E-mail Management

HowTo Importing eml-files into Outlook

Import EML buttonIf you’ve ever used Outlook Express, Windows (Live) Mail, Thunderbird, Lotus/IBM Notes or basically any mail client other then Outlook, chances are that you have some eml-files stored somewhere as well.

While Outlook does support opening eml-files, it doesn’t offer a way to import them into Outlook.

This guides contains instructions and 2 scripts to import eml-files into an Outlook folder of your choice.

Continue reading: Importing eml-files into Outlook


HowTo Color Code your Emails, Calendar, Contacts or Tasks automatically with Conditional Formatting

Conditional Formatting buttonThe Conditional Formatting feature in Outlook allows you to get organized by automatically color coding your Emails, Calendar items, Contacts and Tasks without the need to apply a Color Category to it or move them to different folders.

The color coding isn’t just intended to emphasize certain emails but it can also be used to deemphasize certain emails such as newsletters or emails you are only a CC or BCC recipient of.

You may actually already know Conditional Formatting without realizing it as it is for instance also being used to:

  • Show unread emails in a blue and bold font.
  • Show expired emails and completed tasks in a grey and strikethrough font.
  • Show overdue emails and tasks in a red font.

The “Conditional Formatting” feature may look complex at first but creating color coding rules is actually fairly easy and quite powerful when used the right way.

This guide will help you on your way to get yourself familiar with the Conditional Formatting options with 8 color coding examples which might be useful to you as well.

Conditional Formatting usage in the Message List.
Conditional Formatting usage in the Message List.

Continue reading: Color Code your Emails, Calendar, Contacts or Tasks automatically with Conditional Formatting

HowTo Imported IMAP folders are not visible or don’t show any content

IMAP Folders buttonWhen you’ve exported your IMAP mailbox or specific folders to a pst-file which you then later open in Outlook or import into an Exchange or Outlook.com mailbox, you may be shocked to see that these folders don’t contain anything.

Additionally, when you configure this mailbox on a smartphone or tablet as an Exchange ActiveSync account, these folders may not show at all.

Luckily, this can be fixed without any data loss but the process to do so via MFCMAPI is not for the faint of heart or when you have many folder to fix.

Therefor, this guide also contains a script which you can run to apply the fix for you. You can either fix a single folder, a folder and its subfolders or your entire mailbox at once.

Continue reading: Imported IMAP folders are not visible or don’t show any content

Use "4PM76A8" to get a discount when ordering!

HowTo Applying message rules to the Junk E-mail folder

When you’ve created a rule to directly delete the most obvious spam messages, rather than letting them go to the Junk E-mail folder, you might have noticed that this method isn’t always successful.

This is because once a message has been marked as Junk via the Junk E-mail Filter, no rules will be executed for that message. The reasoning behind this is to prevent it from being moved out of the folder again or to have any other undesirable action being executed because of it (like auto-replying to it).

While you could still manually execute your anti-Junk rules against the Junk E-mail folder to speed up your reviewing process, it is a quite cumbersome process to get to the option and select the rules to execute.

With the VBA macro from this guide, you can execute all your anti-Junk E-mail rules against your Junk E-mail folder with a single click.

Continue reading: Applying message rules to the Junk E-mail folder

HowTo Moving the ost-file of an Exchange, Outlook.com or IMAP account

Move OST-File buttonWhereas it is quite easy to set or change the location of pst-files belonging to a POP3 account, changing the location of the ost-file for an Exchange, Outlook.com or IMAP account is much more troublesome.

This can lead to issues as these files can grow quite large and the disk or partition on which you have Windows installed might not be accommodated for that. Especially if you invested in a fast SSD-drive, you usually don’t have GBs of space to waste and rather locate this data on your larger data drive.

While you can force the location of ost-files via Registry value, you’ll need to remove and re-add the account and download all mail again.

An effective and more direct solution is to use Symbolic Links. While the matter around them and how they function is quite complex, using them is luckily fairly easy and they are a very effective solution for this issue.

Continue reading: Moving the ost-file of an Exchange, Outlook.com or IMAP account

HowTo Recover deleted pst-files via Previous Versions

Every now and then, the following story reaches us;

Today when I started Outlook, I got the error that my pst-file was missing and Outlook would not start. I checked the location where my pst-file should have been but indeed it wasn’t there. My last backup is from months ago so that is not a lot of help.

Outlook was working just fine yesterday.

What happened and is there any way that I can still recover my Outlook data?

While nothing works better than having your backups in order, all might not be lost yet if you had your pst-file stored on a disk with Previous Versions protection enabled. This however does require you to be using Windows Vista or Windows 7. Windows XP users will require additional tools which is discussed later in this guide as well.

The methods described below also work for pst-files that you have accidentally overwritten or have been damaged beyond the repair capabilities of the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe).

Continue reading: Recover deleted pst-files via Previous Versions

HowTo Hide, move or delete an Outlook folder via MFCMAPI

Folders & MFCMAPI buttonThere may be various reasons to why you might want to hide, move or delete a folder via MFCMAPI.

For instance, to hide “special folders” for features you do not use or to re-hide a folder which shouldn’t be visible in the first place (like the “News Feed” folder). MFCMAPI also allows you to move back a default Outlook folder for those rare instance where they become a subfolder of another default folder such as the “Inbox” folder being listed under the “Deleted Items” folder.

The method in this guide can also be used to “revive” invisible folders. These invisible folders for instance still show up when using a Search Folder or Instant Search (even after rebuilding your Search Index) or you get an error that the folder already exists when trying to recreate it in the same location.

Continue reading: Hide, move or delete an Outlook folder via MFCMAPI

HowTo Locking your Views against accidental changes

Custom Views can greatly improve your productivity as your emails, contacts or calendar folders are then presented exactly the way you want it. An often heard request is to be able to prevent changes being made to it later on or to be able to reset it back to the way you had it configured.

The usual workaround for this is to create a copy of your custom view so you’ll always be able to simply delete your modified version and create a fresh new copy.

A better approach would be to actually being able to lock your views. And even though this isn’t possible in Outlook itself, it is possible to lock down your views via a VBA macro.

The code sample provided in this guide gives you an easy to use interface to quickly lock or unlock your views.

Continue reading: Locking your Views against accidental changes

HowTo Save e-mail messages as pdf-file

Since Office 2007, Word, Excel and PowerPoint files can be saved directly as pdf-files. Sadly, this option is not available in Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010. There are of course alternatives such as installing a pdf-printer, using Adobe Acrobat or a 3rd party add-in such as SaveAsPDF by Sperry Software.

Another way is to use the VBA macro in this guide which uses Word’s capabilities to save documents in the pdf-format. With the code provided and easy to follow instructions, it offers a great alternative if you only occasionally need to save messages in the pdf-format or when you are in an environment where you cannot install software yourself.

Continue reading: Save e-mail messages as pdf-file

HowTo Gmail IMAP – Solving the [Gmail] separation

When you are using a Gmail account over IMAP in Outlook, you’ll also automatically get an [Gmail] or [Google Mail] folder containing all the “system folders” of Gmail itself.

To break yourself out of this additional subfolder and have all these folders listed directly under your mailbox in Outlook, you can set a root folder for your Gmail IMAP account. However, this has an effect on any Labels that you might use in Gmail. Luckily, there is a workaround for this as well.

Continue reading: Gmail IMAP – Solving the [Gmail] separation