How to Convert Emails to Plain Text in Outlook

Email featured

Outlook email messages became an easy vector for infecting your Windows PC with malicious HTML back in the day, and you can still protect yourself.

I remember watching my favorite technology show, The Screensavers, which once aired on the now-defunct ZDTV in the ’90s. One of the common complaints I heard discussed on the show was Microsoft’s Outlook and the security woes it brought users with its HTML-based mail. Back in the ’90s, it was really cool to have messages with animated gifs and embed content such as live links easily. At the same time, this was a security risk that was quickly exploited, especially in the Outlook 2000 release.

For many years, this was a huge problem associated with the popular personal information manager. Outlook email messages became an easy vector for infecting your Windows PC. The only remedy for this was to convert your messages to plain text. Thankfully, recent revisions of Outlook added an option to disable this feature. Here’s a look at how to do it in the two most recent versions Outlook 2013 and 2016.

Convert Email to Plain Text in Outlook

Step 1. Launch Outlook and click File > Options.


Step 2. Next, click the Trust Center tab and then the Trust Center Settings button.

Trust Center Outlook Options

Step 3. Now click the Email Security tab, check the “Read all standard mail in plain text,” and click OK.

Email security Outlook

That’s it! A few steps were extra but not too much. If you’re still running Outlook 2007 or earlier, read our step-by-step guide on how to do the same thing.

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