How To Automatically Include a Signature in Outlook Emails

Adding a signature to your email message gives it a touch of professionalism. Throwing in a logo and your contact information provides a brand promotion to an otherwise drab correspondence. It grants those who wish to contact you by other means the ability to do so. Creating and using a signature in Microsoft Outlook is a simple enough task. You can even create multiple personalized signatures to switch to on a whim depending on your target audience.

However, Outlook will only attach a signature to newly sent or forwarded email messages. The emails you’ve sent prior to creating a signature will still be absent one. In order to add a signature to older messages, you’ll need to go into Outlook settings and change a few things.

Your signature can include text, images, your electronic business card, a logo, or even an image of your handwritten signature. You can set up Outlook so that signatures are automatically added to all outgoing messages or create your signature and add it to messages on a case-by-case basis.

Adding A Signature To Your Outlook Correspondence

The steps in sprucing up your emails with a signature will depend on the version of Outlook you’re currently using. There is a process for those using older versions of the software (2007 – 2010) and one for the newer versions (2010+) as well as Microsoft Office 365 users.

Let’s start with the newest versions.

Outlook Versions 2010+ Including Outlook for 365

To create a new signature for your Outlook email:

  1. Click to create a new email.
  2. Click on Signature and then Signatures from the “Message” tab.
    • Depending on the size of your Outlook window and whether you’re composing a new email message or a reply or forward, the “Message” tab and the Signature button might be in two different locations. However, the Signature button is usually accompanied by Attach File and Attach Item inside the “Include” section of the “Message” menu.
  3. In the “Email Signature” tab, just under the “Select signature to edit” box, choose New and add a name for your new signature in the “New Signature” dialog box.
  4. Just below “Edit signature”, compose your signature inside the provided area.
    • The window provides you the ability to change fonts, font colors, and sizes, as well as text alignment.
    • To add links and images to your email signature, change fonts and colors, and justify the text, you can do so by using the mini formatting bar under “Edit signature”.
    • You can even create a more robust signature with bullets, tables, or borders, using Microsoft Word to format your text. Then transfer it over using a simple copy (Ctrl+C) and paste (Ctrl+V) on the signature into the “Edit signature” box.
    • You can also add social media icons and links in your signature which I’ll touch on later.
  5. Once the signature is how you want it, under “Choose default signature”, set the following options:
    • Choose an email account to associate your signature with, by using the “Email account” drop-down. You can have different signatures for each email account you use for Outlook.
    • To have your signature added automatically to all future messages, click on the “New messages” drop-down and select a signature. If you’d prefer not to have it set as automatic by default, choose (none). This will make it so every new message you send has no signature at all including those forwarded and replied to.
    • For a signature to appear in your messages you reply to and forward, click on the “Replies/forwards” drop-down and select a signature. This will add that signature automatically anytime you reply or forward an email. To not have this set, choose (none) instead.
  6. Now that that is over, click the OK button to go back to save your signature and return to your new message.
    • It’s important to note that the current message you created the signature in will not have a signature in place. For some reason, the signature will only appear in the messages that follow. You’ll need to add the signature in manually if you were looking forward to using one.

Manually Inserting A Signature

For the new message you started for the purpose of creating a signature or those of you who don’t want a signature set automatically, you can still insert a signature manually.

To do so:

  1. With your email message open, click on the “Message” tab and select Signature.
  2. This will open a fly-out menu displaying all saved signatures you’ve created. Choose the signature you want to use from the options by clicking on it. It will now appear in your current message.

Adding A Logo or Image To Your Signature

Brands generally require logos. In order to add an image like a logo or social media icon to your signature:

  1. Open up a new email message and click on the “Message” tab.
  2. Click on Signature and then Signatures.
  3. Choose the signature you want to add the logo or image to by selecting it in the “Select signature to edit” box.
  4. Click on the Add Image icon, locate the image you want to add from your PC files, and then select Insert.
    • You can resize your image or logo by right-clicking the image and choosing Picture from the menu options. Click on the “Size” tab and use the options provided to resize your image to your specifications.
    • Keep the “Lock aspect ratio” box checked in order to maintain image proportions.
  5. Once the image is resized and ready to go, click OK.
  6. Follow this up by clicking on OK again to save all of the changes you’ve just made to your signature.

Microsoft Outlook Versions 2007 – 2010

To create a new signature using an older version of Microsoft Outlook:

  1. Opt to create a new message.
  2. Click over to the “Message” tab and select Signature from the “Include” section.
  3. Click on Signatures when it pops up.
  4. From the “E-mail Signature” tab, click New.
  5. Type in a name for your signature and then click the OK button.
  6. Type in the text you want to include in your signature, within the “Edit signature” box.
    • You can format your text by highlighting the text you want to edit and then using the style and formatting buttons for the options desired.
    • Adding additional elements such as images, hyperlinks, and e-business cards, click the spot where you want the element to appear and:
      • e-Business Card – Click the Business Card button and then click on one of the contacts in the “Filed As” list. Click the OK button.
      • Hyperlink – Click the Hyperlink icon and type in (or paste) the URL that your link will connect the text to. Click the OK button.
      • Image/Picture – Click the Image icon, locate the image you want to upload to your signature, select it, and then click the OK button.
  7. Once you’re finished with the edits, click OK in order to finalize the creation of your signature.
    • The email you currently have open in order to create the signature will not have the signature automatically added into it. You will need to do so manually.

Adding The Signature To Your Email Messages

Signatures can be added automatically or manually to all outgoing messages, replies, and forwards. Only one signature can be used per email sent out so if you choose to have one set automatically, it would be best if the signature was geared to a wider range of audience.

To automatically insert a signature into your email message:

  1. Create a new email.
  2. Head over to the “Message” tab and click on Signature located in the Include section.
  3. Click on Signatures when it pops up.
  4. Locate “Choose default signature”, click on the “E-mail account list” drop-down, choose an email account with which you want to associate a signature.
  5. Select the signature you want to include by choosing one from the “New messages” list.
    • For forwards and replies, to add a signature, choose a signature from the “Replies/forwards drop-down list. Click (none) if you’d prefer to not have a signature go out with your reply and forward email messages.
  6. Click OK to save your signature settings.

To manually add a signature into your email message:

  1. Create a new email message.
  2. Click over to the “Message” tab.
  3. Click on Signature, found in the “Include” section.
  4. Choose the signature you want to insert by clicking on it directly.

The signature will now appear in your outgoing message. If you chose incorrectly or just want to delete the signature you’ve added, highlight the signature in the message and click Delete (or Backspace) on your keyboard.

Using a Microsoft Office 365 Account with

For those using Outlook on the web with a Microsoft Office 365 account, you’ll need to create a signature in both products.

To create and use email signatures in Outlook on the web:

  1. Sign in to your account and open up your Settings by clicking the Cog Wheel icon at the top of the page.
  2. Click on Mail, then Compose and reply.
  3. Type in your signature in the Email signature area.
    • You can use the formatting options provided to alter the appearance of your signature to your liking.
    • You can have only one signature per account.
    • To make the signature appear automatically by default for all future messages, put a checkmark into the “Automatically include my signature on new messages I compose” box. This makes it so all future composed emails have your signature appear at the bottom.
    • Forwards and replies will need a checkmark in the “Automatically include my signature on messages I forward or reply to” box.
    • By not checking either of these options, you’ll need to manually add your signature to every email message you compose going forward.
  4. When finished with the edits, click Save.

To add your signature manually:

  1. In your mailbox, choose New message.
  2. Compose your message in full and click on the triple-dot icon.
  3. From here, choose Insert signature.
  4. Once your message is ready to go out, click on the Send button.

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