Outlook 2003 IMAP Folder Subscriptions

How to view all of your folders in Outlook 2003 running IMAP

Sometimes Outlook may not show you all of the folders in your mailbox and in most cases, this is because you need to tell Outlook to “Subscribe” to the folders. This tutorial focuses on setting up Microsoft Outlook 2003, but these settings are similar in other versions of Microsoft Outlook and you may use them as a guide for other versions. This tutorial is only applicable if you are running IMAP.

To configure IMAP folder subscriptions in Microsoft Outlook 2003


When using IMAP, the server organises emails into folders e.g. Inbox, Drafts, Trash, Junk etc. The default configuration for Outlook means that only those folders which you are ‘subscribed’ to will be displayed in the list of folders in Outlook – e.g.: 

In this tutorial, we will show you how to change this default behavior so that ‘every’ folder will show up in Outlook, or how you can ‘subscribe’ to only those folders which you are interested in. 

Step 1

In Microsoft Outlook, right click on your email account name and select “IMAP Folders…” from the menu. 

…this will open the IMAP Folder box: 

 Step 2 – Display ‘All’ folders in folder list

Press on the “Query” button. The All tab will now show a list of every folder on the server: 

By default, Outlook will only show ‘subscribed’ folders. To change this behavior, take the tick out of the box labelled “When displaying hierarchy in Outlook, show only subscribed folders”, click OK and return to Outlook. Assuming that you are connected to the internet, in a few moments you will see all of the folders which are stored on the server appear in your folder list – for example: 

 Step 3 – Subscribe or Unsubscribe folders

Press on the “Query” button. The All tab will now show a list of every folder on the server: 

 Items shown with a ‘folder’ icon indicate ‘subscribed’ folders which will show in your list within Outlook, whilst those items with no icon are folders which are ‘unsubscribed’. Unsubscribed folders will not show in Outlook unless you have followed the instructions in Step 2 above. 

To subscribe or unsubscribe a folder, select it and then click on the relevant button to the right: