How To Customize Navigation Pane In Outlook?

Outlook is a widely used application by professionals for sending and receiving emails. Now it’s even chosen for communicating the personal emails by people. Other than emails, it’s also used for Calendar, journal, task manager, contacts. You can share the mailbox within your organization and is made available with Microsoft Office Suite.

Let’s find out what is Navigation pane. It can be located on the left side of the window. Navigation Pane consists of Mailbox, Calendar, Contacts and Tasks. Whatever it does is making it easier to help you work on the Outlook. Navigation pane in Outlook is used to organize emails, tasks, therefore, help in saving your time. Furthermore, maintaining your contacts and calendar is easier with the help of your Navigation pane.

On Desktop, you can view your Outlook in a certain way and we are here to help you decide how to customize it. Since Navigation Pane can help you best for creating the version that is according to your usage. It takes up the left sidebar of your Outlook window, and you can switch between the options and that will appear on it.

Customization of Navigation Pane-

Once you are working on Outlook, you might need to take notes of making it personalized to make all the work easier. Moreover, the work is better if you are doing it with the organization. The tools provided within are very helpful and needs to be customized for smooth operation.

First, we need to understand that, it works for the Outlook in the latest versions which are Office 365, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2010. So, what we are learning today is the Navigation Pane which is only for the above versions of the software.

Let’s see how you switch between the various areas in Outlook.

This can be done using a small toolbar provided in the bottom of the Navigation Pane. This shows you certain areas to move around within Outlook. You can click on one of them and it opens up the folder for further use.

For the new versions-

Step 1-

Click on More options on the Navigation Bar.

Customize Navigation bar
Source: Microsoft

Step 2-

First, we can change the number of options appearing on it by clicking the Maximum number of visible items. When the Navigation Options box opens, you can change the number beside “Maximum number of visible items” and set it up to 7.

Customize Navigation Pane In Outlook
Source: Microsoft

Second, we can also change the order of the items appearing in the Navigation Bar. You can see the order and change the items by moving them to rearrange the present order of the appearance.

You can see the Reset, OK and Cancel buttons, click on OK once you are done with your changes. Click Reset if you want to start over Or Cancel if you are not satisfied with what you have selected.

Journal is not made available in the Navigation bar for Outlook 2018, so we can open it by pressing keys CTRL + 8.

Step 3-

This is again available in the Navigation Options, and you can see the ‘Compact Navigation’ option right under the Maximum number of the visible items.

If you want to view the entire page as a one and disappears the Navigation bar. In this case, the bottom of the folder moves to a vertical strip.

Customize Navigation
Source: Microsoft
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For versions of Office from 2007 to 2010-

Step 1-

You can resize the Navigation pane by clicking the right side border. Simply drag the arrow to the sides to adjust the length of the Navigation bar.

Customize Navigation bar pane
Source: Microsoft

Step 2-

Just like the compact view in the newer versions, you can make it take the space given by moving the Navigation Bar to the corner.

You can expand the Navigation bar by clicking on it or again minimize it by choosing either of the options. But you can always access your folders from the buttons.

The current saved option will reappear when you open Outlook once again.

Step 3-

To change the number of divisions in sight, we click on the “Configure” button at the bottom of the page. Thereafter we open the Navigation Options to customize the order of the divisions. We have to move them up or down to put it in order for the use.

Step 4-

To add or remove the buttons of the folders, we just have to drag the splitting bar and see the other folders list. And this will reduce all the buttons too small icons and will appear at the bottom of the Navigation Pane.

Must Read:-
How to Fix Outlook Search ProblemHow to Fix Outlook Search ProblemThere are laymen ways to fix Outlook search problem by modifying and rebuilding the Index Options after resetting Windows Search.

So, in this way you can customize navigation pane in Outlook. Get access to all your mail folders, and switch between different views such as Contacts, Calendars, People, Appointments and more.


  • comment_avtar
    My navigation pane is stuck on the side I just cannot get it to the bottom. please Help

    3 years ago
    • comment_avtar
      Mridula Nimawat
      Hello, Check the navigation settings in the toolbar. Thanks

      3 years ago

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