Outlook 2010: Prevent Other Outlook Recipients from Forwarding, Printing, or Copying Content from Your Message

If you are sending out an email message to a contact and prefer that it isn’t forwarded to someone else, printed, or any of the content copied, Outlook 2010 allows you to do this by following these steps.

First, you need to sign up for Microsoft’s Information Rights Management (it’s free)

1. Go to the Ribbon and click New E-mail to compose a new message.

2. Go to the Ribbon, find the Permission section.

3. Click the Permission button.

4. The Service Sign-Up window will appear, select the Yes, I want to sign up for this free service from Microsoft radio button.

5. Click the Next button.

6. You will need a Windows Live ID to use this service, if you have on select the Yes, I have a Windows Live ID radio button. (if not, select the No, I want to register for a Windows Live ID now radio button. This will take you to a page to sign up for a Windows Live ID.)

7. Click the Next button.

8. Input the credentials to sign into Windows Live.

9. Select the proper radio button identifying whether you are using a private or a public computer.

10. Click the I accept button.

11. Click the Finish button.

To Mark a New Message as Do Not Forward:

1. Go to the Ribbon and click New E-mail to compose a new message.

2. Go to the Ribbon, find the Permission section.

3. Click the arrow beneath the Permission button.

4. Select Do Not Forward from the resulting menu.

5. Compose your email as usual and send it.

Recipients using Outlook will not be able to forward, print or copy content from the message.


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

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • Anonymous

    What happens for non Outlook users?

    • HasanH007

      great point – I’m sure this would be useless when accessing the protected message through web based mail.

  • HasanH007

    can you press printscreen and take a snap shot of the email as it is displayed? Then just print or forward that?

    nice idea though – will stop most users from printing and forwarding…

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for highlighting this exciting feature! I’m sure the folks over on the Office and Outlook Pages on Facebook would really appreciate you sharing your thoughts, tips, and tricks on the Walls! There are some cool videos…

    Editor: Spam Links Removed.

    MSFT Office Outreach Team

    • Anonymous

      Kate: Thanks for visiting, but please don’t abuse our comments.

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm, this must be different for Outlook users on Windows Vista? First of all, I don’t see a Ribbon. Thoughts?

  • Anonymous

    This is a pretty pointless feature that will only stop the dumb computer users that don’t know anything about Windows and are also using the same version of Outlook (i.e. internal corporate mail environment). Anyone smart enough who really wants to copy your message will be able to by simply pressing printscreen or using 3rd party programs to take a screenshot as someone else also pointed out. Lotus Notes also has that feature and it’s as useless for the same reasons.

    • Alexw1000

      In the corporate environment particularly this is very useful to prevent casual forwarding by accident. People rarely read or adhere to taglines such as ‘Confidential, please to not forward’, so if they click the forward button and get a blank screen, they are reminded that this is not meant to be distributed more widely.
      This will not prevent anyone from maliciously spreading confidential information as the message can be retyped or photographed, but I don’t thik that is the intent.

      P.S. I think the Lotus Notes version was easier to use as it did not require sign up to a separate service.

  • Shyambab30

    Thanks for good points…….

  • Shyambab30

    Thanks for good points…….

  • kindly build the provision for restricting mail.

  • edna trimm

    I could not get the ribbons to open so I could sign up for managing forwarding of e-mail. Please help by sending e-mail with further help.

  • Luciano

    Thank you for the article. Unfortunately it seem not working since the wizard encountered problems in accepting certificates during installation. How can I manage this problem? Thank you

  • Mary

    My permission is set to “No Restrictions” yet anyone using Lotus Notes is unable to reply or forward any of my original emails from Outlook 2010. How do I resolve this?

  • Chayadi

    Absolutely useless feature. You will waste your time creating forms and making sure to disable ‘forward’ but user can still click reply and type in email address manually. Voila, it’s forwarded only without ‘FW:’ in the subject.

  • Srinivas

    even print screen / windows snipping tool wont work when outlook with protected email is open .
    Nor we can add aother email id during reply , ie to ,cc and bcc icon is also grayed out .

    iam still figuring how to …

  • Jess

    Is there a way to forward or print screen these restricted emails in outlook?

  • M2004

    Thanks for the insight. At least colleagues will need to take extra efforts to override the request not to forward restricted messages. Consequently, any forwards and information disclosure will have been done intentionally.