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Microsoft Outlook's Favorite Folders pane is a handy shortcut to frequently used folders. If you don't want Microsoft Outlook's Favorite Folders your options are limited.
I was hoping to find a way to remove the Favorite Folders pane in Microsoft Outlook. I went to the help feature and it explicitly states that the pane cannot be removed. Have you ever found a work around to remove it?
In the words of a past U.S. president, I feel yer pain.
I, too, don't use the Favorite Folders feature in Outlook. And I don't appreciate that a) it takes up space whether or not I want it, and b) it occasionally resets to folders which are most definitely not my favorites.
It's a hack, but here's what I do...
In Microsoft Outlook's default configuration, you'll normally see something like this in the lower left:
Personally, I hate all the screen real estate that it takes up. And, like the favorites, it cannot be disables. But you can make it smaller ... much smaller. So with the mouse I click and drag the top border down so that instead of individual line items for each shortcut, I now have only a single row of icons:
And as you'll see in a moment, I never, ever, deal with those icons again.
The next step is those pesky "Favorite Folders". If you click on the mail icon in those shortcuts we just made smaller, you'll see 'em at the top of the left hand pane:
You can remove each item one at a time so as to make it as small as possible (right click on the item and select "Remove from Favorite Folders", but you can't get rid of the Favorite Folders section. Annoying.
But Favorite Folders are shown only when you're looking at "Mail" - in other words when the Mail icon at the bottom of that pane is selected.
So I don't do that. Instead, I click on "Folder List". Poof - favorites are gone:
And I leave Folder List selected, always.
Now, the reason I'm ok with this is that "Folder View" is very similar to the plain old "Mail" view. The only differences, besides there not being any Favorites, is that your Calendar, Journal, Notes and Contacts all appear as folders within that same view. Yes, they take up a little real estate, but it's much less than the Folder View area.
But I still have favorites. And this would be the "hacky" part of my solution.
Recall I said that Outlook seemed to reset my Favorite Folders from time to time. I got tired of that, and switched to the Folder View, and added a folder of favorites of my own. Since each level within the Folder View is sorted alphabetically, I just created a top level folder called "A - Frequently Used Folders", and moved the folders I cared about in there:
They show up right at the top, I control what goes in there, and perhaps more importantly, they don't take up valuable screen real estate - I can scroll in that pane, and they scroll off the top.
So whether or not you want to play with setting up your own favorite folders equivalent, my recommendation is simply to switch to Folder View. It's not perfect, but it is better.
And here's hoping that the next version of Outlook allows us a little more control over what we see.
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