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How to search Outlook for a folder name:

Following up on the popular Extracting Email address from outlook folder , and

Extracting all attachments from Outlook to your computer– not one by one

I have been getting frustrated by the lack of search facility that Outlook has to offer. Specifically, the lack of facility to search for a specific folder name – not an email but a Folder Name.

I have lots of folders and subfolder so when I am looking for something its not always simple to find it, I want a facility that will find my folder.

Outlook doesn’t have a search for folder name facility, so I created one –  Smile

As per usual: when it comes to these things, I have to add my “I take no responsibility whatsoever if this Macro doesn’t work of messes up your Outlook”

I suggest backing it up before you continue further… (gotta say this for legal reasons)

Now that you have backed up your work, please continue:

1. Open Outlook

2. Right-click on this File and save it to your computer where you can find it again. Once it is downloaded, extract the one file in there and place it in the MY DOCUMENTS folder.

3.  In the ZIP file you have just downloaded is the Macro file. So now we need to Import it into Outlook.

4. Outlook 2010: You need to enable the DEVELOPER ribbon (if you haven’t already done so). It looks like this:

Find folder by name in outlook

If you don’t have it enabled, then just do the following:

Click on File, Options, Customize Ribbon and then put a Tick on the Developer on the right-hand side.

Find folder by name in outlook

Click OK and it will appear.

5. Click on Developer and then click on Visual Basic

6. Click on File, Import File

7. Select the extracted file : FindmyFolder.bas and click on Open

Find folder by name in outlook

8. Click on File, Close and Return to Outlook

You are now ready to use this !

NOTE: Anytime you want to search for a folder, you DO NOT have to repeat the above steps – just carry on from here:

Simple click on Developer tab, click on Macros and then Macros again, select the FindmyFolder and click on Run !

Find folder by name in outlook

You will be prompted to enter the folder you are looking for:

Find folder by name in outlook

You will then be asked if you would like to be taken to that folder.

Simple !

Bonus Add On Tip:

To make it even easier to access this without going to the Macro screen, you can use Outlook’s ribbon so its quick and easy.

Right click next to the ribbon and select Customize the Ribbon…

Find folder by name in outlook

On the right side, click on  Home (Mail) and then click on New Group

Find folder by name in outlook

Iit will create: Find folder by name in outlookright click on it, and rename it to “Cool Tool” (or anything)

Then on the left hand side, click on the drop down till you find Macros, then Select the FindFolder, click on Add>> and it will add it to the Cool Tool that is highlighted on the right.

Find folder by name in outlook

Then, right click on the  FindFolderFind folder by name in outlook that you just added and rename it to “Find Folder“ . I also selected the Magnifying glass as the icon

Click OK

You should see now on your Ribbon this icon and anytime you want to use it to find a folder name, here it is:

Find folder by name in outlook

Hope this helps !

ps. feedback is appreciated – so if you find it useful, post a comment below, share it on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and let other know

Liron Segev - TheTechieGuy

Liron Segev - TheTechieGuy

Liron Segev is an award-winning tech blogger, YouTube strategist, and Podcaster. He helps brands tell their stories in an engaging way that non-techies can relate to. He also drinks way too much coffee! @Liron_Segev on Twitter

60 thoughts on “How to search Outlook for a folder name:

  1. Liron,

    This is a great tool. The wildcard capability is especially appreciated. Is there a way to adapt the code so that, if several folders fit the wildcard pattern, I could cycle through them to find the one I wanted and then have the code set that one as the active folder?

    In other words, if it found a match, and I answered “No, I don’t want to move to the found folder,” is there a way that the code could continue to search from there, find the next wildcard match and then ask me the same question again.

    Many thanks again for the tool and any advice you could give on my question.


  2. problem with cycling through the folders and then continuing if its the wrong folder is that you need to “remember” where you are so you carry on from there – not so straight forward in the code. Will take it under advisment for next time though

  3. Gotta echo Joe here. Number 1 – of course, THANKS THANKS THANKS for writing this tool and making it publicly available. Number 2 (a distant number 2!) it would indeed be a lot more helpful if wildcard searches didn’t end at the first hit. I’m a cruddy programmer myself but I skimmed through your code and it looks like you have a subroutine that goes through all folders to look for a match – and when found you escape from the sub and present the result to the user. Could you present the result to the user while you are still inside the subroutine, and give the user three choices instead of the current two: (a) jump to this found folder, (b) keep looking or (c) quit. Or are there problems in Office Basic that make this more complicated?

  4. great tool – saved me a ton of time. I am always losing folders. Also cut down scrolling through all my folders.

  5. Many thanks.
    It works smooth and provides with functionality you promised.
    You should sell it to Microsoft 🙂

  6. Been a programmer for 30+ years (not PC stuff though). This is a great tool and thank you SO much! Would it be so difficult for the Microsoft people to spend a little less time on screwing up the user interface every release and a little MORE time giving us tools, like yours, that actually make things easier?

  7. Just wanted to thank you for building a macro to find outlook files! I have been asking for this solution for quite some time–really appreciate the time savings!

  8. No macro is needed.
    In Outlook 2010: Ctrl+Shift+F, Advanced tab, Field->All Mail Fields->In Folder. Enter your folder’s name in the Value field. Use the condition to simulate wildcards (or not).
    Does not work if the folder is empty…

  9. When I run the macro, Outlook hangs. After 3 minutes, I shut down Outlook and try again. Same issue. Most of my folders are in a separate .PST file. Does this create an issue?

  10. Thank you. I frequently inadvertently move my folders into other folders and sometimes don’t notice when that happens. This will save me lot’s of time trying to find them again!

  11. I have the same issue as Sprky: “When I run the macro, Outlook hangs. After 3 minutes, I shut down Outlook and try again. Same issue. Most of my folders are in a separate .PST file. Does this create an issue?”.

  12. Thank you for this tip, it works a treat. Why Microsoft don’t include a Folder Search option totally defeats me.
    Regards, Trevor

  13. Thank you thank you thank you – may good karma flow your way. Really helped me out – I loathe windows 8 & M/s Outlook 2013. I used to love Eudora but alas its gone.
    Happy to send you flowers 🙂

  14. Awesome. It worked like a champ. You should be the CEO/CFO of Microsoft as all of their dummies could not think of adding this feature in Outlook. Job Well Done.

  15. Hi, I’m running Outlook 2013 now (and 2016 on another computer). I was looking at a macro that would allow me to get the folder of a mail after a search all mailboxes.
    I have a problem now with Outlook 2013 as the PST files are in the cloud.
    the code is :
    ‘Sub DeepSearch()
    Public Sub DeepSearch()
    Dim obj As Object
    Dim F As Outlook.MAPIFolder
    Dim Msg$
    Set obj = Application.ActiveWindow
    If TypeOf obj Is Outlook.Inspector Then
    Set obj = obj.CurrentItem
    Set obj = obj.Selection(1)
    End If
    Set F = obj.Parent
    Msg = “The path is: ” & F.FolderPath & vbCrLf
    Msg = Msg & “Switch to the folder?”
    If MsgBox(Msg, vbYesNo) = vbYes Then
    Set Application.ActiveExplorer.CurrentFolder = F
    End If
    End Sub

    It blocks at the .Parent instruction…

  16. I know this is a very old post but this looks very useful so I attempted to follow the instructions but for some reason when saved the file on step 2, it doesn’t look like a zip file just a blank piece of paper – BAS file. I saved it to a file but when I went to import from Outlook the file was now showing. Am I doing something wrong. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  17. Hello – read your post on finding folders. I’m using Outlook 2013, not 2010. Nonetheless, when I press ctrl+shift+F, go to the Advanced tab, select Field>All Mail Fields>In Folder, then enter the folder name (chose an easy, first level, one word folder name). Then Search button, and… nothing! Is 2013 different? Seems to have all the options you refer to, so it looks like it is going to work – it just doesn’t. Rgds, Mike

  18. Jen, it sounds like you have already downloaded the ZIP file and something (either you or your browser) already extracted the contents of the ZIP file, which is a .BAS file. It should be FindmyFolder.bas. This is the file that you use in step 7 when configuring the macro in Outlook.

  19. Thank you very much for this. After fruitless searching, this is the tool that worked and saved me 🙂

  20. Hi – 2 quick questions:

    1) does this work with Outlook 2016…and…
    2) does this macro all you to “search” for a folder when moving / filing an email (i.e. – faster search & file like you can do on the Outlook app and web version of Outlook? OR…does this only allow you to search for a folder to access the emails within?

  21. Hi There, thanks for this great tool. I have been searching for folder search feature for a long time now. This is of a great help, thanks once again

  22. Thanks for the great tool. I had it all installed and it was working perfectly. When I closed Outlook, it asked if I wanted to save, not sure what it asked I just said yes.
    But now it no longer runs. I have removed it and reimported it several times but I get a message that states ”
    the macros in this project are disabled”
    Hopefully you can tell me what I am doing wrong.

  23. A great tool! This will save me so much time! Can”t understand why Outllok does not have something like this out of the box. Thank you!!!!!

  24. This is exactly what I need! I’m running Outlook 2013 in cached mode. Unfortunately my Outlook hangs with “Not Responding”. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  25. After further testing, this works perfect when I type in the exact name of the folder I want to find. However, typing in a partial name results in Outlook hanging. Is there a way to resolve this?

  26. 1st of all, thanks for the nice app. But also for me I need this “next” folder function to be able to use it the way I need. Hope you will find the time to update it.

  27. Hi. I’m getting the following when I run the macro:
    “Run-time error ‘-590085871 (dcd40111)
    Network problems are preventing a connection to Microsoft Exchange”

    When I click on ‘Debug’ it highlights in yellow “LoopFolders F.Folders” near the end of the script.

    When I run the script again, I get different values (e.g., ‘-451673839 (e5140111)

    The network connection is fine – I can send and receive emails no issue.


  28. It appears that the script searches the entire outlook archive, it would be nice if the search would search within a selected folder.

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