I was hoping to find a way to remove the Favorite Folders pane in Microsoft
Outlook. I went to the help feature and it explicitly states that the pane
cannot be removed. Have you ever found a work around to remove it?
In the words of a past U.S. president, I feel yer pain.
I, too, don’t use the Favorite Folders feature in Outlook. And I don’t
appreciate that a) it takes up space whether or not I want it, and b) it
occasionally resets to folders which are most definitely not my favorites.
It’s a hack, but here’s what I do…
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In Microsoft Outlook’s default configuration, you’ll normally see something
like this in the lower left:
Personally, I hate all the screen real estate that it takes up. And, like
the favorites, it cannot be disables. But you can make it smaller … much
smaller. So with the mouse I click and drag the top border down so that instead
of individual line items for each shortcut, I now have only a single row of
And as you’ll see in a moment, I never, ever, deal with those icons again.
The next step is those pesky “Favorite Folders”. If you click on the mail
icon in those shortcuts we just made smaller, you’ll see ’em at the top of the
left hand pane:
You can remove each item one at a time so as to make it as small as possible
(right click on the item and select “Remove from Favorite Folders”, but you
can’t get rid of the Favorite Folders section. Annoying.
But Favorite Folders are shown only when you’re looking at “Mail” –
in other words when the Mail icon at the bottom of that pane is selected.
So I don’t do that. Instead, I click on “Folder List”. Poof – favorites are
And I leave Folder List selected, always.
Now, the reason I’m ok with this is that “Folder View” is very
similar to the plain old “Mail” view. The only differences, besides there not
being any Favorites, is that your Calendar, Journal, Notes and Contacts all appear
as folders within that same view. Yes, they take up a little real estate, but
it’s much less than the Folder View area.
But I still have favorites. And this would be the “hacky” part of my
Recall I said that Outlook seemed to reset my Favorite Folders from time to
time. I got tired of that, and switched to the Folder View, and added a folder
of favorites of my own. Since each level within the Folder View is sorted
alphabetically, I just created a top level folder called “A – Frequently Used
Folders”, and moved the folders I cared about in there:
They show up right at the top, I control what goes in there, and perhaps more
importantly, they don’t take up valuable screen real estate – I can scroll in
that pane, and they scroll off the top.
So whether or not you want to play with setting up your own favorite folders
equivalent, my recommendation is simply to switch to Folder View. It’s not
perfect, but it is better.
And here’s hoping that the next version of Outlook allows us a little more
control over what we see.