What happened to my split pane (Outlook)

My Outlook program was set up to show the emails on top and the content preview on bottom. Suddenly the bottom pane is gone and I can’t figure out how to get it back. Any help?

It will vary based on what version of outlook you are using. But the option is either ‘preview pane’ or ‘reading pane’ and should be found in the ‘View’ toolbar menu.

In some versions of Outlook, you have to go to View>Layout>Preview Pane

Never mind. I kept looking in “Views”, where “autopreview” was selected. I didn’t see the “Preview Pane” option. All better now; please go on with your regularly scheduled lives. And thanks.

At one time we wre advised not to use the Preview Pane in Outlook because some viruses could sneak in simply when the email was viewed this way. Is this still true? Or is preview pane safe now?

I don’t know about viruses embedded in images and the like anymore, but address tracking is often done by viewing the email in HTML mode.

Embed a 1x1 image in the email, give it a querystring that identifies the recipient’s email address (eg img src=http://spamdomain.com/image.jpg?email=oldguy@isp.com) and when the email is opened, the linked image is able to tell the host “oldguy@isp.com is a real person who just opened this email.”

This isn’t always nefarious but 99% of the time it is. For instance, you may indeed want Target to know that you opened their “Hot Deals on Power Tools” email this month so you can perhaps get some deals in the future. But you don’t want to let Joe V1@gr4 to know you exist…so it’s best practice to not use Preview (IIRC you have to click on an email to delete it - and it will preview when you click) and even better practice to not use an HTML viewer or to not accept images in email. Most web-based email accounts such as Yahoo and Hotmail turn these “features” off by default.

Outlook 2003 (if properly updated) doesn’t download pictures in preview mode without the user explicitly clicking a button.

I don’t know if that security patch was also made available for Outlook XP or 2000.