How to Hide or Delete Outlook's Default Folders

Last reviewed on December 29, 2013

I get a lot of questions asking how to delete the default folders, such as Junk E-mail, RSS, and Suggested Contacts, that Microsoft Outlook creates in the default data files. While I don't recommend deleting the default folders, anyone who really wants to delete default folders can delete them using MFCMAPI or OutlookSpy.

Deleting folders using these tools is usually not permanent: at some point in the future Outlook will decide to recreate the folder. It may be weeks, it may be months, but it often comes back. Exactly how long it stays gone depends on the folder, Outlook recreates some folders fairly quickly.

You can rename the defaults folders using the method at Rename default folders.

In most cases, it's better to hide the folder. Outlook seems to be less inclined to remove the Hidden tag from the folder. However, hiding a folder does not stop Outlook from using it. If you hide Junk email, RSS, or Suggested Contacts folders, you need to disable the features that use the those folders.

Before using MFCMAPI or OutlookSpy, you should make a copy of your data file! While these steps are safe to use, it is very easy to have an "Oops, did I do that?" moment and lose your data.

Which folders are candidates for deletion or hiding? Junk Mail (only if its disabled first), RSS and Suggested Contacts (after disabling it in File, Options, Contacts).

Using scanpst or the /resetfolder switch may recreate the folders.

To use either method, get MFCMAPI. You'll need the 32-bit version if you use Outlook 2007, or Outlook 2010 and up in 32 bit. The 64-bit version is for use with Outlook 64-bit (NOT 64-bit Windows).

These instructions remove or hide default folders in a PST file. The process is similar with Exchange mailboxes, however, the missing folders are more likely to be recreated and removing them is not recommended.

Tools | More Information

Delete the Folder

  1. After downloading MFCMAPI, unzip it then double click to run.
  2. Click Session > Logon and choose your profile (if you have more than one)
  3. Double click on your data file. If you have more than one data file, the top one should be your default.
  4. Expand Root Container
  5. Use MFCMAPI to delete a folder

  6. Expand Top of Outlook Store
  7. Select the folder you wish to delete.
  8. Right click and choose Delete Folder.
  9. Click OK. (Don't tick Hard Deletion, it doesn't work on most folders.)
  10. Close the dialogs and return to Outlook.

Hide the Folder

  1. After downloading MFCMAPI, unzip it then double click to run.
  2. Click Session > Logon and choose your profile (if you have more than one)
  3. Double click on your data file. If you have more than one data file, the top one should be your default.
  4. Expand Root Container
  5. Expand Top of Outlook Store
  6. Right click and choose Copy to copy the hidden property tag

  7. Select Quick Step Settings folder
  8. Select "PR_ATTR_HIDDEN, PidTagAttributeHidden, ptagAttrHidden" entry (near the top)
  9. Right click and choose Copy Property
  10. Select the folder you wish to hide.
  11. Right click and choose Paste...
  12. Paste the property on the folder you wish to hide

  13. Click OK twice to add the property to the folder.
  14. add-the-hidden-property

  15. Close the dialogs and return to Outlook.

This screenshot shows the PR_ATTR_HIDDEN, PidTagAttributeHidden, ptagAttrHidden property added to the folder's property as well as the folder list without the Suggested Contacts folder (deleted) and Junk mail folder (hidden).

The hidden property is added and the folder is not visible in the folder list

Tools

HideOutlookFolders

Utility hide unused folders in Outlook data files, include RSS, Calendar and Contacts in other .pst files.

MFCMapi

MFCMAPI uses Microsoft's published APIs to provide access to MAPI stores through a graphical user interface. Its purpose is to facilitate investigation of Exchange and Outlook issues and to provide developers with a canonical sample for MAPI development. Updated frequently.

Written by

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.

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