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can i stop users who access my inbox via exchange/outlook from leaving my mail as read after viewing emails

Posted on 2015-01-28
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Last Modified: 2015-02-03
HI, We have an exchange 2013 using outlook 2010/2013

my issue is the boss allows access to his mailbox for 2 users, quite often they have looked at a few emails and forgotten to change them back to unread. Is there any setting that will leave them as unread until the actually mailbox owner looks at them ?
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Question by:total123
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 125 total points
ID: 40575490
There is a workaround.   Open Outlook, Options, Mail and go to Reading Pane. Uncheck the options there so the mail will not be marked as read. Then ask users to read only from the Reading Pane and all should be well.

If they open the email, they will have to reset as unread.
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by:total123
ID: 40575496
would I have to do this on the main mailbox user outlook or do it on the 2 other users outlook ?
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40575499
You need to set the Reading pane option for each Outlook instance (so probably for each user).
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by:total123
ID: 40575503
ok, good option. I'll then have to deal with the users moaning that they have lost there read pane option on there own mailbox then. But then the boss will be happy, haha

thanks for the help.
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by:Trenton Knew
Trenton Knew earned 125 total points
ID: 40575522
This is a function of the email client, and not the server.  You can configure outlook to not mark messages as read when viewed in the reading pane, but this unfortunately, is not a per folder or per mailbox setting.

You can configure outlook to only mark items as read when they are actually opened, vs. being viewed in the reading pane, in which case, as long as your user doesn't double click to open the message, it will still be "unread," but this behavior has the risk of not being consistent depending on your users and their behaviors.

What I would do if I was in your position, is create a group mailbox "bossmail" and create transport rules.  Any inbound messages for the boss get forwarded (copied) to bossmail, which your other 2 users can access collectively, but doesn't affect your boss' mailbox.  Then create a transport rule so that any messages your boss sends get CC'd to the bossmail account too.

This way, the users can see the boss' activities, but it's transparent for your boss.
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by:total123
ID: 40575548
good suggestion, I will supply him with that option

'What I would do if I was in your position, is create a group mailbox "bossmail" and create transport rules.  Any inbound messages for the boss gets forwarded to bossmail, which your other 2 users can access collectively, but doesn't affect your boss' mailbox.  Then create a transport rule so that any messages your boss sends get CC'd to the bossmail account too'
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by:Trenton Knew
ID: 40575558
using this method can also give you more fine grained control also.  For example, "I want to share all my messages, except messages from my wife."  Exceptions can be applied to the transport rule from his outlook client.  Also, it creates a single point of configuration for what stuff gets forwarded and what doesn't, resulting in the end-user experience being unaffected for the other two users.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40575575
The flip side of forwarding is the mail is copied to the forwarded box and the boss loses control unless he/she wishes to also manage the forwarded box. If the boss deletes an email, it does not delete on the forwarded box automatically.

I have put in forwarding where it fits at clients, but there are two sides to this coin. Make sure the boss is aware.

The first option leaves the boss in total control and they may wish to keep it that way.
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Qlemo earned 250 total points
ID: 40575733
Did I understand correctly that those other users should only look into the mailbox, not doing anything (including marking as read)?
In that case having VBA code triggering on Mark As Read (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/ff869872(v=office.15).aspx), registered for the corresponding Inbox only, can revert the change.
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