How to disable or turn off the Panning Hand cursor in Outlook 2007

If you’re using Outlook 2007 and you have a mysterious “Panning hand” cursor that won’t let you select text in an email, and want to turn it off, but can’t find the option, here’s how:


  1. Click the Customize Quick Access Toolbar pull down:
  2. Choose “More Commands…”
  3. In the next window, click the drop down box and choose “Commands not in the Ribbon”
  4. Scroll down until you find “Panning Hand” and then click “Add >>”
  5. Click OK.
  6. The Hand will now appear in the toolbar.
  7. Click the Hand to disable Panning Hand
  8. You can now select/copy/highlight text 😀


Update: For Outlook 2010, try pressing the “Esc” key on your keyboard.


Did it work? Leave a comment! 🙂

Written by Phil Wiffen

Phil is an IT Professional working in Cambridge, England. He generally blogs about useful solutions that he comes across in his work/play.



Many thanks!

Any idea how it gets enabled in the first place (shortcut key, maybe)?

(I don’t have a Quick Access Toolbar, nor any way to enable it, and I can’t find any mention of a “panning hand” in the Help file.)

Phil Wiffen

Hey Max,

I wish I knew – it’d certainly be easier to undo!

(This mysteriously got enabled on a co-worker’s laptop and I was just asked to fix it)


to get to the Quick Access toolbar, click on any of the email message in the Inbox to open the message. A new window will appear with the Quick Access toolbar on the top left corner. Then follow the instruction in message 1 above.


Thanks for the directions. This has been irritating. Followed your directions – then DISCOVERED that there is a panning hand icon on the Preview Pane. Check the ICON right above the Vertical SCROLL bar – on my copy there is a panning hand icon to toggle panning on and off. Gawd – the difference between ON and off is ridiculously NON obvious!

Miguel A. Garces

This just happened to me. You most likely accidently clicked on it as I did since it appears on every message and on the preview window. Look at the top right of the body window, above the scroll, if your message has one. There it is … the pan hand toggle.

Phil – thanks for the info – do you know how to disable it from there?

Michael Montgomery

Thanks, I looked in a lot of places to turn this off. I don’t know if I accidentally turned it on (I “discovered” the palming hand icon at the top of the vertical scroll bar through reading the above comments) or if IT somehow turned it on with one of their “helpful” upgrades.


That worked a treat! Was getting really frustrated with that – how annoying!

Many thanks.



You can enable/disable this feature by clicking on the little hand above message scroll bar.

Phil Wiffen

I’d seen that solution elsewhere, too. However, on the PC I was working on, it didn’t have that little hand icon above the message scroll bar :/

Bill Quist

Thanks, Looking through the comments, I found where that hand is on the inbox. I often copy text from my inbox, and was getting frustrated.

Terry O'Donnell

Great fix, I was getting demented with frustration. Thank you.


Thanks so much! This was driving me NuTS too!! I have no idea how it was enabled in the first place.

Mary Travers

Very helpful, I’m so glad it could be sorted. Many thanks

Don Brunder

This article got me started on solving this pesky problem. In my Outlook 2007 there is a “Turn on/off Panning Hand” icon (a hand of course) at the top right of the preview and reading text panes.

Zoe DJ

Phil you are genious!! After months of frustration and forwarding emails to my private e-mail just to be able to copy and paste important text … argghh!

This problem (not to mention finding the right words to describe the problem to find an answer) is finally, amazingly gone!!

Thanks to everyone else too for discovering and pointing out where the problem started … if only I’d have thought about looking around my screen for the pesky little hand icon to be able to get rid of it!!

One thousand thanks Zoe DJ

Dan B

Ok I did and it did not work. I also cannot find it on the scroll bar
Someone at microsoft needs fired

help help


Great – worked straightaway. I’ve spent ages trying to figure out why it suddenly started in the first place! – still clueless.

Thanks for your tip!


I’ll chime in with the ‘driving me nuts’ comments. Infuriating that MS had this absurdly disabling option (who the heck DOESN’T want to select text in an email every once in while?) so non-intuitively able to turn off once it gets turned on somehow (me, too, not knowing how ti got turned on months ago.. every time I would try to select text, I’d be infuriated, but would just manually copy the data. Only reason I Googled it now was because I had to copy a very complex code out of the email).

Thanks! You link was the top link for Google when I entered in the search terms:

“Microsoft Outlook 2007 get rid of hand”

Blake Schreck

Thanks so much…its been driving me cazy. (or more crazy)


Thanks so much, Phil! Glad I Googled this problem and came up with your answer. This appeared when a friend of mine was using my computer, and I’ve suffered with it for weeks. Now that I know how to fix it, I ought to enable the Panning Hand when he uses my computer again just to annoy him…”Well, it doesn’t happen when I use the computer”…blah, blah, blah! Thanks again! P.S. I’ve added your site to my Favorites as I’m sure I’ll be back.


Thanks much! I am very curious how, after years of using Outlook, and about 18 months in Vista, all of a sudden this happened. What caused the problem to which your solution was clearly they answer?


Thank you SO much! This has been driving me absolutely crazy! Maybe I’ll get my sanity back now !

Lam Nguyen


Thanks so much for your instruction!




Thanks a million!!!!!!!!!

It is so clear and easy. I am so glad to found this help!

Good Job


Thanks much. This has been a real thorn in my side.
You solved the issue and stress.


Sport on and Fantastic, thank you very much.
Easy when you know how. Why do MS do this weird stuff?

Pat C

Thanks for much – I have been wasting time searching on microsoft help. finding the 2 locations were it was affecting me saved me lots of time.

Phil Poffenberger

Wow!! Thanks a million, I have looked for weeks through all of Microsoft’s help stuff and found absolutly nothing about this problem. I don’t know where the problem started but it was driving me crazy. Thanks for the help. Phil


It’s been driving me nuts too.
I just pressed my esc key while in Outlook 2010 and that’s fixed it.


Worked like a charm! You’re my hero!

This is just one of the reasons I truly LOATHE Windows 7. There are far too many “automatic helpful” things going on. I’ve been using computers for 20+ years, now. I don’t need this sort of “predictive” UX. Let me turn stuff on, if I want it. UGH.

Vaughn Parry

Thanks! I downloaded Microsofts latest virus (aka SP1 for 7 Pro) and it change this setting for me. Very frustrating when microsoft breaks your system and then wants $60 to fix it. What a racket! I’m one more crash away from going MAC!


thanks for this tip – i couldn’t find it anywhere in the Microsoft docs
outlook 2010

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