Being able to customize the appearance of your Outlook email client can help make your inbox more visually appealing and easier to navigate. One simple customization is changing the default blue color of hyperlinks to something else that fits your preferences.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps to change hyperlink colors in Outlook on both Windows and Mac operating systems. Whether you want all links to be one color or make different links stand out with unique colors, these tips will help you update Outlook’s default settings.
Why Would You Want to Change Hyperlink Colors in Outlook?
Here are some common reasons why you may want to edit the default hyperlink coloring in Outlook emails and calendar items:
- Make important or frequently used links easily identifiable through unique colors
- Increase accessibility for those who are color blind or have difficulty distinguishing blue links
- Fit hyperlinks to your brand colors or theme
- Increase readability against dark backgrounds by using lighter link colors
- Visually distinguish links from regular text
- Customize the look and feel of your Outlook client
The default blue for hyperlinks may not work for everyone’s preferences or situation. Fortunately, Outlook makes it simple to assign different colors to links to optimize your inbox for your needs.
Changing Default Hyperlink Color in Outlook on Windows
For Outlook on Windows, you can change the default hyperlink color through the application options. Here are the steps:
- Open Outlook and select File > Options from the menu.
- In the Outlook Options window, select Mail from the left sidebar.
- Under Compose messages, locate the Change link colors section. Check the box for Always use these colors for links in messages.
- Select the color you want for unvisited links. This will update the default blue color.
- Optional: Pick a different color for visited links if desired.
- Select OK to save the settings.
Once you complete these steps, all new hyperlinks you add in Outlook on Windows will automatically use the customized color instead of blue. The settings apply app-wide to mail, calendar items, tasks, and anywhere else you author hyperlinked text.
Changing Hyperlink Colors in Outlook on Mac
The process is similar for Outlook on Mac, though accessed through the Preferences menu:
- Open the Outlook app on your Mac.
- Select Outlook > Preferences from the top menu.
- Select Fonts & Colors from the preferences window.
- Click on Hyperlink in the left sidebar to open color options.
- Pick a new color for Unvisited hyperlinks. This overrides the default blue.
- Optional: Change the Visited color as well if desired.
- Click Save.
The updated hyperlink color choices will now apply application-wide in Outlook for Mac.
Customizing Colors for Individual Hyperlinks
The above steps change the global default colors for all links. But what if you want certain hyperlinks to stand out with their own custom colors? Outlook also enables applying color formatting to individual links as you author new content.
To customize colors for a specific link in Outlook for Windows:
- Compose a new email, calendar item, task, etc in Outlook.
- Type out the text you want to be a hyperlink.
- Highlight the link text and click the paint bucket icon in the formatting toolbar.
- Pick a custom color from the color palette.
- The highlighted text will now appear in the chosen color and function as a clickable link.
Similarly, in Outlook for Mac:
- Compose a new email, event, task, etc.
- Type out the link text and highlight it.
- Click the Font Color button in the formatting toolbar.
- Select a color from the palette for the link.
- The text will appear as a colored clickable hyperlink.
Using font color formatting, you can make certain links stand out from others styled as the default color. This is helpful for visually grouping related content or highlighting important links.
Best Practices for Use of Color
When customizing hyperlink colors in Outlook, keep these best practices in mind:
- Ensure contrast between link text and background color is high enough to maintain readability.
- Avoid using red for links, as this can seem erratic or dangerous to users.
- Use green cautiously, as some associate it with visited links from older web conventions.
- Double-check that colored links are distinguishable from regular text colors.
- Consider color blindness and accessibility of certain color combinations.
- Pick colors that fit with your existing brand or theme colors.
- Use unique colors consistently to establish meaning for certain link types.
Testing colored links on various backgrounds and in different use cases can help optimize readability. Stay thoughtful about visual associations certain colors may have when selecting tints for your links in Outlook.
Limitations When Changing Hyperlink Colors
There are a couple limitations to be aware of when modifying hyperlink colors in Outlook:
- Default link colors will still appear when authoring new content in webmail (OWA) or mobile apps. The customized settings are limited to the Outlook desktop applications.
- Any preset theme colors for links will override customized colors when that theme is applied. The custom colors work best with either the default Office theme or a custom theme without defined link colors.
So your personalized link tints will mainly be visible when composing new content in Outlook on Windows or Mac. For best results, stick with the default Office theme or a custom theme without pre-existing link colors defined.
Resetting Link Colors Back to Default
If you want to revert any customized hyperlink colors back to the original default blue shades, follow these steps:
In Outlook for Windows:
- Go to File > Options > Mail.
- In the Change link colors section, uncheck the box for Always use these colors for links in messages.
- Delete any custom colors shown for unvisited and visited link types.
- Select OK to save the settings.
In Outlook for Mac:
- Open Outlook > Preferences > Fonts & Colors.
- Click on Hyperlink in the sidebar.
- Delete any custom color values for Unvisited and Visited links.
- Click Save to apply the changes.
This will restore the original default link coloring. You can always go back and customize the link colors again at any time using the steps outlined earlier.
The ability to change default hyperlink colors and style individual links is a handy customization option for personalizing your Outlook experience. By following the steps in this guide, you can update the link tints to be more visually appealing or accessible according to your preferences.
Just be aware that any color changes apply mainly when composing new content directly within Outlook on the desktop. But the feature provides a great way to color-code links for organizational purposes or to simply add some extra visual flair to your inbox.
With the right settings tuned to your needs, you can quickly boost readability of those clickable hyperlinks in your Outlook emails, calendar appointments, and other items.