Outlook Express / Windows Mail

General Information & Terminology

All mail in Outlook Express is stored in mail folders. A mail folder can contain email messages and/or additional mail folders. You can organize your mail folders by grouping them together within other mail folders. Mail folders within other folders are called sub-folders.

How do I display my mail folders?

By default, the folder list showing all your folders and sub-folders is displayed on the left side of your screen in Outlook Express. If a folder contains sub-folders, either the sub-folders will be displayed under their main folders, or a + sign will show next to the name of the main folder. Clicking on the + will display the sub-folders.

If the folder list isn't displayed, click on the View menu and click Layout. In the screen that comes up, click on "Folder List" to check it, then click OK.

How do I create a new mail folder?

First make sure the folder list is displayed (see this topic). Then:

  • To create a new folder at the top level (not within another folder), right-click "Local Folders" in the folder list, otherwise, right-click on the name of the folder in which you want to create your new folder. Click "New Folder" on the menu that comes up.
  • The Create Folder dialog box will appear. Type the name of your new folder in the "Folder Name:" box, then click OK. The new folder will appear in the appropriate place in the folder list.

How do I switch to a mail folder to view its contents?

Click on the folder name in the folder list. A list of all messages in that folder will be displayed on the right side of the screen.

How do I move messages into a mail folder?

First display the folder where the message is now by clicking on its name in the folder list. A list of all the messages in that folder will appear on the right side of your screen. Click on the message line for the message you want to move and drag it to the appropriate folder name in the folder list. It will be moved to that folder.

By default, all messages you receive go into your Inbox folder. You can change this so they are automatically routed to different mailboxes as they come in. To do this, set up an email filter - go here to see how.

How do I delete a mail folder?

Right-click the folder's name in the folder list, and click Delete on the menu that appears. A box will appear asking if you’re sure you want to delete the folder - click Yes. The folder will be moved to the Deleted Items folder. To delete it permanently, right-click on its name in its location under Deleted Items and go through the same process as before.