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 Items feature.
You cannot force the recreation of the following three default Search Folders in Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2003:
the Unread Mail folder
the For Follow Up folder
the Large Mail folder
If you deleted any one of these Search Folders, you must manually re-create that 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 icons.
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 individually.
For more information about Search Folders , click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
831400 Search Folders are missing in Outlook Web Access
823127 "The operation failed" error message when you click a Search Folder
817955 You cannot apply a filtered view while you are in a search folder in Outlook 2003
817890 You can only create a Search Folder for an e-mail folder