How do I print an email in Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail)?

It's not that difficult to print an email in Outlook.com, it just takes looking in what is probably an unfamiliar place for former Hotmail users.

This is another of those “representative” questions that I get a lot; more than I would expect, to be honest.

But when you think about it, with all the changes that Hotmail users have been through in the last few years, it’s understandable that the latest change to Outlook.com would lead to a lot of confusion.

It turns out it’s not hard at all to print an email in Outlook.com. You just need to get used to looking in a new place for some additional options.

Let me show you. (Now with video!)

Actions are the key

Here’s a typical email message displayed in Outlook.com:

Outlook.com Email Message

The trick is to notice that little “Actions” label at the upper right of the message (please see below if you do not have an “Actions” menu):

Outlook.com Actions Item

Apparently, a lot of people miss it. Click that and it’ll drop down a menu of options:

Actions drop down, showing Print

Click that and Outlook.com displays a window showing only the message:

Message for printing in Outlook.com

And it will then effectively click the Print button for you. Here’s what pops up using Google Chrome:

Outlook.com email print in Google Chrome

Chrome includes an immediate print preview (as well as a Save as PDF function, for those so inclined), so you can see what the printed message will look like.

No Actions? No Problem!

Outlook.com appears to be migrating to a user interface that does away with the Actions menu. Instead you’ll find the Print option here:

Print on the "Three Dots" menu

Clicking on the “three dots” near the top of the window (actually an ellipsis meaning that the menu bar is “continued”) drops down an additional menu that contains the print action.

Remember that a message must be selected or open in order for either the Actions menu or the ellipsis to be displayed.

Video

Enough people were expressing difficulty seeing what I see that I thought I’d add this video walking through the process:

Download the video: printing_outlook_com.mp4 (13M).

Now, if you don’t see the same controls in Outlook.com that I do, I can only surmise that Microsoft is rolling out changes slowly and we’re not all seeing the same thing at the same time. Unfortunately what you see above is, indeed, what I see – in two different accounts. If that changes I’ll update this post and the video.

Updated on May 23, 2014 to include the “Three Dots” menu.

There are 95 comments:

  1. julie Reply

    Mr. Notenboom: So many obscure questions. So few answers! Why must microsoft make so
    many changes? I had just smoothed out all the wrinkles between my computer and hotmail when
    I had to start dealing with outlook, which is even less intuitive, IMO. I’m glad I found the post-it that had your info on it from several years back. You’ve helped me with my problem.

    Many thanks!

    • Connie Delaney Reply

      Julie,
      I know how you feel. Seems like computers keep changing and changing. But I’ve realized that if I don’t keep up with what is available now I’ll be completely lost in a few years. Seems like it’s just best to keep up with the changes as they happen. I really love this article from Leo: http://ask-leo.com/the_most_important_attitude.html

  2. julie Reply

    Leo: regarding how to print email in Outlook. I do not have an “Actions” label. I have 3 dots (ellipses, pretty obscure to me!), which when selected shows several options, one of which is
    print. I must say that I really do dislike Outlook. To me nothing is improved. Thank you microsoft!
    Once again they’ve succeeded in “fixin’ somethin that ain’t broke.”
    Julie

    • Leo Reply

      Interesting. Make sure we’re talking about Outlook.com, and not Outlook (the program). Two unrelated things. (Thanks Microsoft :-) ).

      • Robert Turnicky Reply

        I’m using IE9 and there also isn’t a action section,using outlook.com.

        • Mark Jacobs Reply

          If it doesn’t show up in IE9, you might try and see if it works using Firefox or Google Chrome.

      • Jo Reply

        Leo – on the top bar I have ‘move to’ which you do not have (just to right of ‘sweep’), and then the three dots others are mentioning. Where you have ‘actions’, there is nothing.

        • Pieter Reply

          Now printing is available in the top bar line, under the … button.

      • Ed Reply

        I use outlook.com and have the 3 dots also and it prints fine from there. Cheers

    • Mark Jacobs Reply

      Clicking on the 3 dots gives you a pulldown menu which also includes the print option. I personally have the actions menu when I read my mail, so I have no idea why it doesn’t appear in yours.

      • Sue Reply

        Thanks for that information about the three dots, I didn’t know to go look in there. It really was a big help.

        • Grace Reply

          Thank you. Finally I could print thanks to Mark Jacobs info. about the three dots.

    • Old Man Reply

      Look at the top bar for three dots (should be next to Categories). Click on it, and choose Print. From there what Leo wrote is correct.

      • Pat Camp Reply

        Thank you very much. I was experiencing the same problem with printing & didn’t have the actions menu but when I pressed on the 3 dots & clicked print it worked. Wow, this was painful. Thanks again.

    • Cindy Reply

      I also have just the ellipses, which don’t say anything until you actually click on them. I would never have done that if I hadn’t seen this article. Thank you!

  3. Tom Reply

    Leo, I don’t have an “action” label on my Outlook.com messages.
    Is there a something you have to set to make this label appear?
    Tom

    • Mark Jacobs Reply

      Clicking on the 3 dots gives you a pulldown menu which includes the print option.

    • Connie Delaney Reply

      Tom,
      I couldn’t find it at first either and had to look real close at Leo’s illustration. He is showing only the screen with the actual email body in there, not the email list. It’s actually under the subject line,, and only AFTER you’ve actually selected a message. No wonder so many people can’t find it!

  4. Robert L. Whiles Reply

    I surely must be overlooking something, but where is the spellchecker in Outlook? A misspelled word will show up with an underline, but nothing happens when clicking on the misspelled word. Help please.

    • Leo Reply

      Right click on the miss-spelled word and you’ll be given a list of words to choose from.

  5. bob price Reply

    I don’t have an action button or three dots, and this is the new outlook from hotmail. When I try to file > print, it only prints the first page. If it’s a long email, i send it to my yahoo mail and print from there.

  6. Jose Emanious Reply

    I too have 3 dots that have print command hidden in them.

  7. Philip Howard Reply

    Outlook has either changed or mine has not caught up yet. My “Actions” button is no more than three periods: …

    Would supply a screen shot if required…

  8. Christopher Reply

    I have now used outlook.com on two different computers, using different browsers and different OSs. (win 8 and Vista) None of them show the action option only the three dots… Connie Delaney’s solution does not work.

    • Connie Delaney Reply

      I see the three dots too… but they are up in the top, blue, tool bar. I only see the “Actions” dropdown link when I click on the email and open it. Actually, I see it in the preview pane, and also when I double-click to open the email. It doesn’t show unless an individual email is selected.

      • Cheryl S. Reply

        Thank you, Connie! I couldn’t find the dots until you said – blue bar! Whew!

  9. Gina Reply

    Thank you Leo, for your answer to a question I never thought to ask. I thought I just had to live with it, along with all the other inconveniences and problems with Hotmail, now Outlook. I don’t have the “action” button either, but now that I know the three dots give me the same options, I’m happy. I only wish there was an answer to why the font sometimes changes in certain sections of e-mails that I send. I don’t know if the recipient sees it that way, but that’s how it looks when I open an e-mail I sent. Glad I signed up for your newsletter. Your choice of questions to answer is impeccable!

  10. Hank Reply

    little different problem relating to Outlook. I use Win 7, IE 10, and ATT as my email. When I click on an embedded hyperlink that leads to a web page, I always get the following message: “Could not preform this operation because the default mail client is not properly set up.” How can I work around this,? I don’t want to change my e-mail or my browser on the MS Program Access screen that can be checked off, so I use custom. Love the newsletter.

  11. Tony Reply

    I have the three dots with a drop down menu including “Print”
    There’s no Actions button with “Print message”

  12. Conrad Villanueva Reply

    Dear Leo,
    How can i force a PDF file to be open and work on or edit it with CorelDraw X3?
    or for that mater how can I open any file extension to work and edit in CorelDraw X3

    Thanks,
    Conrad Vilanueva
    [email address removed]

    • Colin Reply

      Conrad
      It is inadvisable to post your email address on public forums.as you could receive unwelcome spam

    • Tony Reply

      Some people on the Gmail forum have been quite upset about recent changes there. It just confirms that these email providers ALL go through changes, and shows that every user is different in their willingness or ability to adapt to change.

  13. Colin Reply

    Outlook.com through the web browser does not have full functionality when running under Vista basic.
    also it keeps prompting to update IE (or use the mobile/ smartphone version) even though IE is up to date.

  14. dheym Reply

    Don’t have the “action”, but do have the three dots. So thanks for the advice and showing your replies. I’m using Gmail primarily and find it generally good. Mostly I use Firefox and Chrome; haven’t used IE8 in a long time although Windows XP insists on bringing it up every day–so I just ignore it.

  15. Guest Reply

    Thank you for the read. I was looking for the print button and could not find it. Located it only due to the hint given in this thread – the three dots. Those appear only on the upper menu of the whole thing and seem not to be linked to the message opened as such. Nevertheless, it enables to print the message that was selected. How stupid can you go, would be my first and the only question but I will not require an answer to this. Someone must have an experiment running on us. I have been using computers and different e-mail programmes for almost 20 years. Thanks for the help!

  16. Mark Jacobs Reply

    I’ve seen a lot of comments and questions here about people not seeing the “Actions” link or the 3 dots. I’ve seen cases where the bigger email providers roll out interface and features changes to different users at different times. I saw that happen with Yahoo Mail, and the Outlook.com interface was rolled out to different people at different times. That may be what’s happening in this case.

  17. KD Reply

    I too can not see “actions” or the “three dots” in Google Chrome. I had actions for a while, but both gone. I can not print emails in Outlook.com for weeks now. So frustrating! After just checking, I do see the “three dots” in IE, but not in Chrome. Neither of these browsers show “actions” though. Clearing the cache in Chrome does nothing. Nor does going incognito. Definitely a Microsoft bug. So when I need to print, I guess I need to open Internet Explorer and print from there.

  18. DM Reply

    A few days ago I checked everywhere for the print button in IE and Chrome and couldn’t find it. I even recall looking under the three dots. I did find the print option under the three dots in both Chrome and IE this morning. Thanks for the tips.

  19. Rob Baum Reply

    Printing problems in converted Hotmail to Outlook. The “actions” menu is not available in my converted Hotmail to Outlook conversion. I found the solution is in the menu across the top as “…” three dots. If you select the 3 dots it open up a menu selection with the print selection available. My comment to that is what were they thinking??

  20. Christian Reply

    I am using IE v8 and only saw the three dots. I have been programming since 1974. I was going to ask who designed Outlook (Hotmail) but it is obvious they never went through a design phase and jumped straight to code. I would bet the person who did the code was also the tester. I would love to know why “Flagging” is more important than printing an email.

  21. John Morrison Reply

    Like so many others here, I have no ‘action’ on my Outlook either. Finally discovered that three dots means print. My God why couldn’t I work that out, after months of copying mails to Word and printing out as a word file. Outlook is in trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Pool. Right here in River City.

    • TEO33 Reply

      Hey folks, John has got it right. The OUTLOOK.COM blue menu bar ends with a ellipsis, e.g., … Those three dots open a menu list and PRINT is right there and it works fine when I send to the printer and when I send to ONE NOTE 2013.

      Definitely not very intuitive on Microsoft’s part, BUT, now I know how to do it and am glad it is there. I hope the folks at Microsoft pay attention to post like these and learn from them…

  22. TEO33 Reply

    YEP. I read the article and since it was written the OUTLOOK.COM must have been updated. the ellipsis … on the blue menu bar at the far right is the way to get the menu to print.

  23. Bob Terry Reply

    I also do not have the ‘Actions’ menu but do have the … However how do I forward e-mails without the actions function ?

    • Connie Delaney Reply

      Bob,
      That’s interesting. Try another browser and see what you can find. Different browsers will read pages slightly differently and it may make the difference. Also. very often in gmail I find that stuff is actually there, it’s just tough for me to find it.

    • Sharon Reply

      Bob,
      You can find the Forward tool under the Reply tab at the top.
      Hope this helps. Anyway it is there under windows 8. :}

  24. Sara Reply

    How do you print from Outlook (Hotmail) in Windows 8 from the Start Screen? I also do not see account options anymore…

  25. Marjorie Forrest Reply

    When I go to print an email, it always prints only PART of my body of text. It always prints all the ancillary text on the sides, top, and bottom. So it cuts off the actual text of the email and includes those sidebars of irrelevant info. Help!

    • Mark Jacobs Reply

      The simplest solution is to copy and paste the text into Notepad, Wordpad or a word processing program and print it from there. That way you can clean it up and format it however you like. That’s how I do it.

  26. Frank Reply

    Thanks. It is the three dots across the top menu bar above the email.

  27. Gary Reply

    I did what you said but the header http only prints. How to I get the message to print
    Thanks

  28. Sherrie Reply

    Thank you, Leo. I’ve spent much of the morning wasting time trying to find out how to print. Why on earth was the print icon removed? Hope I remember your help as printing is now so quick and easy.

  29. Dia Reply

    Thank you so much! It was so frustrating not being able to print emails properly. You made me smile!

  30. Kamran Zaheer Reply

    I was wondering how to get print out of my email thread on hotmail. This post helped me out. Wonderful post, Thanks alot

  31. Owen Lavin Reply

    I switched to Yahoo years ago, but my wife still uses Hotmail so I found the answer to her problem here. Thanks for the post and the follow-up on the three … Makes you wonder why anyone continues to use Microsoft software — it’s NOT user friendly!

  32. Iggy Reply

    I’ve got a friend who has just inherited a laptop with Windows 8 but when I try to print an e-mail for her fron Outlook.com (I think) there are no options visible. I can only see the following icons:

    1. Trash
    2. Respond
    3. Forward

    Definitely no print options. Can anyone advise, please? Thank you.

    • Connie Delaney Reply

      Iggy,
      I’m assuming you are trying to print from Outlook.com (the online website) since you are posting on that article. The trick in almost any email program is that you have to actually open the email in order to print it. Also, try typing ctrl-p. That’s the global print command and could bring up some hidden options.

  33. Tammy Reply

    I am using IE10 and the former hotmail email that is now outlook.com. I have the 3 dots and the print shows up. when I go to print a window pops up with the email I want to print and and I press print. But the paper is blank. Any ideas. I can print from other websites and Outlook2010
    Thank.

  34. Kevin Reply

    Unbelievable that only the three dots appears on my Hotmail.site. Why not options or the old printer symbol. Who are these guys that change something that is so simple to something that is so ridiculous. Ah! gues that is progress. We all should know three dots means options!!!!

  35. Mr George Watson Reply

    Dear Leo,
    Thanks very much for the article about printing the whole of the email.
    I had an important email that I needed a complete printout of and your article
    saved the day and made an old man happy (65) and saved me a lot of anguish as well.
    The article was posted on the 25th of May 2013, under “Ask Leo” and headed “How do I print an email in Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail)?”
    Thanks again, have a nice Christmas!
    George at 16.15hrs on Monday the 25thof November 2013

  36. Long Reply

    Hi Leo, I cant see three dots nor “action”. Do I need to doo something?

    • Connie Delaney Reply

      Yes. Select the email you are wanting to print first. The dots don’t show when you are looking at the inbox list.

  37. Long Reply

    Thank you Connie . Still cant find the three dots or the action button.

  38. Jane Reply

    Thanks Leo for your well laid out and easy reply. However I too do not have the ‘Actions’ label on anytype of email message, whether from private person or from a company. But your answer made me search harder and I too found the 3 dots- drop down menu and then Print instruction which laid out the message correctly.
    I use several email programs and they all differ in various ways, none stands out as better than others I feel but I do know that you need to ‘look at’ all the headings; drop down menu’s etc to get full use of their facilites – which is why I feel so stupid at not clicking on the 3 dots…….!
    Thanks again one and all.

  39. HJS Reply

    I too do not have an “Action” drop down, but have the 3 dots “…” to the right of Categories. As much as I like Microsoft products, I don’t think 3 dots is very intuitive to any user. The usual File/Print menu option and “printer” icon is however visibly available, unfortunately this prints the entire Outlook.com page including my Folders…

    • Holly M. Reply

      HJS… You couldn’t have said it better. Sometimes “Actions” turn into an “Active View”. I could not believe after 22 years of being computer literate I actually had to Google how to print an email…. sigh. And the 3 dots? To the general public that means “etc” which to me indicated lesser used functions that I probably wouldn’t use and since printing messages is a daily occurrence for many I, like you, fail to see the logic in this. How is this not super OBVIOUS to Microsoft??

      • Mark Jacobs Reply

        Microsoft and intuitive in the same sentence is an oxymoron. I’ve seen a lot of questions on Ask Leo! from people who don’t have the actions menu choice. What I believe might be happening is that MS is gradually shifting people to the newer less intuitive menu. If they switched everybody at the same time, it wouldn’t be so bad as sites like Ask Leo! would simply be able to tell people about the change. As it works now, I’m finally realizing that this probably isn’t a bug some people have, but a change MS is making, creating a very confusing situation.

  40. MikeS Reply

    A late followup to this but my friend cant print from outlook. i had a look and in all the print options are there but the box that pops up showing the email you’re trying to print only show a photo and says login. no other oprions. We are already logged in as we have the emails in front of us. You can use the web page print option but you get all the adds and menus from the webpage. In a last bid attempt i installed chrome which works as you show above. So we can use that from now on but i think there must be something with in IE that is set wrong. although my friend hasny changed any thing, it just stopped working as it had done. Its not blocked pop ups or anything. Any ideas ???? MikeS

    • Connie Delaney Reply

      Internet Explorer is notorious for not being code compliant in all areas. The solution is to do exactly what you did – use Chrome. It’s beyond any of our abilities to fix IE’s code.

  41. Phyllis Reply

    Do not have actions in my Outlook.com. Cannot print with the …. This problem has been going on since the last update to Outlook. I thought turning off the protected mode would help but no. I have internet explorer 11. I can print from Outlook that is part of Microsoft office and not through the internet just fine. I had read that Outlook is trying to correct but when will this happen. In the mean time I have to use light shot if I am to print. I have tried just about every little fix that has come around except adding the line to my registry which is not going to happen by my hand.
    Thanks,
    Phyllis

  42. abbyluvzu2 Reply

    I did not have an “Actions” option. But your second suggestion worked for me.
    Thank you!

  43. Greg Reply

    I just read about the three dots here after discovering them by accident three hours ago after 24 hours of fuming and cursing and giving up and asking online. Is printing such a rarely used function that they had to tuck it under three dots? I thought those three dots were a decorative element until my cursor tripped over it in a random sweep. I already vented my rhetorical fury on Outlook, but I’m feeling the rage again. Whose idea was that??!! Now I think I understand what’s pissing off Godzilla. And then they ask me how likely I am to recommend Outlook to a friend. A friend!

  44. Alex McPhail Reply

    Thanks Leo, have until now wasted so much time as a result of not knowing how to print from Outlook.

    No longer a problem, first class article.

  45. John Reply

    Excellent instructions, I would never have guessed what those three dots were for (…). Thanks for supplying this information.

  46. Lou Ann Roberto Reply

    Thank you so much Leo! I’ve been struggling with this for longer than I care to admit! No one could help me. I can’t thank you enough for teaching me this simple trick.

  47. Steve Oldfield Reply

    I get the Print option from the “Actions” drop down menu and also from the “three dots”. When I select “print message” I get the window showing the message and “Print” in the top left corner, when I click on print I get the printer dialogue box asking me to choose a printer. When I select a printer I go back to the message, when I click on print I’m asked to choose a printer and this rotation continues ad infinitum.
    What the hell is wrong?

  48. Rita Swanson Reply

    If things the action button was available, printing would not be a problem. However I have searched all over the page and there is no action button available. So now what? How do i get my email to print? Microsoft needs to fix this problem and fix it immediately. Every year I get a little more disappointed by the stuff that is shoved at us to make them more money. Does it make my life a little easier? Hell no!

    • Mark Jacobs Reply

      Check out the section of this article which says No Actions? no Problem! It explains that some versions of the Outlook.com website no longer have the Actions menu and the 3 dots is the way to get to the Print menu.

  49. Alex Reply

    I found the print function under … and the pop up box shows the page to be printed. However when I click print all I get at the top of the page is page 1 of 1, and the date at the bottom. The actual message doesnt print – help!!

  50. Cliff Huffman Reply

    I help my wife with Hotmail and the above printing directions (we have three parallel lines that lead to print) are fine but you are led to a print page that has, on the right hand side, all the ads, so when it prints you don’t get the whole page. I tried both portrait and landscape. Landscape gives you more, but not the whole thing.

  51. Rochelle Franke Reply

    I have printing issues with hotmail/outlook since 9/26/2014. I use the … to print my emails was working but now I get this error message “something went wrong and we can’t sign you in right now, please try again later.” Been trying since 9/26/2014 and on different computers still unable to print the email. In fact the email will not display in the print screen mode. Is there a solution or is outlook just messed up?

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