Can't select text or graphics from email in Outlook in Edge

Fixed Issue #8728928


Rhys D.
Sep 1, 2016
This issue is public.
Found in
  • Microsoft Edge
Found in build #
Reported by 7 people

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Steps to reproduce

  1. Open email at using Edge
  2. Try to select plain text, by click-dragging with mouse - doesn’t select
  3. Try to select an image my left-clicking, or lassoing - doesn’t select

Open in Chrome


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    Comments and activity

    • Microsoft Edge Team

      Changed Assigned To to “Brad E.”

    • I am having the same problem with outlook using Edge browser. Quite annoying that the website doesnt work as it should using official Microsoft software.

    • Can you provide a bit more details, please? When I try and select plain text inside of an email message I am able to do so without any issues. 

      Additionally, I am able to select images - when I do so, Edge will split the image and message on the left and right, respectively. 

      Maybe I am not understanding what you are experiencing what you mean by ‘selecting’ the text.

    • The “problem” seems to exist in Edge-Outlook "message preview".
      I found that if you double-click message to open message, then you can use mouse to select text and copy it at will.

    • I’m having the same issue. on Edge, Windows 10. Not possible to select the text in an e-mail. Not only in message preview, but also in full view.
      @Brad, selecting text means: keep the mouse button pressed an drag the mouse over the text so it gets selected. Everyone does it.

    • It now seems to be fine on Microsoft Edge 38.14393.0.0 with Microsoft EdgeHTML 14.14393

    • Thank you for the additional input - I am also testing on the current public stable version which is 14393. If you are still not able to select text I would recommend updating to this version in order to receive the fix.

      I’ll mark the item as fixed - but will keep an eye on this (temporarily) in case it resurfaces.

      All the best,
      The MS Edge Team

    • Microsoft Edge Team

      Changed Status to “Fixed”

    • Thanks for the feedback! Unfortunately, the problem is not fixed for me. I updated to the 14393 version. Sometimes I can indeed select the text in one e-mail, but after reading another e-mail, I can’t select the text in that one or any mail message. Restarting Edge sometimes fixes the problem temporarily, but as far as I’m concerned, this is not fixed.

    • Interesting. It might be hardware dependent. Can you upload a dxdiag so we can take a look?

      Based on the fact that it is fixed only sometimes when you restart would suggest that it is also intermittent in nature.  Is this correct?

    • see!At3aNBTfPRiEu8c7tMb-o-hwA87jlg for dxdiag.
      It is intermittent, but most of the time, selecting is not possible for me.

    • One can sometimes select and then not. I have found that there sometimes just seems to be a DELAY where after one can select something again, and other times you need to restart Edge. It is therefore possible that it might be waiting for something to complete before one can select text?

    • I’m also facing this problem.

      • open on Edge
      • click on a message so it is shown in the Reading Pane.
      • try to select some text in the message. The text gets selected as expected.
      • click on another message, try to select some text in the Reading Pane. Nothing gets selected (the mouse cursor shows the text selection cursor, but nothing is highlighted).
      • Close the tab (or press CTRL + R), click a message. The first time selecting works, on subsequent tries it doesn’t work.

      If you open and then click on another of the folders at the left and then click on an email and try to select some text in the Reading Pane, it doesn’t select anything.

      By the way, the problem persists with the Reading Pane on the right, the bottom or off.

      It works as expected in Chrome, Firefox and IE 11
      Windows Build is: 14393.576.
      Microsoft Edge 38.14393.0.0
      Microsoft EdgeHTML 14.14393

      This was on my main PC. I additionally tried this out on my Surface Pro 4, and it doesn’t work either. The first time I click (with the trackpad on the Surface Keyboard or with the Pen) on an Email, I can select text on the Reading Pane. If I click on another E-Mail or change the Folder I can’t select text in the Reading Pane anymore.


    • Microsoft Edge Team

      Changed Status from “Fixed”

      Changed Assigned To to “Sermet I.”

      Changed Assigned To from “Sermet I.” to “Ted D.”

      Changed Status to “Confirmed”

      Changed Assigned To from “Ted D.” to “Scott L.”

      Changed Assigned To from “Scott L.” to “Kiril S.”

    • It happens to me too, so as to I have to use chrome again, I have to use my outlook email everyday, can’t bear that I can not even select text in reading panel.

    • I am having the exact same issue and found this thread through a search. webmail will not allow me to select text in an email. This just started a few weeks ago. I’ve been using Edge to access without this issue for almost two years. This issue does NOT exist in Internet Explorer 11 or Chrome (I can select text normally). Until this is resolved, I will use Chrome.

    • I am having the same problem as Richard L. The problem started when outlook stopped asking me if I wanted to pay to not get ads.

    • I cannot believe this issue is not resolved after all these months. We have a new computer with Windows 10 and Edge. Highlighting to copy and paste is not available in Outlook. Solution: Use another browser.

    • Now Jan 2018 and I’m having the same problem as others.

      I’m using Windows 10. I can’t highlight text in Outlook in Edge. I can in Word. I can in Chrome.

      Anyone want to use me as a test case?

      Brian R

    • I had same issue loooooong time ago and eventually resorted to using the Mail App of Windows 10. I have office 365 but reluctantly opt to rather use the Windows 10 Mail app.
      Issues with mail:

      • web app is very good, but has this crippling issue.
      • MS Outlook still does not tie in properly with Windows 10 sharing functionality (when you want to send to mail from browser)
      • Mail app lacks other functionality of MS Outlook
    • I just purchased a new laptop & have the same problem being unable to highlight text in outlook mail. I purchased Microsoft home & student .

    • Any update on this issue? It continues to be a problem in Edge, regardless of which computer I am using. On rare occasion, highlighting text will work, and I’ve found if I move the mouse very quickly while click-and-holding, it will select a couple of lines, but that’s it.

      Can we please get this prioritized? It’s kind of a big deal, and a bit of a ridiculous problem.

    • Might be a settings issue. I have the same problem. But I can’t highlight, copy or paste when using Outlook on IE 11 in Windows 10 and Windows 7 (I have to use that b/c I use U.S. government pages that use Java). Opening in Edge, or any other browser, seems to work fine. Seems to follow me around to different computers.

    • EASY WORKAROUND I had the same problem, found that after I did Ctrl+click/drag I could select text as we all expect, double-click = word select, triple-click=paragraph, etc. WITHOUT having to hold Ctrl key down. Did the Ctrl+click a few times then it worked without it. Strange problem that should be fixed. This survived a restart of edge and a re-login to Some selects survived a reboot, some did not (click-drag). Strange, but easy enough to use Ctrl click to get it back.

      Windows 10 Pro, Microsoft Edge 41.16299.248.0

    • Interesting… I just tried Micah’s workaround, which didn’t exactly work as described, but here’s what I found:

      In an Outlook email message in Edge, holding Ctrl and clicking selects the entire paragraph (without dragging - just clicking).

      Holding Shift and clicking selects the text from the last place I clicked up to where the mouse is currently. (How it knows where I last clicked is a mystery.)

      I can never get select to work without holding Ctrl or Shift.

      So this isn’t the same as “click and drag to select text,” but could be a viable work-around until this bug is fixed (which might be never).

    • Hi Richard and Micah,

      I saw that this old bug is still active and looked into it today. I’m sorry you’re seeing an issue still. I can’t replicate the problem - I’ve used both the “old” Outlook UI and the new Beta experience and I can single click, double click, triple click and click/drag to select a mixture of text and graphics inside a reading pane of a selected email. I’ve tried on the Fall Windows 10 Update (the current release - 16.16299 and the Insider Preview builds. 

      Are you on build 16299 of Edge? If you’d be willing to share this more with us, the best way for us to see this on your machine is using the Recording feature of the Feedback hub. This was we’ll collect system information, screen shots and debug data to have a closer look at what’s happening. Let me know when you’ve done that and I’ll close out this bug. Here’s the steps to send that feedback:

      1. Open the Feedback Hub app on your device
      1. Click on the “Feedback” tab
      1. Click on the “+ Add new feedback” button
      1. Click "Problem", fill in the title/details and select “Microsoft Edge” as the category and the “Website issues” subcategory
      1. Under "Recreate my problem", press “Start capture”
      1. Once the capture has started, run through the steps required to reproduce your issue
      1. Click “Stop capture” back in the Feedback Hub app
      1. Attach a screenshot of the behavior (if it’s not a crash or hang)
      1. Press “Submit”
    • Thanks for looking at this Richard. To aid troubleshooting, here is some more info:
      I have the exact symptoms above but on IE 11 using outlook email. I just now was able to use the methods of Richard to get the exact same results (cntl-click and the mysterious shift-click). Also the symptoms seem to follow me around to different computers. At home I use IE 11 on Windows 7. At work IE 11 on Windows 10. Same thing both places. No obvious settings in the gear icon to change that might fix it.
      BUT, on Edge, I do NOT have the problem. I can select, highlight, copy and paste to my heart’s content in outlook email. Chrome also works fine.

    • Microsoft Edge Team

      Changed Status from “Confirmed” to “Fixed”

    • Jason,
      Thanks for looking into this. However, it is NOT fixed. The problem still exists. I have submitted feedback through the Feedback Hub app per your request. Hope it gets fixed soon.

    • The problem definitely still exists. I’ve been struggling with it for months. When I use the Edge browser and sign into, I cannot use my mouse to highlight text in the body of an email message. I want to use Edge with Outlook, but this is a very annoying glitch that needs to be fixed. Please continue to work on this. Thanks!

    • I just tried selecting text in an email that I was composing and in one that someone sent me, and it works now!! Thank you so much for fixing this!

    • Not fixed for me – still can’t select text in an email using click-and-drag. I’ve been using the work-around of clicking from where I want to start selecting, holding shift, and then clicking at the end of the section. This seems to work, but it’s not what I’ve been doing for my entire life. Still waiting for this to be fixed.

    • Not fixed for me. Opening each mail in a pop up then selection works fine but is slow. Using the control and shift keys also works for me (but what a pain). Using a different browser works.

    • It only worked for me for a week or so. Now I’m back to the same frustration! It’s hard to understand why this glitch has not been resolved yet.

    • It works again now. I’m jumping for joy! I hope it is fixed for everyone else too. Thanks!

    • So I can manage to select text using the super-secret formula of control-click and then shift-click.

      That is SO MUCH BETTER than just highlighting the text with the mouse the way we’ve been doing for decades. Thank you, thank you, Microsoft, for disabling even the most basic functionality in every new and “improved” program you roll out. Helps to keep our lives interesting and we get to have so much fun Googling (Bing is a piece of crap) to find solutions for things we always used to be able to do easily.

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