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Convert Email to Plain Text in Outlook 2007

Microsoft Outlook 2007

One method used to infect Windows PCs is through malformed/malicious HTML content stored inside emails (and in most cases hidden.)  Because of this, one of the first things I do after installing is set the client to convert all received email to Plain Text.  The setting in Outlook 2007 is “Read all standard mail in plain text.”  Enabling this feature not only helps secure your desktop against malformed or malicious HTML (who wants to get hacked right?) but it can also contribute to protecting your privacy. Especially so in regards to marketing emails/spam with embedded HTML linkbacks to Web Sites that track all kinds of marketing data about the person who opens the email.  Slimy eh?

Anyway, let’s get to it:

(The first time I went to enable the setting, it took a few minutes because it’s not in the same place as Outlook 2003.)

Enable Outlook 2007 Setting: Read all standard mail in plain text

Step 1:   Click Tools, Trust Center

Read all email as plain text ::


Step 2:   Click E-Mail Security, Check Box Read all standard mail in plain text

Read all email as plain text ::

That’s it!  All done!  Groovy eh??

Questions?  Comments?  Drop a note here or on the Forum

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17 Responses to Convert Email to Plain Text in Outlook 2007

  1. Josh December 28, 2007 at 9:58 am #

    Yup! I’ve been doing this since Outlook 2003. Love it. Get’s all that html crap out of email. nice write-up tho

  2. Jason January 23, 2008 at 10:44 am #

    Oh you have no idea how happy I am to find this post. Thank you!!!!

  3. MrGroove January 23, 2008 at 11:18 am #

    @ Jason,

    WELCOME to the site and thank you for the feedback.

  4. Robbie May 15, 2008 at 7:43 am #

    Helpful post.

    But can u tell me how to do in Outlook 2003??

  5. 1amzave May 28, 2008 at 5:10 pm #

    Wow…huge thanks. Why is this no longer to be found in “Options”? Sigh…life is so much more pleasant without html defiling my inbox.

  6. MrGroove May 30, 2008 at 12:41 pm #

    @1amzave – and more secure 🙂

    Welcome to the site!

  7. MrGroove May 30, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    @Robbie – Welcome to the site!

    To answer your question, the process is VERY simple for 2003

    1) Click “Tools”, “Options”
    2) Click “Email Options” button
    3) Check Box “Read all standard mail in plain text”

    All done! If I get time I’ll write this up with screenshots for ya.

  8. Alvin January 21, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    Great write up! Very helpful too …
    Can I post a question here?

  9. MrGroove January 27, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

    @Alvin – Thanks and welcome to the site!

    If it’s a general question, please post in our forum –

    That way our entire community can join in on the discussion and get your question answered!

  10. Ian May 26, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    Thanks for the great tip !
    How do you copy multiple emails to multiple text files within a folder ?

  11. Chris @ Reviews August 2, 2010 at 6:34 am #

    How to I turn off microsoft outlook feature that automatically send the email after spell check?

    • MrGroove August 2, 2010 at 8:39 am #

      @Chris – I’m thinking you have your Outlook client set to Spell Check emails before the email is sent. What that does is when you hit SEND, it will spell check the email. After spell check is done it will then send.

      I don’t think there is an option in Outlook to SEND an email if you don’t hit send. Make sense? If that’s not the case you should post your question under the “OFFICE” section in our free tech support Forum and post a few screenshots with your config.

  12. marco August 31, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Now I can see everything in plain text, but where pictures were now it shows the entire link/path, is there a way to hide all hiperlinks from the email body? I need to remove that for a friend that is blind, when he reads the document with an special software it starts reading the whole path.

  13. Guin October 1, 2015 at 9:35 am #

    Maybe a dumb question but will using this setting save space in my inbox?

    • Steve Krause October 1, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

      Actually — a good question!

      The answer however, no. Not really. The same email is still in your Inbox, it’s just that Outlook is translating the email into TXT vs. displaying the HTML. So — it will make it more SECURE however, not really save ya space. 🙂

      • Guin October 1, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

        Thanks for the quick response and good info. I’m trying to figure out a workaround for the dreaded email inbox quota. Any ideas are welcomed and appreciated.

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