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How to add an email signature in Outlook

Here's how to set up the perfect sign-off for your Outlook emails.
christina-darby-headshot
Written by Christina Darby, Associate Editor on
Woman working with laptop computer.Hands at work with Digital Technology.Working on desk environment.Social Distancing space between yourself and other people outside of home.
Nomad Outing/Moment via Getty Images

When sending an email to a new recipient, higher-up boss, or hopeful employer, we often stress over the content of the email. After you've crafted your undoubtedly spotless message, however, it's good practice to leave a signature that reminds the recipient of who you are, what you do, and how to get in contact. 

A signature at the end of an email not only acts as a stamp of professionalism but can be a way to avoid having to manually sign your name after every message on a busy day. Plus, in providing your name, role, company, social media handles, and cellphone number, the virtual signature is practically an electronic business card.  

With that, here's how to add the feature on Outlook for the web and mobile.

Adding a signature from the computer 

Step 1: Sign into Microsoft 

Whether you're accessing Outlook from an internet browser or desktop app, first make sure you are signed into your Microsoft account. If you have multiple accounts, double-check that you're logged into the one that you'd like to designate the signature. 

Step 2: Open your settings 

Once you're signed in, click the settings icon (gear) in the upper right corner of your mailbox and look to the very bottom for the "view all Outlook settings" option.

microsoft-outlook-view-settings-screenshot
Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Step 3: Composing the signature 

You should now see a bigger settings menu. From there, select Mail > Compose and reply.

microsoft-outlook-compose-and-reply
Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Under the "Email Signature" option, select "New Signature." In the "Edit signature name" box, add your first and last name to identify your signature. 

In the text box below, retype your first and last name and consider adding your job title/role, current employer, any social media handles that are relevant to your work (and you want relevant people to find) such as Twitter and LinkedIn, and any other contact phone numbers or email addresses.

More: Best email hosting services

Formatting Tips

You can use the formatting features to bold specific text sections, underline, or make a different font -- the layout of the tools is similar to that of a Word document. 

If you do want to incorporate any social media handles, it may be helpful to use the hyperlink tool to directly link your platform to the text.

formatting-tools-email-signature

An example of what an email signature can look like with a hyperlink. 

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Step 4: Saving 

Once you have perfected and customized your signature, select "save." All of your outbound emails should now include your personalized signature. To test, send a mock email to yourself or a colleague.

Step 5: Setting a default signature 

After hitting "save," you will also have the option to select a default signature. That is, deciding whether you want to attach your signature to new messages, replies and forwarded messages, or both. There may be moments when you'd rather not include your signature, like in a quick response email or when you're forwarding a message to a coworker. Whichever you decide is a personal preference.

Step 6: Test 

All of your outbound emails should now include your personalized signature. To test, send a mock email to yourself or a colleague.

More: Microsoft's new Outlook client is live. Have you updated yours?

Adding a signature from your phone

Whether you're commuting or working on the weekend, sending emails from our phones is commonplace, and adding your personal signature is much better than having the default "sent from iPhone" or "download Outlook" message at the bottom.

Step 1: Downloading Microsoft Exchange/Outlook

If you want to add your signature to your iPhone or Android, make sure that you have downloaded the latest version of the Microsoft Exchange/Outlook app, and then sign in.

Step 2: Open your settings

You can access the settings of your Outlook app by clicking the account profile icon on the upper left and then the "settings" icon (gear) at the bottom of the tab. 

microsoft-outlook-mobile-app-settings
Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Step 3: Add your signature

Like on the computer, select the "Signature" option and then input your information.

microsoft-outlook-mobile-app-signature
Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Unlike the web version, however, the format tools are no longer available, so the mobile signature is less personalizable.

Also: How to encrypt your email and why you should

microsoft-outlook-365-signature-mobile-version
Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

There you have it! 

Still have some questions? Here's a mini FAQ session before you go. 

How do I make my Outlook signature look professional?

Lucky for you, Microsoft Outlook has a gallery of signature templates you can download for free to add professional and personal flair to your signature. The templates include unique colors, proper spacing, and the choice to link your social media profiles to icon widgets. 

Also, it doesn't hurt to draw inspiration from your colleagues' signatures!

How do I make my signature automatic in Outlook?

If you want to attach your signature to every email you respond to, send, compose, or forward, make sure you select your name as the "default signature." On a computer, the option will appear after you have input your name and information. If you select your name as the "default" option for both new messages and replies and forwards, then your signature automatically follows every email. On your mobile device, the signature should automatically save once you input your information into the "signature" option. 

I set my signature, but it keeps changing automatically?

If your signature keeps changing and your Outlook account is linked to your place of work, especially a corporate office, chances are that IT has overridden any changes you've made to your signature. Whether those changes are manual or automated is not certain, so talk to your IT department and they should be able to help you make the right changes. 

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