Locating the Gmail Spam Folder

When I couldn’t see certain mail sent to my Gmail account, I thought the sender had made a mistake with my Gmail address. When they assured me it had been correctly addressed, it dawned on me that it must have been treated as spam, but where was the Spam folder?

It appears the Spam folder is not shown by default and has to be enabled if you want to see it. Here’s how:

Hover the mouse over a folder name in the left column. This reveals all the possible folder options.

In this example, the highlighted folders are the ones I see by default and by choice. If Spam is not highlighted, click the name to see the folder contents.

If you decide that a mail item isn’t spam, click the check box next to the item. Then select the Not spam button. The item will move automatically to your Inbox.

If you want to have the Spam folder available permanently, you need to select the gear icon in the upper right corner. Click on Settings from the dropdown list, and then the Labels tab.

Choose show or show if unread.

 

 

 

Outlook 365 Manage Rules and Alerts not working

This morning, when I selected Manage Rules and Alerts, this popped up:

Outlook Manage Rules and Alerts error message

The problem did persist. I reinstalled Office using online repair and the problem remains.

I discovered the problem is quite new. Microsoft is aware of it and working on a solution. For those affected by this issue, we can only wait until the fix is made.

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 (see PST vs OST).

Change Outlook Folder Sort Order

For many years, the sort order in Outlook was alphabetical, A to Z, and couldn’t be changed. However, after numerous calls by users for an option to allow free ordering, Microsoft finally introduced the feature in Outlook 2013.

The option is available in the Folders tab. It’s a toggle, and it retains your chosen sequencing should you temporarily revert to alphabetical.

Outlook folder sort order toggle
Outlook folder sort order toggle

Unselecting A to Z enables folders to be moved anywhere in the list, either by dragging the folder or using Move Up or Move Down when right-clicking the folder name:

Move Up/Down folder
Move Up/Down folder

PST vs OST

I use a POP3 mail server, so I’ve always opted for a PST file when setting up a new account in Outlook. PST stands for Personal Storage Table. Outlook uses it to store all your email items, contacts, and calendar. It may be designated Outlook.pst or something like user@example.com.pst. Either way, it resides in the Outlook Files folder of your Documents folder.

I recently installed Office 365 on a laptop and discovered that instead of PST I had an OST file. OST is the initialism for Offline Storage Table.

Because PST files are local, you can copy them to other PCs that have Outlook that uses a PST, provided you change the transferred file’s name to the existing one before replacing it. This isn’t possible with OST files, which are copies from the exchange server. When you disconnect from the Internet, the local copy gives you continued access to all the files. Once the Internet connection is restored, the local file is synced with the server’s file.

Unlike PST files, OST files cannot be backed up.

Locating Folder for Outlook Search Results

If, like me, you keep emails in separate folders for future reference and you’ve had cause to search for particular emails, you’ll know the results are displayed without mention of the folder where they are stored. For example:

Outlook folder search
Outlook folder search

To find the folder information, you need to select View > Reading Pane and set it to Off. Now you will see the folder name:

Outlook folder reading pane
Outlook folder reading pane

After noting the folder name, return the View > Reading Pane to Right (the most usual setting).