As we saw in the previous tutorial, you can move the Hotmail Reading Pane to are right or bottom of the screen; but did you know that you can also completely hide the message preview pane and only show email messages? This approach is especially useful on netbooks, which have a small screen resolution. Hiding the Reading Pane allows you to see more on screen, and open emails only as needed.
Once you have logged into your Hotmail account, go to your inbox (or any other email folder, for that matter). You should be looking at your emails on one side, and the Reading Pane on the other: depending on your current settings, this could be either messages at the top, and current email preview at the bottom, or email listing on the left, and Reading Pane shown on the right hand side.
Either way, to hide the Reading Pane altogether, locate the "Options" menu near the top right corner of the page, and click on it: when the dropdown menu appears, you will see three choices under "Reading Pane Settings". Select "Off" to hide (turn off) the Reading Pane, and see how Hotmail.com applies the change immediately:
Now that the Hotmail Reading Pane is hidden, you will only see a listing of email messages for the currently selected folder. When you want to open and read an email in particular, just double-click on it, and it will open in its own window, hiding everything but the standard and custom email folders on the left of the screen.
Once a message is opened, you can either navigate to the previous or next email by using the blue up or down arrow buttons, or you can return to the email folder listing of messages by clicking on the "Back to messages" link, as shown below:
Hotmail Tip: hiding the Reading Pane is a "persistent setting", which is attached to your email account, not specifically to the computer and web browser you happened to be using when you hid it. In other words, the next time you login to Hotmail from another PC/Mac, you'll notice that the Reading Pane is still hidden!