I'm sure by now, you noticed Microsoft has again changed the interface for Hotmail (A.K.A. Windows Live Hotmail). Along with the new look, some minor functionality changes have occurred including one annoying change.
That annoying change involves the first unread message in your inbox when the Reading pane is on (also known as preview pane).
When you receive a new message, by default, the first email message is automatically displayed in the Reading pane (if you have the Reading pane on) and it is also marked read, as soon as you open and view your Inbox.
For many people, including myself, I'm normally looking for a specific message from somebody and will scroll through my Inbox for that message. Later, I will go back and check for new, un-read messages and will probably miss the first message, since it's been marked as read.
Fortunately there is a quick setting that you can make to stop the first message from automatically being marked as read.
To make the change, connect to your Hotmail mailbox and log on.
- Click on the Options pull down arrow (located above the search box) and click on More options.
- In the Options screen, scroll down to the Customize your mail section and click on Reading pane settings.
- Then select the Show a message only after I select it option and click the Save button to save the change.
This will prevent the first message from being marked as read, until you select it for viewing in the Reader pane.
- Return to your Inbox by clicking on the Go to inbox link.
Now when you check your Hotmail messages in your Inbox, the automatic marking of the first message as read, will stop.
Remember, this change only effects anyone who uses the Reader pane (preview pane) for view messages in Hotmail.