How to Hide or Delete Outlook's Default Folders

Last reviewed on May 8, 2014

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.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

32 responses to “To hide or delete Outlook's folders”

  1. Paul Erdos

    It SUCKS that you do not allow the "Search Folder" to be hidden, moved, or positioned
    in the users Personal Folder.
    -very pissed

  2. AlanAlan

    Extremely helpful guide, I have been trying to hide the RSS-feed folder for a long time, you made it easy. Thankyou very much.

    Is there a way to reverse this? I dont see myself needing it but its still good to know.

  3. Grateful Outlook 2010 User!

    You are an angel and life saver and the ONLY knowledgeable person on the freakin' Internet on this issue. I've been frustrated by the presence of those "suggested" folders. Since I have at least 8 email addresses, it was a pain in the neck. I've been all over the Internet for weeks. FINALLY, YOUR SOLUTION to HIDE tHEM worked. what a joy to find a helpful blog. Thank you so much.

  4. Thomas Brooks

    I have a problem that in one of my accounts the outbox folder is missing and outlook keeps trying to send 11 messages every day. This account is not working for sending but I wonder if I got a bug that "hid" the outbox folder. That is the only one of three that doesn't have an outbox folder. So, how would I find out, and "unhide" it is it is?

  5. Darlene

    I cannot find my junk email or sent emails on outlook 2010. How do I unhide or find them?

  6. Joe Hindman

    so if i want to hide the personal folders pane like this in the link

    it can be done ?

  7. Joe hindman

    here is a pic on what i mean

    http://i.imgur.com/EnlyPNo.jpg?1

  8. flint4u

    it works perfectly but how can I unhide the folders again?

  9. Joe Hindman

    I am using all those folders, i only have one PST file and that is my only active folder so there is no Close option

    but i am just wanting to keep it minimized since i have favorites instead

  10. Juergen Wendel

    Hello Diane,

    after I migrated the PST files to my new laptop onOutlook 2013, I realised that now in evert PST file I have an Inbox, Sent Items,Outbox. In teh past I had a Deleted Items only, now these 3 additionally. They are all empty, and for sure not used. I use MS Exchange Server to receive & send emails. I cannot delete these special folders in the PST files. Have these been created or made visible with Outlook 2013?

    Thanks in advance, Juergen

  11. Mel

    Hello Diane.
    I have 2 accounts on outlook 2013. The problem is i copied and paste a folder from account one to account two, then i tried to delete the folder on account one but it just refuses to delete, only the contents get deleted. Pls help!
    The other problem is when i copied/transfered my contact details to account two the view changed to an email view where as i want a view as in People, Business card, Phone, List etc. PLease please help!

  12. Lisa

    Hello Diane,

    How do I close Folder View (Ctrl+6)?

    Thanks!
    Lisa

  13. Lisa

    Hi Diane,

    Just like going to the doctor...I've been looking for a couple days, but finally got the correct keywords five minutes after I posted. Sorry to bother you.

    Take care,
    Lisa

  14. Tom

    Hi Diane,
    Opened MFCMapi to hide contacts and calendar in outlook 2007 default folder, because duplicate notifications show, and when looking up contacts, duplicates show. After expanding "top of personal folder", 6.Select Quick Step Settings folder does not show. Any advice?

  15. Tom

    Well, what about "Sales". Is it a hidden folder? I never see that folder anywhere except here in MFCMapi. I don't use it, anyway. Now, if "Sales" can be the hidden folder I need to use (or at least try to use it), would you be so kind as to enumerate the steps I should take from this point to hide contacts and calendar in the personal files email default folder, outlook.pst? I have followed your comments, and have installed "Outlook Connector", and now have successfully been syncing our calendar and contacts between outlook, android devices, iPad, and Windows phone...all through my Hotmail account. If I get this resolved, the only other problem to resolve is to keep "Tom's Calendar" from being the default entry calendar for the portable devices.

    Thanks for your assistance in this matter.

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