Last reviewed on May 4, 2015   —  47 Comments

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 may 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. (It will have True in the Default Store column.)
  4. Expand Root Container (or Root - Mailbox if using Exchange)
    Right click and choose Copy to copy the hidden property tag
  5. Expand Top of Outlook Store. Exchange users will choose IPM_SUBTREE
  6. Select the folder you wish to delete.
  7. Right click and choose Delete Folder.
  8. Click OK. (Don't tick Hard Deletion, it doesn't work on most folders.)
  9. Close the dialogs and return to Outlook.

Hide the Folder

The macro at the end of this article automates these steps to hide the selected folder. If you accidentally hide the wrong folder, you'll need to use MFCMAPI to unhide it. Find the Hidden property and remove the tick from the Boolean field.

  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. (It will have True in the Default Store column.)
  4. Expand Root Container (or Root - Mailbox)
  5. Expand Top of Outlook Store (or IPM_SUBTREE)
    Right click and choose Copy to copy the hidden property tag
  6. Select Quick Step Settings folder
  7. Select "PR_ATTR_HIDDEN, PidTagAttributeHidden, ptagAttrHidden" entry (near the top)
  8. Right click and choose Copy Property
  9. Select the folder you wish to hide.
  10. Right click and choose Paste...
  11. Paste the property on the folder you wish to hide

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

  14. 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.

Use VBA to Hide Folders

To use this macro, paste it into the VBA editor, select the folder you want to hide and run the macro. If you need help using the VB Editor, see How to use the VBA Editor for more information and screenshots.

Updated January 25 2015 to fix the code so it doesn't error with pst files.

Option Explicit
  
Public Sub HideFolders()

Dim oFolder As Outlook.Folder
Dim oPA As Outlook.propertyAccessor
Dim PropName, Value, FolderType As String
 
 
PropName = "http://schemas.microsoft.com/mapi/proptag/0x10F4000B"
Value = True
 
Set oFolder = Application.ActiveExplorer.CurrentFolder
Set oPA = oFolder.propertyAccessor

oPA.SetProperty PropName, Value
 
Set oFolder = Nothing
Set oPA = Nothing
End Sub

Comments

  1. Paul Erdos says

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

    • Diane Poremsky says

      It's not me who doesn't allow it. :) Did you try marking the folder hidden using MFCMAPI?

    • Michael says

      Hi Diane, can you tell me please the name and location of "search folders' in MFCMAPI please so I can attempt to mark it hidden as suggested. Thank you (:

    • Diane Poremsky says

      It's Finder, but a quickie test here doesn't hide it. Although... Outlook crashed after I deleted two folders under Finder that had coded names (not English words) and its gone.

  2. AlanAlan says

    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! says

    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 says

    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?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      What type of email account is it? Can you see an outbox if you go to the folder list (Ctrl+6)?

      It's possible the 11 messages are read receipts. See How to delete stuck receipts for the necessary steps to check and clear them.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      What type of email account do you use? Switch to the folder list - Ctrl+6 and see if you can see those folders.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      You can hide folders within the data file using these instructions - it works on pst or ost files. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "pane" though, so my answer could be wrong.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Are you using any of the folders in it? If not right-click on Personal Folders and choose Close - it should be near the top of the menu.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Repeat the steps and change the value, copying a property from a folder that is not hidden, such as Sent Items.

  5. Joe Hindman says

    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

  6. Juergen Wendel says

    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

    • Diane Poremsky says

      The folders are created if the pst file is set as a default data file. If it's not set as default, the special folders aren't added automatically. You can delete the special folders using MFCMAPI or create a new pst file and drag the folders into it - don't import/export the entire pst as that will recreate the folder (import/exporting single folders is ok)

  7. Mel says

    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!

    • Diane Poremsky says

      You can't delete default folders outlook creates.You'd need to create a new data file, never set it as default, then move everything to the new data file, or use MFCMAPI to delete the folder IF the data file is not set as default.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Ctrl+1 for Mail module, Ctrl+2 or Ctrl+3 for calendar or contacts. Or click one of the icons at the bottom of the navigation pane, or the module names if using Outlook 2013.

  8. Lisa says

    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

  9. Tom says

    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?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      You'll need to use another hidden folder - Outlook 2007 didn't have quick steps. Are their any other folders that are not visible in Outlook?

  10. Tom says

    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.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Sales would not be a hidden folder- that is a folder you would have created. I'll have to look at an outlook 2007 install to see what the hidden folders are, or you can edit the folder manually.
      Choose Property, Advanced, Edit given property. In the Property Tag field type 0x10F4000B. Click ok to save and exit.

  11. Tom says

    Diane,

    I think I have finally solved most of the problems that I have had trying to change from Google Calendar to Microsoft - all this nonsense due to the Google Microsoft slug fest. They not only bombard us with ads all the time, but now they want us to pay out the nose for their software upgrades. I have shared Outlook.com calendars and contacts with all my devices, including two desktop Outlook applications, an iPad Air, a Galaxy Tab 4, an android phone and a Windows phone, and a laptop. I did finally setup an Exchange account for the Android devices that solved the contacts problem. The only problem I seem to have now is on the main desktop. It shows both the old default email contacts, and the new Outlook Connector default calendar contacts folder. I am going to just live with that until either Microsoft of Google gives up and makes up (yeah). I may try uninstalling Outlook Connector on that machine and re-installing, but after two weeks of reading and worrying with it, I just want to give up all these computers and go fishing, without a phone, like the good ole days. Too many accounts, too much hastle. All because two money hungry greedy corporate giants want a bigger piece of us. Maybe some Linux developer will solve all this with one easy to install application.

    Thank you for being there and for helping with this. I don't know how we old geekless people would make it in the modern computer world without you, and others who will share. And, thanks for letting the old man rant.

  12. Bob says

    Is it possible to hide the Archive folder for mailboxes hosted on Office 365 using E3 licenses? If so, can this be accomplished with a power shell command?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      AFAIK, no. But since the Non-Pro versions won't show the online mailbox, there might be a way. I'll look into it.

  13. Louis Ferland says

    Thanks heaps, Diane. I recently switched from Outlook 2010 to Outlook 2013 and had been looking for a way to get rid of all those completely silly default folders (Travel? really?). Your hiding trick worked perfectly. I bookmarked your page in case they re-appear, as you said.

    Cheers!

  14. david peacock says

    Hello,

    i know this post is probably closed now, but i have a rather interesting problem, related to this one.

    I am part of a training company that sets tasks for people to complete using outlook 2007 & windows 7

    One of the tasks is for a user to add an email address to the blocked senders list.

    When they have finished the task, the user puts the PST files (including the default one) onto the server for me to check. The windows & outlook profile is automatically deleted when the user logs off. The PST files the user created in doing the taks, is all we have left.

    i understand the blocked senders list is a hidden property in the 'in-box'. What i need to do, is to unhide it the block senders list, so i can see if the student actually added the email adress (the correct email address) to the blocked senders list.

    i am not allowed to peer over their shoulder to see if they have done it. Students are expected to take screenshots, but sometimes they forget.

    Can you explain how to unhide this folder please?

    Many thanks

    • Diane Poremsky says

      AFAIK, you can't unhide it - it's a property within the mailbox. But you can open it in a profile as the default data file and see the list. I don't think it's visible in a 'no mail' profile, but should be visible as long as there is an account set up (I'll need to double check that). If not, you can use mfcmapi to view it.

  15. David PEACOCK says

    Hello, thank-you for your reply.

    Do you know how a distribution group may be called?

    I cannot locate the file within the mailbox using the mfcmapi program.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      A DG is an item in a folder and can't be hidden. If it's an Exchange DG, it can be hidden from the GAL.

  16. Claus says

    Hey Diane,
    I get a runtime error in VBA saying that the destination for the website in the code has moved? Is that just me or is there a solution?

    Thanks - Claus

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      That's an error I've never seen before. What folder are you trying to hide?
      Is it triggered on this line:
      PropName = "http://schemas.microsoft.com/mapi/proptag/0x10F4000B"

    • Claus says

      Yes it is triggered on that line.
      I have tried the RSS and junk folders.
      Message:
      _____
      Run-time error '-2147221233 (8004010f)':

      The property
      "http://schemas.microsoft.com/mapi/proptag/0x10F4000B" is unknown or cannot be found.
      _____
      Thanks

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      Ok.. finally found time to fix this.
      Remove this line: FolderType = oPA.GetProperty(PropName) - it's not used with this macro and errors because the property doesn't exist. (I used this macro to solve another problem and reconfigured it to hide folders. It works on Exchange so I didn't notice the problem. Sorry about that.)

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