Microsoft Outlook – Force reading email to plain text


There have been email exploits based on html coding. Outlook 2002 in Office XP
Service Pack 1 adds a the capability for individual users to restrict Outlook to
read all non-digitally-signed e-mail or nonencrypted e-mail in plain text
format. The SP also allows an admin to use a policy to do the same thing for
users, groups, …

For an individual, you can use the following registy hack:

Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER

Key: Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\Options\Mail

Name: ReadAsPlain

Type: REG_DWORD

Value: 1 disable

This registry hack effects


  • the preview pane as well as open messages
  • pictures become attachments to avoid their loss
  • object model (custom code solutions) may behave unexpectedly
  • digitally signed messages are not altered.

Related tips:


This tip is a Windows NT / Windows 2000 / Windows XP tip. Well I guess you
could say that. Its actually an Office XP Outlook tip.

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