Rename Email Accounts and Mailbox Folders

Since the last few Outlook versions, Outlook names your email account and mailbox folder set after your email address. This results in quite large display names which aren’t always meaningful, get truncated or clutters the Outlook interface more than it should.

For instance, when you set the delivery for multiple POP3 accounts to a single pst-file, it doesn’t make sense that the pst-file in Outlook is named after the email address of only 1 account.

Another example is when you have 2 or more accounts and want a more elegant or shorter display name like “Work” and “Private” rather than the full email address.

Favorites section in Outlook with email addresses truncated.     Favorites section in Outlook with short custom names.
Unclutter some areas by renaming accounts and mailboxes.

Some display names can easily be changed but others, like for instance for Exchange and Outlook.com accounts, can be more challenging to change.

This guide instructs you how to change the display name of any Email Account type or Mailbox Folder set in Outlook.


Difference between the account and mailbox name

The name of your email account is what you see when you press the Send/Receive button or on the From or Accounts button when you have multiple accounts configured in Outlook.

You’ll also see it when you create a message rule with the “through the specified account” condition (for instance, to automatically move it to another folder).

From button showing full addresses to indicate the accounts to send from.     From button showing short custom names to indicate the accounts to send from.
Your “From” account list is another area where you can shorten the display names.

The name of your mailbox is what you see in the Navigation Pane on the left in Outlook or when you are for instance using the Move to Folder dialog. This is also know as “the root folder of a mailbox” or “top level folder” since it is the main container of all the folders within your mailbox.

Mailbox display name get truncated because the email address is too long.     Short custom mailbox display name.
Truncated email addresses don’t look that nice in the Navigation Pane.

The name of the mailbox is also appended in the Favorites section when you have folders with the same name added there. For instance, when you have the Inbox folder of 2 different mailboxes added as a Favorite. A “before” and “after” screenshot of this Outlook section can be found at the beginning of the article.

Note:
After changing the display name of a mailbox via any of the methods below, you may need to restart Outlook for changes to take effect in the Favorites section within the Navigation Pane.

POP3 accounts, archives and other pst-files

To change the display name of a POP3 account:

  1. Open the Account Settings dialog:
    • Outlook 2003
      Tools-> E-mail Accounts…-> Next
    • Outlook 2007
      Tools-> Account Settings…
    • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
      File-> Account Settings…-> Account Settings…
  2. Double click on your email account.
  3. Press the More Settings… button.
  4. Type the display name for your account on the General tab.
  5. Press OK until all dialogs are closed and you are back in the main Outlook window.

Chaning the account name of a POP3 account.

Changing the display name of the POP Mailbox and other pst-files
To change the display name of pst-files belonging to POP3 accounts or other archives:

  1. Right click on the root folder of the pst-file.
  2. Choose Properties.
  3. Click on the Advanced… button.
  4. Change the “Name” field.
  5. Press OK and OK again to return to the main Outlook window.

Another way to do this in Outlook 2007, 2010 or 2013 is to select the Data Files tab in Account Settings and then double click on the pst-file.

Change the display name of a pst mailbox.

IMAP accounts

To change the display name of an IMAP account:

  1. Open the Account Settings dialog:
    • Outlook 2003
      Tools-> E-mail Accounts…-> Next
    • Outlook 2007
      Tools-> Account Settings…
    • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
      File-> Account Settings…-> Account Settings…
  2. Double click on your email account.
  3. Press the More Settings… button.
  4. Type the display name for your account on the General tab.
  5. Press OK until all dialogs are closed and you are back in the main Outlook window.

Chaning the account name of an IMAP account.

Changing the display name of the IMAP Mailbox
When you change the display name of an IMAP account in Outlook 2013, the name of the mailbox will automatically change as well. If you want this display name to be different from the account name, use the MFCMAPI method.

For Outlook 2010 and previous, changing the display name of the IMAP mailbox is the same as for any other pst-file:

  1. Right click on the root folder of the pst-file.
  2. Choose Properties.
  3. Click on the Advanced… button.
  4. Change the “Name” field.
  5. Press OK and OK again to return to the main Outlook window.

Another way to do this in Outlook 2007 or 2010 is to select the Data Files tab in Account Settings and then double click on the pst-file.

Outlook Hotmail Connector accounts (Outlook.com and Hotmail)

When you are using an Outlook.com/Hotmail account in Outlook 2010 or previous via the Outlook Hotmail Connector, you can change the display name of your account in the following way:

  1. Open the Account Settings dialog:
    • Outlook 2003
      Tools-> E-mail Accounts…-> Next
    • Outlook 2007
      Tools-> Account Settings…
    • Outlook 2010
      File-> Account Settings…-> Account Settings…
  2. Double click on your Outlook Hotmail Connector account.
  3. Press the Advanced button.
  4. In the now visible Mail Account section, you can specify the display name for your account.
  5. Press OK until all dialogs are closed and you are back in the main Outlook window.

When you change the display name of an Outlook Hotmail Connector account, the name of the mailbox will automatically change as well. If you want this display name to be different from the account name, use the MFCMAPI method.

Chaning the account name of an Outlook Hotmail Connector account.

Exchange Active Sync (EAS) accounts (Outlook.com and Hotmail)

When you have your Outlook.com/Hotmail account configured as an EAS account in Outlook 2013, then changing the account’s display name is a bit trickier and much more hidden:

  1. Open up your Send/Receive Settings:
    File-> Options-> Advanced-> button Send/Receive…
    Or use the keyboard shortcut: CTRL+ALT+S
  2. Press the Edit… button.
  3. Select your Outlook.com/Hotmail account on the left.
  4. Press the Account Properties… button.
  5. Type the display name for your account on the General tab.
  6. Press OK until all dialogs are closed and you are back in the main Outlook window.

When you change the display name of an EAS account, the name of the mailbox will automatically change as well. If you want this display name to be different from the account name, use the MFCMAPI method.

Chaning the account name of an EAS account.

Exchange mailboxes (including Exchange Online of Office 365 for Business)

To change the display name of an Exchange account:

  1. Open the Account Settings dialog:
    • Outlook 2003
      Tools-> E-mail Accounts…-> Next
    • Outlook 2007
      Tools-> Account Settings…
    • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
      File-> Account Settings…-> Account Settings…
  2. Double click on your email account.
  3. Press the More Settings… button.
  4. Type the display name for your account on the General tab.
  5. Press OK until all dialogs are closed and you are back in the main Outlook window.

Changing the display name of an Exchange mailbox can only be achieved via MFCMAPI.

Chaning the account name of an Exchange account.

MFCMAPI Method to change the mailbox display name

As mentioned, the display name of an Exchange mailbox can’t be changed directly within Outlook. Also, the display name of an IMAP 2013, EAS of Outlook Hotmail Connector mailbox can’t be set separately from the display name of the account.

By using MFCMAPI however, this task becomes quite easy.

  1. Download MFCMAPI from Microsoft’s Open Source website CodePlex.
    • When you are using a 64-bit version of Office, don’t use the big download button on the right but click on the Downloads tab to download “MFCMAPI 64 bit executable”.
  2. Extract the downloaded zip-file and execute mfcmapi.exe.
  3. Accept any dialog prompts to get to the main window of MFCMAPI.
  4. Choose: Session-> Logon…

    MFCMAPI - Session Logon

  5. Select the mail profile for which you want to change a mailbox’s display name.
    If you are unfamiliar with this dialog, simply press OK.

    Choose Profile dialog box of Outlook.

  6. In the top-part of MFCMAPI you should now see all your configured mailboxes and connected pst-files. Select the mailbox that you want to change the display name for.
  7. In the bottom part of MFCMAPI, you’ll now see various properties of your mailbox. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by this but look for the line PR_DISPLAY_NAME and double click on it.

    MFCMAPI - Mailbox - PR_DISPLAY_NAME

  8. The Property Editor will open. In the “Ansi” field, you can now modify the display name of your mailbox.

    MFCMAPI - Property Editor - Mailbox - PR_DISPLAY_NAME

  9. Press OK to confirm the change and to return to the main MFCMAPI window.
  10. Close MFCMAPI.

When you now start Outlook again, the mailbox will show the new name you have given it.