How to Find Missing Outlook Folder

For people who have lost folders from their outlook, it can be a scary feeling. If you are one of such persons and you don’t know how to retrieve them, don’t worry. You will be shown just how to find those missing folders in Outlook.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Apr 10, 2023 • Filed to: Recover Emails • Proven solutions

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.


For every problem, there is/are a factor(s) responsible. Folders disappear in Outlook because of the following reasons:

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.


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 folder right?

Solution 1: Data file properties

Use the following steps to search for your folders:

  1. Open Outlook and right-click on the "Outlook Mail Box"

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  1. Select "Data File Properties option"

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  1. Go to the "Outlook Today" dialog box and in the box, choose the "Folder Size" option

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  1. Here you will see a list of all the folders in Outlook, their names and locations provided, as well as their different sizes.

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  1. 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 folders using an advanced folder search. Follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Microsoft Outlook application for desktop.
  2. Go to the "Search" tab on the Menu bar

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  1. 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

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  1. 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.

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  1. Under the "Select Folder(s)" dialog box, note and remember the folder location and path before clicking "Ok"

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  1. 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:

  1. Open Outlook on your desktop
  2. Select the "File" tab at the top left corner of the window

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  1. Click on "Open and Exportand select "Import/Exportto open the "Wizard"

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  1. Click "Import from another program or file"Select "Next"

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  1. 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".

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If there is a password requirement for the file, input the password and click "Ok"If not, continue.

  1. 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

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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:

  1. Initiate the Outlook application
  2. Click on "File", go to "Options" and choose the "Customize Ribbon" option

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  1. After the "Customize Ribbon" window pops up on the screen, mark "Developer" option and click "Ok"

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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.

  1. Now go to the menu bar, click on the "Developer" tab and select "Visual Basic"

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  1. VBA window will pop up at this point. "Expand the Microsoft Outlook Objects" option and select "ThisOutlookSession"

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  1. Inside the "Project1-ThisOutlookSession(Code)", input the VBA Macro Code below:

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  1. Go to the menu bar and click "Run" > "Run Sub/UserForm"

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  1. 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".

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  1. On the screen, the folder location/ path will be displayed. Note where it is located and click "Yes".

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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:

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For Mac:

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Step 2 Relaunch Outlook: Use the steps below to restart the Outlook application:

Step 3 Repair Outlook: To repair Outlook, use the following steps:

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.

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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:

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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:

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Closing Words

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:

/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/Main Identity. This is for Outlook 2011 database file

/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/Main Identity/Data Records. This applies to Outlook 2011 storage folders.

Why have all my emails disappeared from Outlook?

Your email folders may have disappeared because of recent changes to your computer, connection errors. Also, when your system files are corrupt, it could spell doom for the storage of your emails in the Outlook application.

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