When Microsoft was designing Outlook 2013, they wanted a clean, uncluttered look. That is supposedly why they decided to include text instead of icons on the Navigation bar.
Did you know that you can easily change the look of this Navigation bar? It is very easy to do.
- Click on the 3 gray dots on the right side of the bar.
- From the pop-up menu that appears, click on Navigation Options…
A Navigation Options dialog box opens. We could use the menu at the top of this dialog box to change the number of Outlook folder items displayed on the Navigation bar, or we could use the options at the bottom to rearrange the order in which they are displayed, but today we are mainly interested in changing the text to icons.
- Click on the Compact Navigation checkbox.
- Click on the OK button. The look of the Navigation bar changes. While not exactly like previous versions of Outlook, it is very close.
Would you like to bring back the folder icons that appeared in the Navigation pane in previous versions of Outlook as well?
- Press Ctrl+6 while viewing the Inbox and icons will appear in front of your folder list in the Navigation pane.