common question that puzzles many Outlook users.

The truth is, there’s a straightforward reason behind this phenomenon. It’s all about how Outlook handles certain types of emails, specifically those marked for deletion or modification.

Why does Outlook Strikethrough emails?

When we’re navigating through our inbox, coming across emails marked with a strikethrough in Outlook might leave us puzzled. The strikethrough is a clear visual signal employed by Outlook to indicate that an email has been marked for deletion or modification but has not yet been permanently removed or altered. This feature plays a pivotal role in managing our email efficiently, ensuring that we’re aware of the pending status of these emails.


Outlook integrates seamlessly with various email protocols, including IMAP, which is fundamental in understanding the strikethrough feature’s functionality. With IMAP accounts, emails marked for deletion are not immediately purged from the server. Instead, they’re tagged with a strikethrough, alerting us that these emails will be deleted upon the next synchronization with the email server. This process provides a safety net, allowing us to recover emails mistakenly marked for deletion before they’re permanently purged.

Types of emails that appear with a strikethrough in Outlook

Firstly, deleted emails are the most common type to appear with a strikethrough. When we mark an email for deletion but haven’t permanently removed it by purging, Outlook uses the strikethrough to indicate its pending deletion status. This serves as a visual reminder for us that these emails are on their way out but are still recoverable until the final purge.

Modified emails also sometimes show up with a strikethrough. This happens in scenarios where we’ve made changes to the email, but those changes haven’t been finalized or synchronized with the email server. For users who manage their emails meticulously, quickly identifying modified emails ensures nothing important slips through the cracks during editing.

Another category involves emails in accounts configured with IMAP protocol. Since IMAP allows for server-side synchronization, emails marked for deletion or modification show a strikethrough until the next sync. It’s especially useful for those who access their email from multiple devices, ensuring a uniform view across platforms.


Lastly, emails sorted into custom rules and filters might be displayed with a strikethrough if those rules dictate specific actions that delay the email’s deletion or modification. Users who leverage Outlook’s robust rules feature for email management might encounter this as part of their personalized email handling process.

Advantages of Strikethrough Feature in Outlook

The benefits are clear:

  • Quick identification of emails marked for deletion.
  • Offers a second chance to review decisions.
  • Ensures synchronization across devices in IMAP accounts.

In essence, the strikethrough feature in Outlook not only aids in effective email management but also enhances our overall email handling efficiency. By leveraging this feature, we can maintain a clutter-free inbox and minimize the risk of losing important emails.

If you want to learn more about the Outlook tips and tricks, we recommend watching the below video:

Tips for dealing with strikethrough emails

When navigating through our inbox, coming across strikethrough emails can initially be a bit perplexing. However, we can manage these effectively with a few strategies and ensure our email management remains on point.

One primary method is to regularly review our “marked for deletion” folder. This habit not only prevents accidental deletions but also keeps our inbox clean. By doing a routine check, we can decide whether to permanently delete or keep certain emails.

Another significant step is to utilize Outlook’s search function. Often, we might overlook an email that’s been marked for deletion. We can quickly locate these emails and take the necessary action by using specific keywords or the sender’s name in the search bar.

Moreover, it’s crucial to understand the synchronization settings if we’re using IMAP accounts. Proper synchronization ensures that changes made in one device reflect across all others. This means if we remove the strikethrough from an email on our phone, it should also update on our desktop Outlook application. Adjusting these settings can save us from potential confusion and keep our email management smooth.

Lastly, setting up filters can significantly aid in handling strikethrough emails. Filters can automatically sort emails based on criteria we set, like sender, subject, or keywords. This can help separate important emails we might want to review again from those we are sure we want to delete.

By incorporating these tips into our email management practices, dealing with strikethrough emails becomes more straightforward. This allows us to maintain a cleaner inbox and ensures we don’t accidentally lose important correspondence.

Leave a Comment