Special Characters NOT to Use in IMAP Folder Names

As I discovered when switching from a POP3 account to IMAP for Office 365, importing folder names containing certain characters will abort the process. These are:

~ ` ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ + = { } | [ ] \ : ” ; ‘ < > , . ? /

Some may get through, but I discovered two I was using certainly didn’t.

I used the tilde character (~) at the start of some folder names to indicate the contents were old and should soon be deleted. I also used the slash (/) within other folder names.

I had to clean up the PST account and re-export it before I could import it into the OST account (seeĀ PST vs OST).

Using the Keyboard to Enter Symbols
Change Outlook Folder Sort Order

2 thoughts on “Special Characters NOT to Use in IMAP Folder Names”

  1. Thanks, but too late for me. I read all sorts of documentation on how to migrate from an old POP account to an IMAP account and never ran across these restrictions. In POP, I had a lot of folders with dates in the folder names using slashes. IMAP interpreted those to mean “create a subfolder” and I wound up with four or five subfolders but no mail would sync. GRRRRRR. Had to go back to POP, rename the folder, recopy it to IMAP, and then resync everything. I’m sure glad I caught this before deleting anything on the POP side.

    I can’t believe in 2019 how hard it is to do what should be simple things.

    • I agree, it’s unnecessarily complicated. I prefer POP but IMAP was the only way I could share my email with other devices in Office 365.

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