How to Find a Folder in Microsoft Outlook

Categories: Tips

How To Find a Folder in Microsoft Outlook using Exchange’s Outlook Web Access

Recently one of us misplaced a folder in Microsoft Outlook. Messages in that folder could still be found when using Outlook’s search, however we had no idea where the folder had been moved to. Neither Outlook 2003, 2007 nor 2010 have support for searching for folders by name, or for even finding the full path to a folder based on a single email message.

Luckily a way was found to track down the folder.

We were able to log in to Outlook Web Access (OWA) and do a search to find a message that was in the missing folder. The message was opened and in the browser’s address bar was displayed the path to the folder. The address looked like:

By following everything from the Inbox down, we determined the message was located in:

Inbox -> My Folder Name -> Another Folder -> Important Folder


Hopefully that helps someone else track down an accidentally moved folder!


7 responses to “How to Find a Folder in Microsoft Outlook”

  1. davidd31415 Says:
    Sure would be nice if there was an option to prompt "are you sure you want to move the folder" or to simply turn off drag-and-drop folder moving in Outlook.

    If someone knows of a way please reply here. I subscribed.
  2. davidd31415 Says:
    This trick is awesome to know about! The OWA/IE combination I'm using did not show the folder path in the address bar but when I viewed source (right click in text area of email > select view source) the path was displayed on line 21 of the source code in a format like this:

    var g_szFolder = "Inbox/My%20Folder%20Name/Another%20Folder/... etc"

    I noticed this only worked when right-clicking on the header of the email. If I clicked in the text area (white background) then the source did not show the path.
  3. Greg S Says:
    That's great to see an alternative way of doing it in OWA, thanks for the tip David!

    Unfortunately I don't know any way to disable drag and drop completely in Outlook. Tested creating a sub-folder and moving it in Outlook 2007, then using CTRL+Z to undo that move, and that didn't work either. Seems something got changed for the worse there since Outlook 2003.
  4. JN Says:
    Unfortunately, this trick only works if the folder resides on the Exchange server. I'm still looking for a way to find a missing folder in my .pst file on my hard drive. Any thoughts?
  5. Greg S Says:
    I wasn't able to figure out a way to find the folder in just the .pst file. If you know what the folder name is, but just not sure what parent folder it's hidden in, you may want to try installing ClearContext from Then you can use their "Jump to Project" feature to jump to a folder no matter how nested it is.
  6. JN Says:
    By hunting around for some more tips online, I found a technique for finding missing folders regardless of whether on the server or a local .pst file. The steps are as follows:

    1. Expand all Outlook Folders:
       a. Highlight the PST file name in the "Mail Folders" box on the left, clicking until it is blue.
       b. Type <Num Lock><Numeric Pad-*>

    2. Find the Folder:
       a. Begin typing the first few characters of folder name, OR
       b. Tag a sample message:
          i. Search for a specific message you know resides in that folder
          ii. Verify that it’s in the correct folder by examining the "In Folder" column in the search results window
          iii. Right-click message and mark it "Unread"
          iv. Scroll down list of open folders until you find the one that is boldfaced
  7. Greg S Says:
    Thanks JN, great advice! Hopefully Microsoft adds something in the future that makes this a lot easier.

Comments now closed

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn