Improve Outlook Search by Editing the Subject of Received Emails

By standss Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

A reader recently asked if it was possible to edit the Subject of Outlook emails. He wanted to put in terms that would make the emails easier to find using Outlook Search later. The short answer is YES.

Here is how to edit the subject:

  • Open Outlook
  • Double-click on the message you want to edit to open in a new window
  • In Outlook 2003 or earlier, click Edit > Edit Message
    In Outlook 2007, on the Message tab go to the Actions group > click Other Actions > Edit Message
    In Outlook 2010/2013, on the Message tab go to the Move group > click Actions > Edit Message


  • Make the changes to the email subject (and body if required)
  • When done editing, close the email and you will be prompt to keep the changes or not. Click Yes to save the changes.

NOTE: I don’t personally change the Subject of emails. Instead I use Email Tags to tag my emails with keywords for searching later.

We will also be releasing a report in the next few days to give you a much better method of controlling your to-dos from your Inbox. Subscribe to our Outlook Tips Newsletter to get a free copy of the report when it is ready.

Categories : EmailTags for Outlook, General, outlook 2013, Outlook as a Business Tool, Outlook Email Filing & Management Tip, Outlook Email Tips, Outlook Search Tips

One thought on “Improve Outlook Search by Editing the Subject of Received Emails

  1. I’m aware of the ability to use “Edit Message” to add comments to the body of an email (I always put them in […] brackets to distinguish my comments from the original message – I think EmailNotes might be better but haven’t got that yet).
    But for updating the subject line in OL2007 at least is just a matter of typing in extra words (you don’t have to use Edit Message)in the subject as far as I know. You get a message that “The properties of the message “[oldSubjectOfMessageInQuotes]” has been changed. Do you want to save the changes to this message?” [Yes] [No] [Cancel]. I’m not sure if that has implications on searching for the message later or finding related messages (which seems to search by subject content)?

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