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Microsoft 365 - Outlook for Mac (How To) Working with Mail Folders

By default, messages that are sent to you are stored in your Inbox. But you can organize your messages into a hierarchical folder system and adjust it as your needs change.
Folders in Outlook for Mac

Default folders

Your account starts with these default folders:

  • Inbox Incoming messages arrive in your Inbox unless you've created an Inbox rule to redirect them to another folder, or they're identified as junk email.
  • Drafts If you create or respond to a message, but can't finish it right away, it will automatically be saved to your Drafts folder. You can come back to the message later to continue editing it, and then send it.
  • Sent Items By default, a copy of every message you send is put in your Sent Items folder.
  • Deleted Items When you delete a message, it's moved to the Deleted Items folder.
  • Junk Email Messages that have junk email characteristics but that aren't blocked by a spam filter before they reach your mailbox will automatically be moved to this folder.

You may see other folders that have been created by your administrator.

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Right-click menu for folders

Most of what you can do with a folder will be found in the right-click menu. Actions you can take include:

  • New Folder Use this to create a new sub-folder in the folder you right-clicked. Note: Due to possible mail delivery and syncing issues, do not create subfolders of the "Inbox."
  • Rename Folder Rename the folder. You can't rename the default folders, such as the Inbox folder.
  • Delete Delete the entire folder. Delete will move the folder to the Deleted Items folder.
  • Delete All Deletes everything in the folder, including any sub-folders.
  • Move Folder Opens a window where you can select a folder to move this folder to. You can also move a folder by clicking it and dragging it to where you want it.
  • Mark all as read Marks every item in the folder as read.
  • Permissions Allows you to manage who has access to your access.
  • Folder Properties Allows you to review your storage, permissions, and other settings related to your account.

    folder - right click menu

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Creating folders

You can create additional folders to organize your messages any way you want. For example, you can create a folder for a specific project, or for all messages sent by a particular person, or all messages sent to a distribution group that you're a member of.

To create a new folder, right-click the parent folder you want to create the new folder in. If you want a top-level folder (a folder at the same level as your Inbox), you would use your mailbox as the parent folder. Note: Do not create sub-folders of the "Inbox" due to possible mail delivery and syncing issues.

To create a folder within your account:

  1. Right-click your account.
  2. Click New Folder.

    folder - new

  3. Type the name you want to use for this folder and press Enter key.

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Moving folders

There are two ways to move a folder.

  • Click the folder you want to move and drag it to where you want it.
  • Right-click the folder you want to move and click Move Folder. A window will pop up that will allow you to search for the destination folder. Click the folder you want to move to and click Move. Or click Cancel to close the move folder window without moving the folder.

    move folder window

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The Deleted Items folder

When you delete a message, it's first moved to the Deleted Items folder. You can either let messages stay there, or you can set Outlook to automatically empty your Deleted Items folder when you sign out. Your administrator may have set up a policy to empty items from your Deleted Items folder after they've been there for a preset number of days. For example, there may be a policy that removes anything that's been in your Deleted Items folder for 30 days.

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What else do I need to know?

  • The folders you create can be at the same level as your default folders, for example, the Inbox or Sent Items folders. Or, you can create sub-folders within any existing email folder. Due to possible mail delivery and syncing issues, do not create sub-folders of the default "Inbox" folder.
  • If you want to create a personal information folder as a sub-folder to a mail folder, you can create the folder and then move it to the location you want. Some folders, for example, the Inbox, can't be moved to another location.
  • Some folders, for example, the Inbox, can't be renamed. If the folder can't be renamed, the Rename option in the menu will appear dimmed.
  • After you delete a folder, it's moved to the Deleted Items folder. The folder isn't permanently removed until you empty the Deleted Items folder or delete the folder from the Deleted Items folder.

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Keywordsmicrosoft office 365 2015 user outlook help mail calendaring overview messages folders o365 apple folders M365   Doc ID59027
OwnerHelp Desk K.GroupUW-Milwaukee Help Desk
Created2015-12-18 11:03:21Updated2023-07-27 11:14:24
SitesUW-Milwaukee Help Desk
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