Tips for Reading an Email Without Opening It

By Louise Balle

Eudora and Microsoft Outlook are among the popular email providers that allow you to read an email without opening it. You can do this by changing your settings so that you can read the email in preview mode. There are a few tips that may make it easier for you to manage your received emails using the preview method.

Setting Your Preview Display

Go to "Options," "Preferences," or "View" on your email system. Under "Display," "View Mail" or similar you will see all of your options related to previewing your mail before opening it. Select the option to look at your mail in a special preview "window," "pane" or similar. You will now be able to look at your mail on a split screen---one containing a list of your emails received (subject, date, and sender) and one that contains the body of the message, which is sometimes shortened.

Navigating Your Emails

Do not use your mouse to click on emails when you want to read them without opening the message. Instead, use your keyboard only---scroll down your list of emails with your up and down arrow keys. Press the "Delete" key as soon as you scroll to an unwanted email. Keep in mind that as soon as you press "Enter" on the selected email it will be immediately be marked as "open."

Marked as Read

In many cases, when you allow an email to remain selected in your preview pane it will be marked as "Read" within a few seconds. You can set the number of seconds that you want the system to wait before marking the email as "Read" under your "Options" or "Preferences." In some email clients you can also uncheck the option to mark your email as having been opened so that all emails will be left in an "Unread" status.Remember that some emails that reach your mailbox are sent with a return receipt request from the sender. As soon as the system recognizes that you have "opened" that email, even in preview mode, a return receipt will be sent. If you do not want a return receipt returned to the sender, you will need to be mindful of your "Marked as Read" email preferences.

Sort by Name First

From time to time you may receive multiple emails from the same person regarding a specific subject. This usually happens in the case of an email sent to multiple recipients regarding a work project. If you have received several emails from the same person and you want to read the emails without opening them, sort your unopened emails by sender first, then by date. Then you can scroll through and read the communication exactly as it unfolded.