This article describes how to troubleshoot issues with
Search Folders in Microsoft Office Outlook 2010, Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, and Microsoft Office Outlook 2003.
Search Folders in Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2003 are virtual folders that
contain views of all e-mail items that match specific search criteria. Search
Folders do not contain e-mail messages like other Microsoft Outlook folders.
Search Folders in Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2003 contain queries that group e-mail messages based
on a defined criteria, such as unread e-mail messages or messages that are
flagged for follow up.
Use the following methods to troubleshoot
Search Folders in Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2003:
- A Search Folder may not automatically remove e-mail
messages that you have read from the Unread mail view. To update the Unread
mail view, either press the F5 key or click away from the folder, and then
click the Search Folder again.
- If you have accidentally deleted a Search Folder, manually
re-create it. You cannot restore deleted Search Folders from the Deleted Items
folder in Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2003. Additionally, Search Folders are not recoverable. This
means that you cannot recover deleted Search Folders with the Recover Deleted
- You cannot force the recreation of the following three
default Search Folders in Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2003:
If you deleted any one of these Search Folders, you must
manually re-create that folder.
- the Unread Mail folder
- the For Follow Up folder
- the Large Mail folder
- To manually delete all Search Folders from the information
store, click Start, click Run, type
outlook.exe /cleanfinders in the Open
box, and then press ENTER.
- After you use the /cleanfinders start up switch, your Search Folders will be deleted from the
information store the next time that you start Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2003. However, the
deleted Search Folders will still appear in Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2003 as inactive folders.
If you want to continue using these Search Folders, click the Search
Folder that you want to use. If you do not want to continue using one
of the deleted Search Folders, right-click the Search Folder,
and then click Delete.
- You cannot copy Search Folders in Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2003.
- Search Folders can exist in either an active or an inactive
state. Inactive Search Folders appear with italic text descriptions depicting
transparent icons. Active Search Folders appear with a typical font and solid
- To activate an inactive Search Folder, click the
Search Folder. The activation process causes Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2003 to
re-index the Search Folder query results based on the criteria that were used
to create the Search Folder.
Note that you cannot activate or delete
multiple Search Folders at the same time. You must modify each Search Folder
For more information about Search Folders , click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Search Folders are missing in
Outlook Web Access
"The operation failed" error
message when you click a Search Folder
You cannot apply a filtered view while you are in a search folder in Outlook 2003
You can only create a Search
Folder for an e-mail folder
Article ID: 831402 - Last Review: October 8, 2012 - Revision: 5.0
- Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
- Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
- Microsoft Outlook 2010
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