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Personal Folders is how Outlook Labels your PST or Personal mail STore by default. Outlook can get confused and display the same Personal Folders more than once.
In Outlook I have two copies of everything even though I only created one. There are two separate copies of Outlook Today (Personal Folders). Everything you do in one appears in the other. I can't seem to find a way to delete the extra one without impacting the original. I have heard of others having the same type of problem, but none of us has ever been able to come up with a solution. It's a pain as it makes the PST file twice as big as it should be. Any thoughts?
If it helps, I have exactly the same problem. Well, almost exactly .. I have three copies of my personal folders showing.
And while it's slightly annoying, it appears to be benign. And it's not as annoying as the solution is, for me at least.
Here's an image of what I mean:
While each entry at the top level of the folder list is supposed to represent a different PST (Personal mail STore) file, it shows three while I only have one. Each of those three entries actually refers to the same, single PST. If I make a change in one, it appears in the others.
More annoying is the fact that I can't close any of them - that option is grayed out. Fundamentally, Outlook is confused - it simultaneously thinks there are three because it displays three, and it thinks there is only one since it disallows closing the last PST and greys out the close menu item in that case.
I haven't done it, for reasons I'll explain in a moment, but as I understand it, the solution is to create a new Profile. (A profile defines your email accounts, and the location of your PST.) The steps would be:
In Control Panel, click on Mail
Click on Show Profiles
Click on Add
Give the new profile a name, and then configure all your email accounts from scratch. Click Finish in the account wizard when done.
Select on Prompt for a profile to be used
Click on the new profile and click on Properties
Click on Data Files
Click on Add, select either type, and in the resulting File Open dialog, locate and select your existing PST.
OK back to the Mail Setup dialog and click on the E-mail Accounts button.
Select View or change... and hit Next
Look for the drop-down list labeled Deliver new e-mail to the following location: - if you drop down that list, it's likely that it will show "Personal Folders" twice - that's actually OK, and expected. One will be selected, select the other one (which will be your existing PST) and click Finish.
Now, go back to Data Files and you'll see that the item labeled "Mail Delivery Location..." has moved from one to the other. Click on the one now not labeled "Mail Delivery Location..." and click Remove
You're almost done...
As I said, we've created a new profile defining your email accounts (which you had to recreate by hand), and the location of your PST (which you had to change from the new one created for you to your old, existing PST). We've also left the old profile in place, and instructed Outlook to ask us, on start up, which profile it should use. If you elect to use the new profile you should (hopefully) see only one instance of your Personal Folders. Once you're satisfied that all is working well, you can go back and delete the old profile, and tell Outlook just to use the new one automatically on start up.
Here's why I haven't done this, and actually don't recommend it:
The original problem is benign - I've yet to actually be affected by it in any way, other than the minor annoyance of seeing the duplicate top-level entries.
The solution is more annoying than the problem - That list of instructions is fairly long, and in areas most people rarely deal with on a regular basis. Duplicating email account definitions by hand is one thing if you have only one account - I have seven defined, and I would have to re-enter each by hand, since Outlook has no import/export of account settings.
It's important to note that this is not a problem with the PST, and does not cause your PST to double or triple in size. It's just Outlook's way of looking at your PST that appears slightly messed up.
As a side note: there do appear to be solutions out on the internet that involve registry fixes that work for some versions of Outlook. They did not apply in my case, but could in yours, and they're listed in the related links section below.
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