How to Download only Email Headers in Outlook 2016/2013/Office 365 Versions

Downloading only email headers in Outlook is very handy most of the time when you have the slow network. Retrieving and viewing emails from Exchange or other mail servers will be quick in this way. It basically only downloads the headers (sender and the subject) of an email. So it becomes easy to go through the new emails quickly without waiting to download the whole mail one by one, especially on the slow internet.

This small guide shows how to download only email headers on the latest Office 365 Outlook, 2016 and 2013 versions. Previous Microsoft Outlook versions had a simple option to achieve this by right clicking on Outlook status bar, but from Outlook 2013 you have to do it in the different place (though it was available on earlier versions also).

Most of the people must be knowing this already, but if you are still searching where to enable only headers to download on Outlook 2016/2013, then keep reading.

Previous Option Missing on Outlook Office 365, 2016 and 2013

Right-clicking on Outlook status bar could not bring the earlier option to select ‘Download headers only’ .

earlier right click 

Here is the Way to Download Only Email Header on Outlook 2016/2013/Office 365

1) Go to ‘Send/Receive tab, ‘ Download Preferences’ and select ‘Download Headers’  as below.

select option 2) Once headers only download was set properly, you can see it in the status bar.

headers mark

This will not affect the emails which were already downloaded fully. In future, all new emails will be downloaded with header information only. You need to manually download the full email to view the full message with attachments.

The below sample shows an email with only downloaded header and a special icon on it.

header only email

This above method is applicable for all mail folders in your outlook. But if you have more folders and subfolders with rules in outlook, you can decide whether to download full email or headers only for specific mail folders.

For example, if you have the rule to forward unofficial or larger size emails to separate mail folder, you can enable download headers only for these folders, but not for the inbox and other mail folders. So, you can download full emails on specific folder and headers only in other folders.

To enable download headers only to specific folders in Outlook 2016/2013, follow these steps.

In Send/Receive, click on the below drop-down button as shown below.

define send and receive With the selection of ‘All Accounts’ click Edit.

All accounts settings If your active account’s options are disabled, tick  ‘Include the selected….’.  Then in your mailbox, select each folder and select download headers only or complete email download as shown below.

folder options - Download only Email Headers in Outlook 2016

In this way, you can have separate download only header or full email download option for each mail folders in Microsoft Outlook 2016/2013.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

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