The undeletable Outlook folder, episode 2

I had another undeletable Outlook folder, and all my tricks for cajoling Outlook into letting me delete it failed. I already deleted all the items in it, emptied it of offline items, deleted all the failures from my Sync Issues folder, but still I couldn't delete the folder.

But I came up with a new trick.

I moved the folder out of its normal location and made it a direct child of "Mailbox". As a result, it was no longer part of the list of synchronzized folders. I synchronized one more time, and then Outlook let me delete the folder.

As I noted before, I don't know if this'll work for you, but it's another trick you can add to your bag.

(And I still have three folders that I can't delete, despite trying both this trick and the previous one.)

Comments (11)
  1. Mark Steward says:

    I know little about Outlook, but I’ve seen extensions causing all sorts of folder issues – have you tried safe mode (outlook /safe)?

  2. Brian Hoyt says:

    This is one of the reasons I keep a VPC image around with the final version of Exchange 5.0 client from Outlook 97 SR-2.  It has no problems deleting anything.  Also it lets you move multiple folders around in an explorer like folder list view.  For some reason these features were removed within Outlook.

  3. Scott says:

    whenever I’ve had a folder Outlook won’t let me delete, I’ve been able to do so with Outlook Web Access. Could try that.

  4. David Brooks says:

    I have an unrenameable Outlook folder. Once upon a time, many years ago, Exchange dogfood had a little amnesia, and decided my Drafts folder was a regular mail folder, noticed I didn’t have a folder for drafts, so created a new folder which of course had to be called Drafts1. This setup has survived server moves and upgrades. I left the regular folder in place hoping, oh, I don’t know, maybe one day some fairy godmother would come along and restore the canonical state of affairs.

    But even if I move the regular folder "Drafts" to trash (which I can), it won’t let me rename Drafts1 because, you know, you can’t delete or rename a special folder. Even if it doesn’t have the right name.

    It’s just a little oddity that I have no problem living with.

  5. Derek Leung says:

    David: If it even annoys you a little, you can run: "outlook.exe /resetfoldernames" which will (unsurprisingly enough), reset all the special folder names to the originals.

  6. Igor says:

    Derek said:

    "If it even annoys you a little, you can run: "outlook.exe /resetfoldernames""

    Funny, like if there was ever a way to rename them in the first place?!?

  7. Norman Diamond says:

    There is a way to rename Outlook’s special folders.  When installing the English language pack on a client, it even changes the folder names for that user on servers that it can access.  (I don’t know what happens if a server isn’t accessible at the time the language pack is installed.)

  8. boxmonkey says:

    We just recently had a hell of a time setting up a front-end Exchange server for OWA. We don’t have an SSL certificate yet (don’t ask, the beaurocracy here is ridiculous), so we had forms based authentication disabled. It would not let us login even from the front-end server, though we could log in to the backend server fine. After a couple weeks of messing with it, someone had the bright idea of turning on forms based authentication even though it’s only for use with SSL, and viola, it works like a charm.

    Now we can wait a year to get approval for the SSL certificate through the chain of command, and see if that breaks anything new. :P

  9. Sven Groot says:

    Igor, the outlook.exe /resetfoldernames option is specifically to fix localisation issues.

    For instance if I use a Dutch version of Outlook and I connect to my Exchange mailbox for the first time, it will create Dutch folder names as it should. But if someone sends me an e-mail before I have ever connected, the folders will be created using the language of Exchange, usually English.

    In this case /resetfoldernames would allow me to recreate them in Dutch.

  10. Dewi Morgan says:

    I have to say, the "eat your own dogfood" ethos in MS is one of the things that really impresses me.

  11. DrPizza says:

    OWA is much better at deleting errant folders than Outlook.

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