How to Remove Background Color in Outlook Email

By Jessie Published June 19, 2023

How to Remove Background Color in Outlook Email
How to Remove Background Color in Outlook Email

Microsoft Outlook, the powerful email client and personal information manager, offers a wide range of customization options, including the ability to add a background color to your emails. But what if you want to change your mind? What if the color you chose no longer suits the tone of your message? That's where this guide comes in handy. Let's delve into the specifics of how to remove background color in an Outlook email.

A Peek Into Outlook's Colorful Capabilities

Before we get to the step-by-step guide, it's helpful to understand why you might have a background color in your Outlook email in the first place. Here are some common scenarios:

Emphasis: Similar to bolding or italicizing text, a background color can be used to emphasize specific content within your email.
Aesthetics: A background color can be used to enhance the visual appeal of your email and make it more engaging.
Branding: Companies often use a specific color scheme in their emails as part of their branding strategy.

However, a background color can be distracting or inappropriate in some situations. Fortunately, Outlook provides an easy way to remove it.

How to Remove Background Color in Outlook Email

When you want to remove the background color from an Outlook email, follow these steps:

1. Open the Email

Begin by opening the email with the background color you want to remove. If it's an email you're still composing, simply navigate to your drafts and select it.

2. Navigate to Options

Once you have your email open, you'll want to go to the 'Options' tab. This is where you can access various formatting and customization features.

3. Select Page Color

Within the 'Options' tab, locate and click on the 'Page Color' button in the 'Themes' group.

4. Choose No Color

When you click on 'Page Color', a dropdown menu will appear with a palette of colors. At the bottom of this palette, you'll find an option labeled 'No Color'. Click on it, and the background color will be removed from your email.

And there you have it. In just a few clicks, you can remove the background color from your Outlook email, returning it to its default white background.

Removing Background Colors from Text

If you've added background colors to specific parts of your text, rather than the whole email, the process to remove it is a little different. Here's what you need to do:

1. Select the Text

First, use your cursor to select the text with the background color you want to remove.

2. Navigate to Options

With your text selected, go to the 'Options' tab just like before.

3. Open the Text Highlight Color Menu

Look for the 'Text Highlight Color' button—it resembles a highlighter pen—and click on the dropdown arrow next to it.

4. Select No Color

In the dropdown menu, select the 'No Color' option to remove the background color from your selected text.

Whether you need to remove the background color from your entire email or just from specific text, these simple steps will help you achieve a clean and professional look.


Outlook's wide range of customization options is one of the reasons it's such a popular email client. But as we all know, sometimes less is more. If a background color is detracting from your message rather than enhancing it, don't be afraid to remove it. With this guide, you can do so quickly and easily, ensuring your emails always reflect the level of professionalism you desire.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I remove background color from an email in the Outlook mobile app?

Unfortunately, the Outlook mobile app doesn't currently support the removal of background color. You'll need to use the desktop version to make this change.

I removed the background color, but it's still showing up when I send the email. What's happening?

Ensure that you're saving your changes before you send the email. If you've definitely saved the changes but the problem persists, try restarting Outlook.

Can I set a default background color for all my emails?

Yes, you can. Go to 'File' > 'Options' > 'Mail' > 'Stationery and Fonts'. Click on 'Theme' and set the desired background color. Remember, though, that a background color may not always be appropriate.

How can I remove the background color from an email I received?

The background color of a received email is determined by the sender and can't be changed on the recipient's end. If you're finding the color distracting, consider copying the text into a new email or another application.

Why can't I see the 'Options' tab?

If you can't see the 'Options' tab, you're probably not in the editing mode of the email. Double-click the email to open it in its own window, and you should see the 'Options' tab.