Solved – Case of the "Invisible" folder in Outlook and Exchange

If you recalled my post from a few days ago where I have a folder which mysteriously became “invisible”, well there is a fix! Thanks to some of my friends at the mother ship (read Microsoft) in helping out with this – they know who they are and do not need to be named here. Smile

One thing before you continue to the steps below, ensure you are connected to Exchange and logged in to Outlook. As always you can click on the images to see them in full size.

  1. Download MfcMapi – also known as the Microsoft Exchange Server MAPI Editor. If you are like and never heard of this tool it is very impressive. I think the Exchange support guys use this and is fairly well known by then.
  2. From the ‘Session’ menu, choose Logon and ‘Display Store Table’.
  3. You will be asked to pick a profile first.
  4. Double-click the store that contains the hidden folder. In my case this store was Exchange and you can see I have the “Mailbox – Amit Bahree” store selected.

  5. Expand the ‘Root Container’ of the store, navigate to the hidden folder and select it. Please note that your visible folder hierarchy is contained in a sub-folder of the ‘Root Container’ that is likely named ‘IPM_SUBTREE’ or ‘Top of Information Store’. This again in my case is “Gadgets”.
  6. Right-click the PR_ATTR_HIDDEN (tag 0x10F4000B) property in the property list of the hidden folder and choose ‘Edit Property’ from the menu.
  7. Disable the ‘Boolean’ check box and press OK.
  8. Select File | Exit to close the current window. From the Main window, select ‘Logoff’ from the ‘Session’ menu, and then Exit MFCMapi.

There is also a KB Article (924226) from Microsoft which seems to be similar, although that talks about Contacts specifically the steps are the same. The cause as per the KB article is the improperly formatting the Provisioning registry keys for OWA on the Back-End (mailbox) Exchange Server.

Published by

Amit Bahree

This blog is my personal blog and while it does reflect my experiences in my professional life, this is just my thoughts. Most of the entries are technical though sometimes they can vary from the wacky to even political – however that is quite rare. Quite often, I have been asked what’s up with the “gibberish” and the funny title of the blog? Some people even going the extra step to say that, this is a virus that infected their system (ahem) well. [:D] It actually is quite simple, and if you have still not figured out then check out this link – whats in a name?

46 thoughts on “Solved – Case of the "Invisible" folder in Outlook and Exchange”

  1. Per Rishi at Microsoft

    Agreement of Issue: Unable to see default folders in Outlook 2010.

    Action: You were trying to see default e-mail folder.
    Result: You were not able to see that.
    Cause: As those folders were hidden and were unsubscribed at gmail server.
    Resolution: We took control of your desktop. We went to Folders tab > Purge > Purge options > More Folders Button > Selected Gmail / Spam > Uncheck always show subscribed folders in hierarchy of folders in Outlook 2010> Clicked apply and ok button. We did restart Outlook 2010 and we checked and found Spam folder there with all e-mails.

  2. This worked great. Greetings from Vienna. MICROSOFT TECH SERVICE is also relating to this website… :=)))))

  3. this was of great help to me, i was working on users issue and doing scanost didnt help thought it was showing the folder there in the list of scanost.

    I have seen issue where emails in one particular folder are not visible, probably caused because of sync failure between Exchange and outlook, which used to get resolved with 2 steps to me(either one of them).

    1. Run scanost and repair that folder,outlook 2010 does not have, but configure the profile on outlook2007 and do it, it works fine.
    2. Move users mailbox to any other store.

    But this one didnt work, finally i found this article and case solved.

    Only thing I would like to post here is that one strange thing that we noticed, that particular folder was visible when user checked his email using Outlook web access using Google Chrome.

    Thought this might help someone who cannot see the folder in owa using IE or outlook, then they can check Chrome.

  4. Need assistance please…. I’ve had a user download and run this awesome program and we were able to see his missing fOutlook folders however, the PR_ATTR_HIDDEN item is not showing up in the right-hand window. Can anyone please advise as to why this could be. Did we do anything wrong…? Thank you very much…!

  5. Amit, thank you for the reply – yes, I was remoted into his computer at the time and he did choose the correct folder. We tried baking all the way out and trying again but received the same results. No sure why this is happening. He can actually see the folders that for some reason dod not show back up in the one single Outlook pst file that I had to move for him after I walked him through doing the upgrade from Office 2007 to Office 2010.

  6. Dear Amit Bahree
    very useful post it works great also for me!!!
    My “Sent” folder disappeared 10 dasys ago from my Mailbox folder list and our exchange expert were not able to find it…
    They only explained to me that was moved to the “RSS feeds” folder (for mistake) and for that reason was hidden. Is that a possible explanation? Do you think is possible that I can unvoluntary hidden a folder in the mailbox?
    Many thanks again.

  7. Great solution, as admin I never encountered this problem before, I could not find the cause but the solution is great.
    I still have to sort out the cause though,
    rob lirb

  8. I am on Outlook 2010 and accidentally deleted one of the Outlook folders.

    Using the MAPI editor was able to find the folder in the deleted Items. However, cannot find the PR_ATTR_HIDDEN property.

    The only boolean property I see is PR_SUBFOLDERS.

    Is there another property I need to edit?


  9. Just figured a solution differently.
    You can right click on the folder – copy – and then right click on the destination folder and Paste.

    It gives you an option to move the subfolders or just the content. Used the Move Folder option and it worked great.

    Thanks again for a great tip.


  10. It would be great to know the cause of this!

    I couldn’t perform this fix, as the mapi tool just hangs.
    I have several large shared mailboxes and folders randomly go “missing” (but always visible in OWA). The mailboxes are about 20GB in size.

    The only thing that worked for me was to delete the OST file and let it re-cache.

  11. I’m experiencing the exact same problem and I’ve followed every step however when editing the property of the PR_ATTR_HIDDEN folder the Boolean….the check box is already unchecked, and it’s the same for the folder the hidden subfolder in too. I’ve also tried enabling the check box and that doesn’t work either.

  12. This helped me – I had a folder that ‘disappeared’ and I was able to recover it using this information. Note: the MFCMAPI tool is now hosted by codeplexe –

    Also, to add to symptoms some mentioned, I was able to see the folder from devices that were connected using Exchange Active Sync – namely Android phone and tablet.

    Thanks again.

  13. Perfect solution! I had 10 years worth of email in a single folder, and it had DISAPPEARED! When I tried to re-create it (because I knew it hadn’t been deleted), it said it existed…and searches of its contents would show it was still there. I don’t know what happened to make it ‘disappear’, but THANK YOU for this very helpful guide!

  14. Did anyone ever solve Amarjit’s issue from July 24th? I am having the same issue.

    I’m experiencing the exact same problem and I’ve followed every step however when editing the property of the PR_ATTR_HIDDEN folder the Boolean….the check box is already unchecked, and it’s the same for the folder the hidden subfolder in too. I’ve also tried enabling the check box and that doesn’t work either.

  15. Thanks for the tip. I had the problem with invisible Inbox folder, but the value was unset. Found out the problem was caused by duplicate Inbox folder – one with regional name and the ‘evil’ one named Inbox. After I deleted it the regional one was shown and IMAP sync started working.

  16. You are wonderful! i called my Exchange help and they had no idea and told me NOT to do this. Thank you!!!!

  17. What a sad world we live in when MS support is totally CLULESS about such issues and cannot even call this a “bug.” 2010 version is a bloated and sad imitation of 2003 and 2007.

    Our locally stored e-mails disappear from folders and found in “Deleted” folder. Nowhere on the Net we can find an answer. We tried our company support, MS support and everyone is doing the same thing – trying to repair .pst file. There are 60 “local” folders and multiple subfolders and stored e-mails keep disappearing to “deleted.” No rules have been set-up. No archiving has been set-up.

    The closest solution we can find is this article… Which doesn’t solve our problem, but points to flaws within 2010 version of Outlook. MS “experts” have no clue what could be causing it…

  18. Excellent, worked for me, only the download link is not valid anymore, so you would like to update it. Thanks

  19. Excellent article! Actually, I was looking for a way to “hide” some folders, and came upon this article. My company uses an archiving system, and so I have a long list of archive categories / folders in my Outlook that I do not need. Only a few of the categories pertain to my role, so I do not need to see the rest. I was able to hide those folders following your steps, but by putting a check in the “Boolean” instead.

    Thank you!

  20. This worked like a charmmmmmm… this will unhide folders that a user thinks he might of deleted. Some times you don’t delete the item yourself and it hides or crashes and disappears from your outlook and from your OWA. Using this tool will bring it back!!!!!!!

  21. Thank you! Searched for hours before finding this blog. In our case it was the Calendar that had the hidden attribute.Thanks!

  22. does anyone know how can I generate this problem on purpose?
    I mean, like having a secret folder that only shows when I perform a key combination for example?
    Outlook or any other email software, Mac is priority but can be Windows too.

  23. Great but all my folders are not visible the pane is blank and if i move pointer on it just turns blue. please help its irritating

  24. This worked very well for me and solved an issue that I have been dealing with for long. Finally got my inbox shortcut on the left nav. Thanks so much for this post!!

  25. I totally agree, there needs to be that option to hide entire folders for this service to be useful. Carousel is rendered useless for many people otherwise. Is this something that is planned for the future?

  26. Thanks for the help, I didn’t have the same problem as you, but I had the problem with the 0w#25 strange folder Outlook sometimes get, and the program you used to your problem was able to delete this folder, awesome, thanks.

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