How to Send Secure Email in Outlook

Outlook 365 Send Encrypted Secure Email

Privacy is very important to many people. In a world where information is easily looked up and accessed from a variety of sources, knowing that the people you interact with on a day-to-day basis value your privacy is highly valuable. One way to ensure both your privacy and the privacy of the person you are interacting with is by sending secure emails.

By sending secure emails in Outlook, you can make it much less likely that hackers will be able to access any sensitive information either in the emails themselves or by accessing your login credentials, which they then may be able to use to access other accounts. However, sending secure emails when you are in Outlook requires more than just the desire, there are certain steps you need to take. What are those steps? Read on to find out. 

How Do I Send a Secure Email in Outlook?

There are a couple of ways that you can send a secure email. You can either send a single email privately with an older version of Outlook, the most recent version of Outlook, or on an Outlook webpage if you are away from your work computer for whatever reason. Let’s discuss how to do each of those.  

Sending an Encrypted Email on Outlook 365

To send a single email securely with Outlook 365, you will take the following steps: 

1. Click on the button labeled “New Email.” As with the older version, it is located in the top-left area of the window underneath the button labeled “File.”

Outlook 365 - New Email

Once the email window opens up, put in all the necessary information. This includes your recipient, any CC recipients, your subject, and any attachments you are including.

2. Click on the button labeled “Options.” This button is located at the top of the window, fourth from the left.

Outlook 365 - Options

3. Click on the button labeled “Encrypt.” The Encrypt button will be located underneath the “Format Text” button and will have a picture of a lock on it.

You will now have four options for how to encrypt your email: “Encrypt Only”, “Do Not Forward”, “Confidential”, and “Confidential View Only”. 

To send a secure email to those outside your network, you will choose “Encrypt Only.

Outlook 365 Encrypt

4. Once you have chosen to encrypt, click “Send.

Outlook 365 - Send

Sending an Encrypted Email on Outlook Webpage

Finally, we will take a look at how to send a secure email when you do not have access to your work computer and have to send it on a webpage. First, log in to your outlook via Once you are logged in you will do the following:

1. Click the “New Message” button. It will be located in the top left of the window.

Outlook 365 Web - New Message

2. Next, fill in all the information as you would if you were on Outlook on your desktop. This includes subject, recipient, etc.

3. Then, click the “Encrypt” button. It will be located right above the message itself and will have a picture of a lock on it.

Outlook 365 Web - Encrypt

Once you have clicked “Encrypt”, the message should automatically encrypt. This will be signified by a message above the recipient box.

Outlook 365 Web - Encryption Confirmed

If you want to change the type of encryption, you can click on the text in blue beside the Encryption message. This will give you the same options that you have in Outlook on your desktop.

Receiving and Reading the Encrypted Email

1. The recipient will receive an email with a message that states they have received a protected message from you. They will then see a message that states that you have sent them a secure message, with two options beneath for how they can sign in to view the message:

  1. Sign in with Google (if they have a google email account) or
  2. Sign in with a One-Time Passcode.
Open with one time passcode

If they are in their google account, all they will need to do is to click the “Sign in with Google” option, and they will be able to view the message. If they choose to use “Sign in with a One-Time Passcode”, they will be sent a four-digit code that they will have to enter. Once they do, they will be able to view the email. 

Enter one time code

2. After entering the one-time passcode, the encrypted email message will be visible:

Decrypted Message


Sending secure emails is important for a variety of reasons. Most especially to keep hackers from being able to access your account via keystrokes, or for sensitive information (such as medical information) becoming public. Whether you have an older version of Outlook, are using Outlook 365, or are accessing Outlook via a webpage, you will be able to send an email safely and securely.

If you are using the older version of Outlook, after you have filled out the email box with the recipient, subject, text, and attachments, you will click on the “Send as Private” button and follow the directions. If you are using Microsoft 365 or are logging in on the web, then you need to click the Encrypt button to send a secure message. Whichever way you choose, you can be sure that your email will be sent safely and away from any prying eyes. 

Scroll to Top