Unless you (or other authorized users) are downloading Hotmail messages using an email program like Windows Live Mail, all new emails that appear inside your Inbox, Junk mail folder, or any other email folder if you have created email rules to automatically file messages - all these new emails will appear as "Unread". In the default Hotmail theme, unread emails will have a light yellow, closed envelope icon, as shown on the screenshot below: first email is Read, and the second is Unread.
This tutorial explains how to mark an email message as Unread after it's been read. We'll also show you how to mark multiple emails as unread at once - a time saver, and no need to do it for one single email after the other!
Tip: the latest version of Hotmail includes "Active View" filters that allow you to customize which messages you want to see - for example, how to only show Unread emails.
The easiest way to mark a selected email as unread is to right-click on it, and choose "Mark as unread" from the context menu that opens:
Another way is to check the email message's checkbox, then click on the "Mark as" menu at the top, and choose "Unread":
Hotmail.com also lets you mark several email messages as Unread at the same time; in this case, select one-by-one each email by clicking on its checkbox. Once all emails you want to mark as unread have been selected, just click on the "Mark as" menu in the toolbar at the top, and choose "Unread" from the dropdown menu.
Hotmail Tip: if you want to mark the currently selected email message as unread in Windows Live Hotmail, you can also use a keyboard shortcut! The default keyboard shortcut to mark the current email as unread is Ctrl+U.