How to edit category colors for MS Outlook email and calendar

Categories within Outlook make it easy to group related items -- emails, events, people -- so that they're easier to find.

Applying colors (or editing the default color selections) allow you to more easily spot and recognize related items at a glance, to improve efficiency.

This document provides the step-by-step instructions to edit category colors to your liking.

(Note: Color selections are defined "locally" on an individual's computing device or within a specific account on one. Tagging an item with a "purple" category on your device and sharing the item with someone does not guarantee that it will be "purple" on their device. Unfortunately, due to limiations within Outlook, there is no way to automatically synchronize color information from device to device.)

 

Outlook Desktop App (Windows PC)

  • - In email mode …
    • - click on (down triangle) next to “Categories” in ribbon
    • - select “All categories…”
    • - select the category you wish to edit
    • - choose a new color from the “Color” drop-down menu on right of window
    • - repeat as desired to change other categories
    • - click “Ok” button to save changes
  • - In Calendar mode …
    • - select an event
    • - click on the (down triangle) beneath “Categories” in ribbon
    • - select “All categories…”
    • - select the category you wish to edit
    • - choose a new color from the “Color” drop-down menu on the right of window
    • - repeat as desired to change other categories
    • - click “Ok” button to save changes

Outlook Desktop App (Apple Macintosh)

  • - in email mode …
    • - click the (down-triangle) beside “Categorize” in ribbon
    • - select “Edit categories…”
    • - click on the color dot beside the category that you wish to change
    • - select the new color from the drop-down menu that appears
    • - click the red “close” button in the upper-left corner of the window to close and save changes
  • - In Calendar mode …
    • - select an event
    • - click the (down triangle) beside “Categorize” in ribbon
    • - select “Edit categories…”
    • - click on the color dot beside the category that you wish to change
    • - select the new color from the drop-down menu that appears
    • - click the red “close” button in the upper-left corner of the window to close and save changes

Outlook Web App (at https://office365.bowdoin.edu)

  • - click on Settings (i.e., gear icon) toward upper right of window
  • - click “View all outlook settings …” at bottom of right frame
  • - click on “General” in left column of Settings overlay window
  • - click on “Categories” in center column of Settings overlay window
  • - click on the color tag beside the category that you wish to change
  • - select the new color from the drop-down menu that appears
  • - repeat as desired for other categories
  • - click the “X” in upper-right corner of Settings overlay window to close and save changes

Details

Article ID: 111343
Created
Tue 7/7/20 12:01 PM