Make Outlook Smarter: Automatically Close a Message When you Reply to It

Last Updated Aug 30, 2010 12:21 AM EDT

Here's another one of life's little indignities -- the way Outlook leaves an e-mail open after you reply to it, forcing you to close it afterwards. Sure, there are worse problems in the world, but you'd think that Outlook would be smart enough to know you probably don't need a message after you've replied to it. If this bothers you too, you'll be happy to know that Outlook can indeed close the original message automatically whenever you click the reply or forward button.

You simply need to change Outlook's options. How To Geek explains how to do this for all versions of Outlook going back to 2003.

In Outlook 2010, do this:

  1. Click File and then click Options.
  2. Click the Mail tab.
  3. Scroll down to Replies and forwards and then check Close original message when replying for forwarding.
If you have Outlook 2007 or 2003, the process is similar:
  1. In the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options.
  3. Click Close original message on reply or forward.