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Recover Missing Folder in Outlook & Get Back the PST File

Published By Siddharth Sharma
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On November 10th, 2023

Has it ever happened to you that you cannot find a folder in your Outlook 2010? Yes, we are talking about a situation where an entire folder has disappeared all of a sudden. It is not uncommon for people to accidentally delete Outlook PST folders. This post will talk about what to do in the situation when the Outlook PST folder is lost. Moreover, multiple methods to recover missing folder in Outlook are discussed here. Before beginning the conversation about missing folders in Outlook 2007 all the way to the latest 2019, we will go through some of the most common user queries.

Outlook 2010 has been my email client for last few years. I have not had any trouble using it in all these days. Last week, I noticed that a folder is missing from Outlook. I find it quite odd but now feeling helpless after losing all emails of that folder. It is possible that my nephew has accidentally deleted the folder. Can anyone suggest me a way out from this situation? I am eagerly looking for a method to recover lost folder in Outlook. Thanks in advance.”

“I have many unread emails folder that is missing in Outlook 2013. Two days back, I saw my Inbox on my work account with many emails but as I came back to work. I was not able to get any of emails. I have unread emails folder missing in Outlook 2013 account. Any Suggestions for getting Outlook 2013 PST folders missing ?”

Reasons to Encounter A Missing Folder in Outlook

  • Organizations often need to comply with the new regulation policies. Therefore to make sure that no legal violations take place the admin might have shifted the Email folders to a new location. This is one of the reasons why you encounter the Outlook PST file disappearance issue. Incase you have also lost the contacts you may want to learn how to import contacts to Outlook from CSV file at a local storage.
  • Businesses receive thousands of emails every day. So as a result individuals often need to clean up old emails. Sometimes during the cleanup, users might end up deleting some of their important mail along with the trash. That’s why they are missing their PST files (which are the default email storage format in Outlook).
  • You don’t receive the emails directly on your computer (unless your workstation is the server itself). As personal devices are not suitable to handle so much information emails first arrive at the server and then go to the personal accounts. Although it’s rare sometimes during the redirection there is a chance of network interruption or the PC going out of sync. In that case, the PST files remain on the server and you can’t find them on your device.
  • Locally stored PST files may end up missing after recent software or hardware changes. This is more common where there is a lack of communication between teams. An upgrade team might have removed the drive on which your email data was present. Additionally, the same is true for uninformed software changes as well.
  • If your organization was hit by a cyberattack, then access to email files might be restricted. This restriction can be placed either by the security team (to prevent further damage) or by the attackers themselves (to extract monetary gain).

Basic Techniques to Recover Missing Folder in Outlook

There are a number of ways to retrieve the missing folder in Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010 and 2007. The methods mainly depend upon the location of the deleted items. Once something gets deleted from Outlook, it goes straight to Deleted Items folder. If the missing item is not there, users can check the Recoverable Items folder. Here are the techniques to retrieve the Outlook PST file missing folders.

Sometimes it is the simplest solution is the correct one.

Check if you have accidentally minimized the folder box. If so maximize it. Apart from the obvious, there can be an instance where you have over-optimized the folder structure thereby hiding the important files. You can expand all folders at once by clicking on the inverted triangle icon.

Like explained previously network issues can also prevent the visibility of PST files on your system. Therefore, before you try to recover lost folder in Outlook ask the Network engineer for any outage issue or reset the router yourself. If this does not resolve the issue then the files might be removed from the system. Likewise you may need the appropriate Office 365 admin role to access some of the other systems.

If you suspect that the recent upgrade might have to do something with your situation of Outlook PST files missing then contact the appropriate personnel. Those in charge of the hardware can inform you about the changes made to your system. This process varies from company to company so act accordingly.

In the end, if hardware changes are also not responsible for the issue then the files might be deleted check the next section for restoration steps. 

Method 1: Manually Recover Missing PST Folder from Deleted Items folder

  • Open Outlook 2010 and click on Deleted Items to recover Outlook PST missing folder.
  • If you find the missing item there, select it and do following:
  1. To restore it to Inbox, right-click and select Move >> Other Folder >> Inbox and click OK.
  2. To restore it to the calendar, right-click and select Move >> Other Folder >> Calendar and click OK to get Outlook PST  file folder missing.
  3. To recover a contact, right-click and select Move >> Other Folder>> Contact and click OK.
  4. To retrieve a task, right-click and select Move >> Other Folder>> Tasks and click OK.

Your deleted or missing item will get restored to your chosen folder and all unread emails folder missing in Outlook would be back.

Method 2: Recover Missing Folder in Outlook from Recoverable Items Folder

If the missing folder cannot be located in Deleted Items folder, it may have been hard deleted. Then you have to look for it in Recoverable Items folder.

  • Go to Outlook email folder and click on Deleted Items.
  • Make sure you have selected the Home tab. Now, click on Recover Deleted Items From Server.
  • See if you can find the missing folder. If found it, select and click on Restore Selected Items radio button. Then click OK to restore all Outlook items from this folder.

Note: Sometimes, Outlook folder missing option is grayed out or absent in your Outlook window. The reasons are-

  • Your Outlook may be in an offline mode that why Outlook PST folder missing.
  • You might not be using Exchange Account that causes missing folder in Outlook 2007 / 2010.

Try to fix these issues and the option recover deleted items from the server will appear which means Outlook PST missing folder would be back. Moreover, getting the PST folders is a part of addressing the Office 365 migration challenges so admins must have a clear way to sort he missing folder problem.

Expert’s  Suggestion for Fighting Problem like – Outlook PST Folder Missing

The method is quite easy and you would easily recover the Outlook PST file missing folders and all unread emails folder missing in Outlook. But to fight back with these problems you can use SysTools Office 365 Backup Tool that can help you to save all PST files. The whole industry is moving towards cloud so we suggest that you follow the same.

Quick Steps to Recover Missing Folder in Outlook

  • Step 1. Download & Launch The tool on Your System
  • Step 2. Select Mailbox Categories to Backup.
  • Step 3. Type Admin credential to Sign in.
  • Step 4. Pick Destination Location to Save PST file.
  • Step 5. Choose User Accounts & Click on Start.


In this blog we talked about how to recover missing folder in Outlook email client. In such a situation when your unread emails folder missing from Outlook, users should not panic but start implementing techniques to recover missing Outlook PST file folders. They can take help of the methods mentioned in this post during Outlook PST folder missing. Users can apply the method of their choice to recover the deleted folder. As the first two methods do not guarantee success, users should choose the suggestion part to backup PST to Office 365 regularly so that Outlook .pst folder disappeared problem can be cut.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How long can Outlook PST folder stay missing before being deleted?

Ans. Default duration is of 30 days, althogh this can be changed by the admin.

Q2. Why can’t I recover lost folder in Outlook client? 

Ans. You may lack the appropriate credentials, or the Admin may have disabled thies feature via a comany wide policy.

Q3. How to prevent getting the issue where one needs to recover missing folder in Outlook regularly?

Ans.  Simple answer to it is seup a backup timeline. For that you can use the automated utility provided above.

Q4. Why is it so difficult to find missing folders in Outlook?

Ans. There are quite a few reasons from, policy changes, hardware updates, network issues, accidental deletions, which can be responsble for this issue. All of these make it tough to find the folders in one go.