Rename the default folders

Outlook doesn’t allow you to change the names of the default Outlook folders such as your Inbox, Sent Items, Calendar and Contacts folder. The “Rename Folder” option for these folders is simply disabled (greyed out).

The reasoning behind this is mainly based on standardization and to prevent accidental renaming. Still, there are valid reason why you want to rename these folders with language differences between the folders and the Outlook interface being the most common.

Matching the folder names with the language of Outlook

Of course, by default, the language of the folder names will match the language of Outlook that you installed. If you later change your installed language of Outlook, you might want to match the folder naming scheme again as well. You can do this by starting Outlook with the /resetfoldernames switch.

  • Windows XP
    Start-> Run; outlook.exe /resetfoldernames
  • Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8
    Start-> type; outlook.exe /resetfoldernames

Note the space in the command listed above.

Starting Outlook with the /resetfoldernames switch
Start Outlook with the /resetfoldernames switch to have the folders
match the language of Outlook.

Manually renaming the folders via MFCMAPI

The reverse of the above example might be true as well; You’re using a certain language of Outlook but want to display the folders in another language. In that case you can use MFCMAPI to manually rename the folders.

MFCMapi is a low-level mailbox editing tool. It’s designed for expert users only so pretty much all safety nets are missing and making a mistake could result in total destruction of your mailbox data.
Following the below instructions to the letter is therefore crucial if you are not familiar with the workings of MFCMAPI. Doing that together with making a backup of your Outlook data before beginning will make it safe to use MFCMapi even when you’re not an expert user.

  1. Download MFCMAPI.
  2. Extract the downloaded zip-file and run MFCMapi.exe
  3. Press OK on the introduction screen.
  4. On the main menu click on Session the and choose; Logon and Display Store Table
  5. Select the mail profile for which you want to change the folder names. If you are not familiar with this dialog, simply press OK as the default suggested mail profile name is the one that you normally open Outlook with as well.
  6. You’ll now see an overview of your mailbox stores in Outlook.
    If you want to change the names of the default mailbox, look at the “Default Store” column and select the mailbox store that has its “Default Store” property set to “True”.
    Of course you can also change the names for folders in other mailboxes this way.

    Determing the default store in MFCMAPI
    The amount of stores displays depends on how many mailboxes and additional pst-files you have configured in Outlook.

  7. A new window will open with a list called “Root Container”. Expand this list by clicking on the plus icon next to it.
  8. Depending on your account configuration expand the following folder:
    • Top of Outlook data file
    • Top of Personal Folders
    • Top of Information Store
  9. Select the folder for which you want to change the name so it becomes highlighted.
  10. Click on the folder again; the name should now become editable.
  11. Type the new name for the folder and then press ENTER.
  12. Repeat step 9-12 until you have renamed all the folders that you want to rename.

Renaming a default folder via MFCMAPI
You can rename Outlook’s default folders via MFCMAPI.

Changing the folder language of Exchange accounts via OWA

If you are using an Exchange account on an Exchange 2007, Exchange 2010 or Exchange 2013 server, then you can also change the language of your folders via Outlook Web Access (OWA).

  1. Logon to your mailbox via OWA (ask your Exchange administrator if you do not know how to do this).
  2. Open the Options page:
    • OWA 2007
      Press the Options button in the top right corner.
    • OWA 2010
      Press the Options button in the top right corner and select: See All Options…
    • OWA 2013 (including Exchange Online of Office 365)
      Press the Gears icon next to your name in the top-right corner and choose Options.
  3. Open the Regional Settings page
    • OWA 2007
      Select Regional Settings in the left pane.
    • OWA 2010
      Select Settings in the left pane and then click on Regional at the top of the page.
    • OWA 2013
      Select Settings in the left pane and then click on Regional at the top of the page.
  4. Under language, you can set your language for OWA and have a link or checkbox to also rename the default folder to match the selected language. In OWA 2013, this checkbox will only become visible after you have selected a different language.

If you want the language of the folders to be in a different language as the OWA interface, you can of course simply switch back the language of OWA after you’ve changed the language of the folder names.

Renaming the default folders via OWA
Changing the language of the default folders in OWA 2007.

Changing the language of the default folders in OWA 2013.
Changing the language of the default folders in OWA 2013.