After a recent Windows update, I noticed a change in the behavior of Outlook and Edge.

When I click a link in an email message, it opens a web page in a browser. This behavior has been true for many years. But now, the browser contains a sidebar with the email message, as shown in Fig. 1.

Outlook Pane

Fig. 1

The sidebar is often a useful feature, but not in this context - at least not for me. It adds no value and takes up valuable screen space, so I end up closing it 99.9% of the time.

In this article, I will show you how to toggle this feature on and off.

Click the "Settings and More" button (Fig. 2) to expand the menu shown in Fig. 3.

Edge Menu Button

Fig. 2

Edge Menu

Fig. 3

Select [Settings] to open the "Settings" blade, as shown in Fig. 4.

Settings blade

Fig. 4

Click the [Sidebar] button (Fig. 5) to open the "Sidebar" blade, as shown in Fig. 6.

Sidebar Button

Fig. 5

Sidebar Blade

Fig. 6

Under the "App specific settings" section, click the [Outlook] button (Fig. 7) to open the "App and notification settings / Outlook" dialog, as shown in Fig. 8.

Outlook Button

Fig. 7

Outlook Blade

Fig. 8

Toggle the switch next to "Automatically open Outlook email context in the side pane. Turn it off if you do not want this sidebar displayed when you click a link in an email message. Turn it on if you like this behavior. There is no [Save] button. The setting is automatically and immediately saved.

Decide whether or not you want this feature and change this setting according to your preferences.