Outlook 2007: Change the Subject Line of Received Emails

Posted June 8, 2007 by Rob Rogers in Microsoft Outlook

Have you ever received an email containing information that is valuable to you but the subject line in no way reflects the contents of the message? It makes going back and looking for that email a major pain. By changing the subject line of the received email, you can have it better reflect the information contained within.

1. Double-click the desired message to open it.

2. Highlight the existing Subject.

3. Input the desired Subject.

4. Close the message.

5. A dialog box will appear, asking if you want to save the message. Click Yes.


About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
View more articles by Rob Rogers

The Conversation

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  • hwknstx

    At work, using Outlook 2003, I can change a subject line, in the inbox list, without opening the e-mail. Thanks for telling me the obvious. Too bad for me that I was looking for something useful, and your help is terrible. If I read “you can” a couple of more times, I will have to try something else. I CAN’T, if you don’t TELL ME HOW

  • Michelle Ashburner

    This info was really obvious – I was hoping for a link that would tell me whether I could change the colour of the text in the subject line

  • Christie Bales

    I found this very helpful. It is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!

  • lockhaca

    With Outlook 2007 I tried to change the subject line in the inbox and can’t. In the open mesage, I clicked the Save command on the Quick Access Toolbar before exiting and wasn’t prompted with the saving dialog box.

  • Dave

    Exactly what I needed, thanks.

  • Chandra Tucker

    I am using Right Fax, how do I change the subject line in Right Fax?

  • Mr HUng

    xin vui long cho hoi, Toi dang su dung Microsoft outlook 2003, toi muon THAY DOI FONT va MAU CHU co noi dung thu email moi ( Subject)
    Vay lam the nao co the lam duoc dieu nay? xin vui long chi giao

  • serene

    can you change font type at the subject?

  • MM


    • MM

      update: ok, yes it does but not in READING PANE view; you have to actually open up the message – then, in order to be able to identify it later, i gave it my PERSONAL category color.

  • Kim

    Great Site! Great solutions! Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    To change the subject line without opening the email.

    go to >View menu >current views >define views >modify -Current view settings-
    >other settings >check the box “Allow in-cell editing

    • Scott

      Perfect – this is the response that i think most people were looking for. If you want to save some steps, you can also right click the column bar (where from, subject, received etc are) then select “customize current view” – other settings and check “Allow in-cell editing” The downside is that you will have to do this for every folder and each “view” in which you wish to allow in cell editing. Note that you will need to click the e-mail you want to modify (which selects it in the list) then click AGAIN to get into edit mode. Also, if an e-mail has been set as private – you will not be able to change the subject.

      • Randy

        This option is the only one that makes sense.
        The other articles are just talk.

      • Ruediger Muenzer

        > Perfect! That’s what im looking for. I guess MS really likes hiding functionalities 🙂

  • Anonymous

    About 75% of the emails I receive from all sources comes across with “SPAM” in the Subject line so when I forward or reply and fail to edit it, it goes out that way too…not what I would like. I have used Outlook for many years and this is the first experience I’ve had like this…

    Is this an Outlook function or could it be due to virus protection software? If it is an Outlook issue, how do I stop this from happening? I’ve been through all Junk mail options and elsewhere and don’t find anything about any “SPAM” tag. I appreciate your help.

  • Chris P

    I lost my subject line.. How do I put in? I have the From, Received, Size and Flag categories but I want my subject category back. How do I do that?

  • Andy Simpson

    The subject line change feature is not working in my Outlook 2007. My Outlook was updated from Outlook 2003 today. The feature worked in Outlook 2003.

  • Anonymous

    I like to stop receiving from Top Headlines- TOP MSNBC Headlines-IL

  • jerry

    My problem is, in outlook express I could change the color of my email to reflect the type of email I get like ‘instant payment’ would be in green. I can not figure out a way to do this in outlook 2007. They keep telling me categorize is the answer but don’t work. Any help is gratefully appreciated.

  • Manish Mehta

    Yes, I must appriciate the suggestion. Thank u for exect advice.

  • Ray Marshall

    You are MY HERO. I’ve wished for this for years, but never thought to search for it, thinking it was not possible. And I have Outlook 2000!

    Now I have 18 kajillion messages I have to go through and change their subject.


  • yuli

    OMG!!!! This is amazing! Thank you so much. I have to scan in some many documents each day into my email, and could never organize them. You made my day!

  • Marcia

    Outlook 2003, i kept an email to myself in my Inbox for my monthly report. I would then be able to open it, add text, and save it……….multiple times throughout the month. This kept it in front of me as a reminder. Now with 2007 i cant edit the text of the email in my Inbox. Is there a setting somewhere? I have to keep re-emailing it to myself…..ANNOYING. can anyone help?

  • Root

    @Marcia, what is wrong with you? Can’t you use the calendar/tasks/reminders in Outlook? Are you drunk?

    You folks who comment here sound like the people who “The IT Crowd” rip on. The things you say are hilariously ignorant – wait, wait, I have to take a screenshot of your comments, prepare to be intertubed!

  • bhla bhla

    Great help. Thank you.

  • LJ

    In my MBP Outlook 2001, I do not have Edit Message selection.

  • LJ

    I mean MBP Outlook 2011.

  • ML

    Hi All.

    What about the possibility to change a GROUP of Subjects to cut from them, for example, the “*** Detected as Spam ***” added by the corporate server ?

    I am currently using Outlook 2007, and maybe soon I will have to upgrade to Outlook 2010 …


  • Andy

    Good one. Helped me.

  • Leo

    Perfect! That’s what im looking for. Thanks