How to Find Missing Outlook Folders
Q: How do I find a folder in Outlook that has disappeared?
"I discovered that an important folder in my outlook has gone missing! I don't know how the folder disappeared I can't figure out how to find it. Please, I need some help with this"
The outlook is part of people's daily routine to store sent and received emails, plan calendar schedules, and create tasks. Therefore, when folders containing important information get missing in your outlook, it sure can be frustrating. The good news is, you can find and retrieve them.
Part 1: Why Folders Disappear in Outlook
For every problem, there is/are a factor(s) responsible. Folders disappear in Outlook because of the following reasons:
- You may have moved the folder from outlook per accident into an unknown folder. This happens when you drag and drop to perform another task and the folder ends up in an unknown location.
- The folder may have also been accidentally deleted from your Outlook. This sends the folder to the "deleted items" or trash folder.
- Folders can disappear from your Outlook because of recent changes to your device, especially updates to higher operating systems like Windows 10 or higher Office Outlook like Outlook 2016.
- Folders can disappear due to connection error which will cause your account not to sync with the server. Consequently, your Outlook folders may not appear on your computer's desktop.
When system files are corrupted, there is every likelihood that folders can go missing from Outlook. This also includes the corruption of your Outlook personal file.
- Files that are located in your personal folder i.e .pst files are overwritten once a while and this can cause you to lose folders.
Part 2: How to Find a Missing Outlook Folder?
This is the part where you get to know how to search for a folder in outlook after it has been moved. At the end of the day, you just want to find that missing Outlook folder right?
Solution 1: Data file properties
Use the following steps to search for your folders:
- Open Outlook and right-click on the "Outlook Mail Box"
- Select "Data File Properties option"
- Go to the "Outlook Today" dialog box and in the box, choose the "Folder Size" option
- Here you will see a list of all the folders in Outlook, their names and locations provided, as well as their different sizes.
- When you can figure out or rather, determine the location of the particular folder you are searching for, browse it and return to its original location.
Solution 2: Search and Browse
This is a means of searching for missing Outlook folders using an advanced folder search. Follow the steps below:
- Open the Microsoft Outlook application for desktop.
- Go to the "Search" tab on the Menu bar
- Click on "Search Tools", choose the" Advanced Find" option which would make the "Advanced Find" window to pop up. You can use the shortcut code Ctrl + Shift + F keys combination
- Note the details of the item with the name of the folder and click on the "Browse" option located at the top right corner of the window. This would search for and find the folder you are looking for.
- Under the "Select Folder(s)" dialog box, note and remember the folder location and path before clicking "Ok"
- Go back to the Outlook main window, find the folder, and move it back to its original position by clicking and dragging.
Solution 3: Import and Export
Data are imported basically to retrieve folders back to Outlook after they have been moved to the personal data file (.pst) through export. The steps used in this recovery are discussed below:
- Open Outlook on your desktop
- Select the "File" tab at the top left corner of the window
- Click on "Open and Export" and select "Import/Export" to open the "Wizard"
- Click "Import from another program or file". Select "Next"
- Under the "File to import" input the .pst file, you plan to import, then use the "Browse" option to browse. Select how to go about handling your emails and contacts under "Options". Click "Next".
If there is a password requirement for the file, input the password and click "Ok". If not, continue.
- If the destination for the files to be imported to is your Office mailbox, select the mailbox. However, if that is not the case, select "Import items into the current folder" to import your file into the folder you have selected
Click "Finish". The contents of your .pst file will be imported and will only be complete if the progress box disappears.
Solution 4: Use VBA code
If you are still in a rut, don't give up yet. Here, you will have to define a custom search program with VBA Code before initiating the search for your folder. VBA simply stands for Visual Basic for Applications and it is a programming language created by Microsoft. The steps for searching using VBA code are enumerated below:
- Initiate the Outlook application
- Click on "File", go to "Options" and choose the "Customize Ribbon" option
- After the "Customize Ribbon" window pops up on the screen, mark "Developer" option and click "Ok"
The next phase is to define and run the custom folder search since we have made the Developer tab available on the menu bar. It's essential for the next part.
- Now go to the menu bar, click on the "Developer" tab and select "Visual Basic"
- VBA window will pop up at this point. "Expand the Microsoft Outlook Objects" option and select "ThisOutlookSession"
- Inside the "Project1-ThisOutlookSession(Code)", input the VBA Macro Code below:
- Go to the menu bar and click "Run" > "Run Sub/UserForm"
- At this point, the custom search program is already running. In the "Find Lost Folder" window, type in the name of the missing folder and select "Ok".
- On the screen, the folder location/ path will be displayed. Note where it is located and click "Yes".
Solution 5: Recover Missing Outlook Folders
If none of the solutions introduced above fixes the problem, you can rely on Wondershare Recoverit-best data recovery software, to find and recover your missing Outlook folders. The missing Outlook folders can be caused by accidental deletion, crashed or formatted hard drives, etc. But don't worry, the files can be found and retrieved easily with Recoverit no matter what the situation is.
Follow the steps below to recover the missing Outlook folders:
- Download and install Wondershare Recoverit from the official website.
- Launch Recoverit and go to the Hard Drives and Locations feature.
- Select the drive where the missing Outlook folders was saved, and click Scan to let Recoverit find the folders for you.
- To quickly locate the missing Outlook folders during the scanning process, click the Filter option from the right corner. Then click the File Type tab, and select Email.
- Click OK to confirm the settings. Now, all the missing Outlook folders that found by Recoverit will be listed here.
- Select the files you need and click Recover. After that, choose a path to save the recovered Outlook folders. Then, the missing Outlook folders will be found and recovered successfully.
Video Tutorial on How to Recover Deleted Folders in Window 10
Part 3: More Possible Fixes to Outlook Folders Missing
There are other more basic solutions to recovering missing Outlook folders and they can be as simple as restarting your computer or relaunching the Outlook program.
Step 1 Restart computer: Sometimes, all you need to do is restart your computer and voila! your files are recovered. There are steps to restarting your computer for different operating systems.
For Windows 7, 8/8.1 and 10:
- Press Ctrl + Alt + Del on the keyboard. The lock screen will pop up (for Windows 8 and 10, several options will pop up: Lock, Task Manager, Switch User, and Sign Out).
- At the bottom right corner of the screen are two red buttons. Click the upward pointing arrow symbol next to the power button. For Windows 8 and 10, click the "Power" It will show options to shut down or restart.
- Select the "restart button". This will automatically restart your computer. Ensure you close all programs else it will not restart.
- An alternate option is to press and hold the power button on your computer till it goes off, then press the power button again to start. This is called "hardware reboot".
- Press "Control + Command + Eject". You can also alternatively go to the Apple menu located on the top left corner of your screen and click the "Restart"
- Alternatively, apply "hardware reboot" to switch off the computer and switch it back on using the power button.
Step 2 Relaunch Outlook: Use the steps below to restart the Outlook application:
- Disconnect completely from your mailbox. Do this once.
- Once again, reconnect to your mailbox
- Create a new folder in the same location as the missing one. Both missing and new folders should appear.
Step 3 Repair Outlook: To repair Outlook, use the following steps:
- Click "Microsoft Outlook"
- Click "Modify"
- The "Account Control Prompt" option will pop up. To open the repair dialog box, select "Yes".
You will be guided on using either of these two: "Online Repair" which will fix everything by reinstalling the apps under "Office Outlook" and "Quick Repair" which will scan the files in the application and fix the common issues quickly.
Microsoft Outlook also comes with an Inbox Repair tool (SCANPST.EXE) which is used to scan and fix files in a personal folder (.pst) mentioned above. Use the steps below to scan and fix errors:
- Open SCANPST.EXE.
- Click on "Browse" to choose the Outlook data file you want to scan
- Click "Start" to begin
- If any errors are found, choose "Repair" to fix them.
Get this: while your files are getting repaired, the tool creates a backup so you don't lose your information. Run this scan a couple of times for effective results.
Step 4 Disable Add-ins: As much as Add-ins add new features to Outlook and increase productivity, they can slow or even crash your Outlook. You can get a notification by Outlook if an issue is detected in some Add-ins. Sometimes Outlook fixes it, other times, you have to do it yourself. So, to disable the add-in, use the steps below:
- Select "File". Click "Options" and choose "Add-ins".
- Not an option at the bottom of the screen that says "Manage". Select the "Go"
- In the dialog box, choose the add-ins you wish to disable by clicking and removing the check in the box in front of its name.
- If you wish to go all the way and uninstall the add-in, select it and click on the "Remove" option.
- Select "OK". Your changes will be saved.
Now we can safely establish that you do not need to be overwhelmed simply because of a missing folder. You can now use any of the ample solutions to get back those important documents without breaking a sweat (at least not too much), don't you think? Oh, one more solution, you'll love it: you can use Recoverit to retrieve your missing folders on Outlook. Recoverit is an effective software used to recover data from storage devices after they must have been lost due to damages such as system malfunction, virus attacks, or accidental erasing of such data.
People Also Ask
How do I restore my sub-folders in Outlook?
If your sub-folder was mistakenly deleted, then you can restore it from the "Deleted Items" folder. or "Recoverable Items" folder. Simply go to your email folder list and select "Deleted Items". Ensure that "Home" is selected. Click "Recover deleted items" from the "Server" option. Select the subfolder you wish to restore, select "Restore Selected Item" and click "Ok".
Where did my folders go in Outlook?
Normally, data is stored in Outlook under two locations: the personal storage folder on the computer's hardware and the mailbox located on the server. When they disappear, they can be traced to the "Deleted Items Folder" or "Recoverable Items Folder". If you still cannot find your folders, use any of the steps enumerated above to find them.
Where are my folders in Outlook for Mac?
Outlook for Mac doesn't use .pst and .ost as the format to save personal folders. Data are stored in the Database in a series of files indexed within folders. The path to finding your folders is:
For Outlook 2011 database file: /Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/Main Identity.
For Outlook 2011 storage folders: /Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/Main Identity/Data Records.
Why are my Outlook folders missing?
There can be several reasons why an Outlook folder may go missing. It could be due to accidental deletion, moving the folder to another location, a software glitch or bug, a corrupted mailbox or PST file, or syncing issues with other devices. Identifying the specific cause can help in finding a solution.
What's Wrong with Email
- Emails Lost or Corrupted
- Forgot Email Password