How do I show or hide local folders in Outlook 2011?

By default, Outlook 2011 will hide the "Folders on My Computer."  This article will guide you through re-enabling these folders so that you can store emails locally on your hard drive. This can be useful if you are approaching your size limit on the Exchange server and need to free up some space without deleting any emails.

Outlook Preferences

With Outlook 2011 open, click on the Outlook menu at the top of your screen, then choose Preferences.  In the window that appears, click on the General icon.

outlook preferences

Show/Hide Local Folders

In the General section of the Outlook preferences, you should see two check boxes, "Group similar folders,...." and "Hide On My Computer folders."  The first one groups together folders that exist on the server for your account (Inbox, Sent Items, Deleted Items, etc.) by placing an arrow next to each similar folder allowing you to expand/collapse the similar folders.  (To show your total folder size on the server, it will need to be unchecked.) We normally recommend that this option remain unchecked to avoid the confusion of combining folders.

The second check box will either "Hide On My Computer folders" or show them depending on whether or not the box is checked.

outlook folder settings

Finish

When you are done changing the settings, simply click the red "Close" button in the top-left corner of the Preferences window.

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Last updated: 

January 24, 2013

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