"Cannot copy this folder because it may contain private items" error in Outlook

Dotyczy: Outlook 2016Outlook 2013Microsoft Outlook 2010 Więcej

Symptoms


Consider the following scenario:

  • In Microsoft Outlook, you have a shared mailbox open.
  • You try to move a folder from the shared mailbox into your own mailbox.
  • The folder that you are trying to move contains one or more subfolders.
In this scenario, you receive the following error message:

Cannot move the items. Cannot copy this folder because it may contain private items.

Cause


This behavior is by design when there are one or more folders under the folder that you're trying to move.

Workaround


To work around this behavior, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Create the folder structure in your mailbox, and then move the items from the shared mailbox into the new folder structure in your mailbox

  1. In your mailbox, replicate the folder structure of the folders that you want to move from the shared mailbox. You can do this by creating a new folder and then creating any additional folders under this folder. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. Right-click the folder in your mailbox under which you want to create the new folder, and then click New Folder.

      For example, if you want to create the new folder in the Inbox, right-click Inbox. If you want to create the new folder under your main mailbox, right-click the top-level folder. This is displayed as your email address.
    2. Type the preferred name for the folder. This folder name will likely be the same as the original folder in the shared mailbox name. However, it can be a different name if you prefer.
    3. Right-click the new folder that you created, and then click New Folder. Enter a name for this folder.
    4. Repeat step 1C for any additional folders that you must create to replicate the original folder structure.

  2. Move items from the original folders in the shared mailbox to the new folders that you created in step 1:

    1. In the shared mailbox, select the folder that you want to move.
    2. Press CTRL+A to select all the items in the folder.
    3. On the Home tab on the ribbon, click Move, and then click Other Folder.
    4. Select the folder that you created in step 1, and then click OK.
    5. Repeat steps 2A through 2D for the other folders under this folder.

Method 2: Export the folder that you want to move to a .pst file, and then import it into your own mailbox

  1. Export the folder from the shared mailbox to a .pst file:

    1. In Outlook, select the folder in the shared mailbox that you want to move.
    2. Open the Import and Export Wizard. To do this, follow the step for your version of Outlook:
      • Outlook 2013 and later versions: Click File, and then click Open & Export. Click Import/Export.
      • Outlook 2010: Click File, and then click Options. Click Advanced, and then click Export.

    3. Select Export to a file, and then click Next.
    4. Select Outlook Data File (.pst), and then click Next.
    5. Make sure that the folder in the shared mailbox that you want to move is selected, enable Include subfolders, and then click Next.
    6. Click Browse.
    7. Browse to a location where you want to save the .pst file, enter a file name, and then click OK.
    8. Click Finish.

  2. Import the .pst file to your mailbox:

    1. Open the Import and Export Wizard. To do this, follow the step for your version of Outlook:
      • Outlook 2013 and later versions: Click File, and then click Open & Export. Click Import/Export.
      • Outlook 2010: Click File, and then click Options. Click Advanced, and then click Export.
    2. Select Import from another program or file, and then click Next.
    3. Select Outlook Data File (.pst), and then click Next.
    4. Click Browse.
    5. Browse to and select the .pst file that you created in step 1, and then click Open.
    6. Click Next.
    7. Select Import items into the same folder in:, and then select your mailbox from the drop-down list.
    8. Click Finish.

Method 3: Set yourself as a Delegate of the shared mailbox, and assign Owner permissions to the folders

ImportantWhen you set yourself as a delegate of the mailbox, you are also setting other permissions that you may not require. For example, delegates can send email, and receive and respond to meeting requests on the manager's behalf. If you do not require these permissions for the shared mailbox, use one of the other methods to work around this behavior or remove yourself as the shared mailboxes delegate after you have successfully moved the folder. For more information about delegate access, see the following article:



Log on to the shared mailbox in Outlook, and provide delegate permissions to yourself:

  1. Log on to Outlook as the shared mailbox.
  2. Click File, click Account Settings, and then click Delegate Access.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Type your name, or search for and then click your name in the search results list.
  5. Click Add, and then click OK.
  6. In the Delegate Permissions dialog box, select Editor permissions for the Inbox, and then select any other custom access levels that you prefer.
  7. Enable the Delegate can see my private items option, and then click OK.
  8. Right-click the top-level folder, and then click Folder Permissions. The top-level folder is displayed as the shared mailbox email address.
  9. If you are not listed on the Permissions tab, add your name. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Add.
    2. Select your name from the list, or search for and select your name from the search results.
    3. Click Add, and then click OK.
  10. Select your name, and then select Owner for the Permission Level.
  11. Click OK.
  12. Right-click the folder which you want to move, and then click Properties.
  13. On the Permissions tab, if you are not listed, add your name. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Add.
    2. Select your name from the list, or search for and select your name from the search results.
    3. Click Add, and then click OK.
  14. Select your name, and then select Owner for the Permission Level.
  15. Click OK.