Compact message header in Outlook 2013

Ronak Trivedi is a program manager on the Outlook engineering team.

We are excited to announce that we’ve taken all the feedback we’ve received and used it to design a compact version of the email message header in Outlook 2013. The new message header gives you control over the header information you see, so that you can concentrate on what matters most: the content of the message. We really like it, and we think you will too.

Expanded or collapsed? You decide.

We’ve made it incredibly simple. You can decide which view of the message header you like. Do you want to show the traditional header? Or do you want to focus on message content and get rid of excess chrome? You can switch between displays with just a click.




Clicking the arrow on the email message header expands or collapses the header.

It’s that easy. Just click the arrow located in the bottom right hand corner of the message header to experience the new compact minimal header.

Is that all it does?

Of course not! We’ve designed the compact version of the minimal header to adapt to your unique usage patterns in Outlook. Here are a few things that we did to make sure you fall in love with the compact header.

Sometimes my reading pane is really, narrow. What happens then?

The message header is smart enough to know when it cannot show all the recipients inline. If you happen to find yourself in a situation where the reading pane is too narrow to show all the recipients inline, an indicator appears that tells you how many people on the email are not being shown. Don’t be afraid to resize your reading pane. We’ve designed the compact header to dynamically update, so you will always know how many people are not being shown inline!


A numeric indicator shows the number of additional recipients on the email whose names are not being displayed .

How do I see all the To and Cc information?

As you may have guessed, you can click the indicator. Clicking it displays a list of all the recipients on the email and shows whether they were on the To line or the Cc line. We’re also thrilled to present a new way of viewing recipients in compact mode. You’ll see a simple, vibrant, drop down menu that shows each person’s name and photo.


A new dropdown menu in the compact message header displays photos and names of email recipients.

Continue to stay connected with the people that matter most.

The compact header still allows you to bring up recipient information as it does today. Hovering over the sender’s or recipient’s name will show the contact card.


Hover over a name in the header to show the contact card.

Expanding the contact card displays the person card.


The person card gives you more information.

Outlook is always improving.

Outlook’s compact message header is just one of the many improvements the Outlook team plans to make in the near future. We are dedicated to bringing our users the best, most exciting and efficient communication experiences, and on as many devices as possible. We will continue to listen to your valuable feedback in the hopes that we can make a better Outlook for everyone. For now, we hope you’ll enjoy using the new compact message header!

–  Ronak Trivedi

Frequently asked questions

Q. When will compact message header in Outlook 2013 be available?

A. Compact message header in Outlook 2013 is available as part of last month’s updates for Office 365 subscribers as well as Office 2013 Service Pack 1.