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Hiding a Microsoft Outlook Folder

I know this is a bit off my usual topics, but I have been annoyed for some time now with the inability to hide folders in my Outlook navigation window. Well, I finally decided to do something about it!

Problem Recap

I live out of the "folder" view in Outlook. With the additions of Clutter, RSS Feeds, Skype Contacts, etc, the left navigation folder structure started to get lengthy. So, in addition to the inherit clutter that those features I don't use creates, I also suffered by not seeing some personal folders or inboxes of other accounts that I do use without scrolling.

Solution

Upon searching, it appears I am not alone in this request. Unfortunately, a native approach doesn't look to be available, but did seem like MAPI options could be altered programmatically to accomplish what I want. A couple of posts I found listed 3rd party programs available to do this. I decided the annoyance was the worth the risk of another app manipulating my Outlook settings, so I settled on trying the Microsoft open source MFCMAPI tool.

Themes iconUse extreme care when using this tool as you will be directly manipulating your client version of Outlook! Take a backup of your Outlook data before moving forward.

In addition to downloading this tool, I found this article pretty helpful in helping me figure out what I needed to accomplish as well as some other cool tips.

After you download and unzip the MFCMAPI tool, run the resulting mfcmapi.exe application. Be sure to download the correct version (32 bit or 64 bit depending on your Outlook version).

The app will open and look like this:
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To login, go to Session > Logon…
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You will then be prompted for an Outlook provide. Typically, just click OK for the profile default.
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No you will get a list of your mailboxes. In my case, I am connected to my corporate account and also my gmail account.
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If you click an account, you'll get some details in the bottom pane. This confused me at first, as this area didn't contain the details we want. You need to double-click on the account which will launch a new window that should resemble the following:
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Now expand the Root - Mailbox node.
Next, expand the IPM_SUBTREE node to find your folders.
Then, select the folder you wish to hide as the Clutter folder is shown here:
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Now we will hide it. To do this, from the top menu, select Property > Advanced > Edit given property …
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The Property dialog will display. You'll need to now update the setting to be hidden.
In the Property Tag field, enter 0x10F4000B.
The rest of the fields will automatically update accordingly as shown here:
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Click OK and then in the next dialog, be sure to check the Boolean field and click OK.
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That's it! The selected folder is now hidden from the Outlook folder view.

Note that some system folders can't be hidden. And, should you need to unhide a folder, follow these instructions.

After hiding the Journal, RSS Feeds, Skype Contacts, Clutter, My Outlook folder pane now looks like this. I ended up leaving the Archive folder, as I am now using the Outlook app for iPhone and I often left swipe emails and that app uses the Archive folder.

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Ahhh…so much better! I can finally see my Gmail Inbox without scrolling. I may even Hide Notes and Tasks as I really never use those either. Smile 

Upon mentioning this tool to one of my colleagues, he mentioned that he has used it often with CRM Support to troubleshoot Outlook Add-In issues. I suspect we'll have another article showcasing this tool again!