The Delete button is disabled in Outlook's Inbox

Last reviewed on September 18, 2014   —  3 comments

Several users noticed the Delete button was missing when a message was selected in the Inbox:

I recently switched email accounts and the Delete button is disabled and some of my messages are missing. The Delete key on the keyboard will delete messages, only the Delete button in the Home ribbon and the right-click menu for selected e-mail(s) is disabled.

This is the result of exporting an IMAP data file to a pst file or opening IMAP pst files in Outlook. The folders retain certain IMAP features, one of which is the Delete button doesn't work as expected. (In IMAP, it purges.) To fix it, you need to edit the Inbox folder using MFCMAPI and change the PR_CONTAINER_CLASS to IPF.Note.

  1. Get MFCMAPI . If you have 64 bit office, you need 64 bit MFCMAPI.
  2. Open MFCMAPI, go to Session, Logon
  3. Select your profile
  4. Double-click on the affected data store.
  5. Expand Root - Mailbox
  6. Expand Top of Information Store or IPM_Subtree
  7. Select Inbox
  8. Look for PR_CONTAINER_CLASS in the right pane, double-click on it.
    edit the folder properties
  9. Change IPF.IMAP to IPF.Note then click OK to close the dialog.
    change the container class to ipf.note
  10. Repeat for each folder that was exported from an IMAP data file.
  11. When you are finished, close the MFCMAPI window, click Session, Logoff on the last MFCMAPI window.

Video Tutorial

About Diane Poremsky

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlook forums by

3 responses to “The Delete button is disabled in Outlook's Inbox”

  1. Daniel Michael

    Downloaded 64 bit version, installed and started it. No errors.
    1st: didn't know which account to double click on, so I tried doing both.
    The instructions above are not accurate with Outlook 2013.
    So I improvised as best as I could.
    Next, couldn't find the "PR_CONTAINER_CLASS " anywhere in either of them..

  2. Sergio

    Worked fine on Outlook 2007. I was using Imap, then switched to Pop3 .
    Tanks Diane!

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