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The "Manage Folders" link seems to have disappeared from the new Windows Live Hotmail. I'll show you where it's hiding.

There USED to be an option at the bottom of the list of folders in Windows Live Hotmail called 'manage folders'. In their infinite wisdom, at the last so called 'upgrade' they took that option away. Now I have no idea how to delete folders.

You and a lot of people.

After posting a pretty silly workaround that I couldn't believe, a reader chimed in with the answer.

It's hidden. In plain sight. No, I wouldn't have thought to click there.

Here's the folder list:

Hotmail's folder list on the left

In previous incarnations of Hotmail there was an additional link: "Manage Folders" that allowed you to add, delete and rename additional folder of your own.

It's gone.

Here's the magic:

The Manage Folders 'gear'

If you hover your mouse over the "Folders" label, a small "gear" will appear to its right.

Click on that:

Hotmail's Manage Folders in a Popup menu

There it is. Click on Manage Folders and you add folders, as well as delete or rename folders that you've added. (The base set of folders shown above cannot be deleted or renamed, only those that you've added can be.)

Thanks to Mike, first of the commenters below, to point this out.

Article C4389 - August 4, 2010 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

August 4, 2010 11:50 PM

It's a misunderstanding. If you hover the folders header there will be a little wheel to the right, click that and a menu will pop up with an option "manage folders".

Thomas Mitchell
August 5, 2010 5:54 AM

Where do i find this in Windows Live Mail, not hotmail?

Windows Live Mail is the downloadable email program that (somewhat) replaces Outlook Express. There is no "manage folders" - just right click on any folder for options to rename, delete or create a new subfolder.

August 5, 2010 2:47 PM

Thomas - the illustrations shown are from Windows LIVE.

Rosie Perera
August 5, 2010 7:43 PM

Now that is hilarious. Sounds like a colossal UI fail. But Mike is right. You can get to "Manage folders" (among other things) from the gear icon which shows up when you hover over the word "Folders" in the sidebar at the left. It's a bit non-intuitive, so I might still call it a UI fail. But not a colossal one.

Thomas & Paul: Hotmail is now *part* of Windows Live, a suite of web-based apps from Microsoft. The images are from Hotmail, but they are also from Windows Live, so both of you are right.

You'll love this: everyone is wrong. Smile

In another wonder of Microsoft naming, Windows Live Mail is the downloadable email program that (somewhat) replaces Outlook Express. Windows Live Hotmail is, well, Hotmail.

Ken Laninga
August 10, 2010 8:18 AM

Leo, I use "Windows Live Mail" version 2009 (Build 14.0.8089.0726) and it does not look at all like what you show here. Is mine too old maybe? I HATE Windows Live Mail, btw; got a long list of problems with it. Am tempted to go Thunderbird. I'm told it is much better.

Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Hotmail are two different things. Windows Live Mail is an email program you download. Windows Live Hotmail is an email service and website you visit. Email programs are a deeply personal choice it appears but I'm very happy with Thunderbird.

Al Taylor
August 10, 2010 11:54 AM

Like Ken Laninga, I also use "Windows Live Mail" (the same version as his) and it does NOT look at all like the screen shots. However the WEB Mail interface to my "Windows Live Hotmail" account does look like the screen shots shown.

Some time ago, Microsoft re-labeled "Hotmail" to be "Windows Live Hotmail"; whereas, "Windows Live Mail" is a dowloadable APPLICATION that has replaced "Outlook Express" (in Win XP), and "Windows Mail" (in Vista).

October 2, 2010 5:05 AM

hey i followed the instructions.. of deleting the folder.. but u know wot.. the show/hide link does not hav the option of deleting folder... wot do i do

October 27, 2010 2:36 PM

I just wasted another 30 minutes of my life because of Microft's tendency to fix things that aren't broken, then neglect to tell us about it. Sheesh! Thanks for this hint. There is no telling how long I'd have struggled with the simple act of deleting a folder without it.

November 2, 2010 7:18 PM

ocertain: why are they fixing things that ain't broke? Then hiding the fix somewhere that I have spent about 30 minutes to find

'wallis': Same happened to me, there was no 'manage folders'. Then 20 minutes later - it magically appeared! Don't ask. I have no idea what these 'guys' at Microsoft are up to are up to.

November 2, 2010 7:28 PM

wallis: you need to click the cog on Folders, not Inbox. Maybe that might be some help as I think I may have initially done that.

December 31, 2010 3:05 AM

Thanks for the magic and willing to buy a beer but no card.Others weren't able to assist as I spent almost 30 minutes trying to resolve problem.Hotmail needs to put you on staff.

Michael Baseman
January 26, 2011 9:04 PM

How can I delete all contacts in my contacts folder? Where is the Windows/Hotmail Live contacts file found?

If you're using Windows Live Hotmail, the web interface to Hotmail to which this article applies, then there is no "file". The contacts link is (currently) at the lower left when you're looking at your inbox. You can check multiple contacts and click the delete link aboce them.

April 10, 2011 8:52 AM

Thanks for the tip on deleting a folder. I always wondered what that little gear was!

April 14, 2011 3:54 AM

Was searching for the answer for ages. Found a few pages that mentioned click on the "gear" to get the manage folders option. Had no clue what "gear" was. Thanks for the screen shots they sorted the problem out straight away.

Garry - Mesa, AZ
April 21, 2011 5:00 AM

YES! That was easy enough . . once I knew where to look. Got same info from another site but your pic's of the sreens is what did it . . indeed "a picture is worth a thousand words"

April 22, 2011 2:17 PM

Well what do ya know about that. I've been trying to delete a folder for like EVER too, and have not been able to figure it out. Thanks SO much! The solution was so simple, once I knew what it was. I have also wondered what those little gears were too.

Problem solved!!! :-D

June 24, 2011 4:29 PM

Hotmail really sucks, everyone!!! Everymonth they mess with something else. Let's all find another carrier and then see where Hotmail ends up!!!

July 6, 2011 2:02 PM

Thank you very much for letting me know how to 'manage folders' in the new hotmail.

July 8, 2011 6:30 AM

I have been looking for that manage folder icon for days trying to get rid of one. Why they would do that is beyond me, thank you for showing me where it was. I was getting ready to loose my mind.

July 11, 2011 1:16 AM

MY HERO!!!!!!!!! Thank you for your very simple explanation for deleting folders in Hotmail. Short, sweet and to the Point. If more explanations were so C L E A R life would be so much easier. Thanks again.

July 22, 2011 9:15 AM

Ditto Carol's comments (7/11/11) above. I don't understand why they felt they had to make such a simple procedure. But nonetheless it worked! Thanks for having this site!

November 15, 2011 6:01 AM

I am very glad to visit this web searching sites. I really faced problem how to delete unwanted folders in Windows Hotmail . When searched for my problem I really found very good information that helped me to solve my problem and work proper and professional in managing my hotmail system.

Thank you
Zekria Danishyar
Kabul City

November 22, 2011 6:11 PM

THANK YOU SOO MUCH!! i couldnt work out how to delete a folder in my hotmail account! thank god for this site because it showed me the steps on how to do it! thank you to the person who created this site!! :)

January 13, 2012 8:56 AM

When I hover the mouse over "Folders" the gear doesn't appear!!!!

January 13, 2012 10:43 AM

Aha, I have solved my problem. Not sure which version of Hotmail I have, but I figured out that if I right click on the folder name, it gives several options, including to "delete" the folder.

Philip Hardy
February 1, 2012 5:34 AM

I have been looking for Managed Folders for months so I could delete unwanted folders.
Leo thank you very much. You have solved my problem.

December 15, 2012 5:51 AM

I have no gear next to folders - just refresh - ????

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