Do the Quick Step in Outlook

 Sep 08, 2015

In Outlook, what is a quick step? It is a way to make a common action you perform in Outlook 2010 or 2013 take a single click. It isn’t like a Rule that often happens automatically, we are still in charge of when the action takes place but Quick Steps save time, and once we’ve set one up, we can then use a single click or keyboard short cut to perform that action or actions. I’ve spoken about Quick Steps as a way to send a standard email in Outlook in a previous blog, but they can do a lot more than that.

Here’s the low down on Quick Steps:

In the ‘Home’ tab of Outlook, click on the drop-down of the ‘Quick Steps’ group and choose New Quick Step and then Custom. There are plenty of pre-set Quick Steps but I prefer to choose Custom so I can see the full list of options available.


Here’s the list of actions available. You can also have multiple actions in the one Quick Step. Use the Add Action button if you want to perform more than one action in your Quick Step.


After we have chosen our action(s), if is usually a good idea to give the Quick Step a better name. While Outlook will change the name at the top, the name it chooses probably won’t be very exciting. Better to choose a name that reminds you of exactly what it does. That way the Quick Step will be intuitive to use when we see it in the ribbon.

An example of a Quick Step that I have used in the past when I was providing helpdesk support was a Quick Step that:

  • Moved an email to a folder
  • Marked the email as read
  • Added a category colour (This was a category called ‘Matthew’ so other people could see I was dealing with that email and I could search for the emails with my category)
  • Add a Follow up flag (with a due date, so I would get a notification about it)

Normally this would be a lot of clicks but Quick Steps makes even this one happen in only a single click.

If you feel like you are doing the same thing over and over in Outlook, make a Quick Step. They can definitely save you time.

Want to know more cool things about Outlook? Take a look at New Horizons' Outlook Training Courses.

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About the Author:

Matthew Goodall  

Matthew is a qualified Microsoft Office Specialist, Microsoft Certified Applications Specialist and a Microsoft Certified Trainer with over 11 years of hands-on experience in a training facilitation role. He is one of New Horizons most dynamic instructors who consistently receives high feedback scores from students. Matt enjoys helping students achieve real professional and personal growth through the courses he delivers. He is best known for creating “fans” of students, who regularly request him as an instructor for any future courses they undertake at New Horizons.

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