Microsoft 365 (Outlook 2016 for Mac) - 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.
- Default folders
- Right-click menu for folders
- Creating folders
- Moving folders
- The Deleted Items folder
- What else do I need to know?
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. Learn about junk email and phishing has more information about your Junk Email folder.
You may see other folders that have been created by your administrator.
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.
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 subfolders of the "Inbox" due to possible mail delivery and syncing issues.
To create a folder within your account:
- Right-click your account.
- Click New Folder.
- Type the name you want to use for this folder and press Enter key.
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.
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.
Recover deleted items
If your administrator has enabled the recover deleted items feature, you can use it to recover items that have been deleted from your Deleted Items folder. How long items will be recoverable depends on settings that are controlled by your administrator.
To recover items that have been deleted from your Deleted Items folder, you must use Outlook on the web. After you have logged into your account, follow instructions for recovering the delete messages.The item will be moved to its default location. Messages will go to your Inbox, calendar items will go to your Calendar, contacts to your Contacts folder, and tasks to your Tasks folder.
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 subfolders 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.