Unable to expand the folder. The set of folders could not be opened. The operation failed.

Posted on 2004-11-05
Last Modified: 2008-01-09

When I add a mailbox using the Tools > Services > Exchange > Properties > Advanced, I keep getting an error message in the Folder View that says "Unable to expand folder. The set of folders could not be opened. The operation failed."  But if I go through File > Open > (whatever mailbox), it works that way.  I have set the appropriate permissions on the mailbox I'm trying to access, and Microsoft's knowledge base says to make sure the "Folder Visible" option is checked, which it is, but I'm still having problems.  Please help.

And this problem happens on certain mailboxes and not others.  All my users are using Outlook 2000 and Exchange 2003 Server.
Question by:krazedant
    LVL 104

    Accepted Solution

    You should have full mailbox access permissions. No others will work - such as granting permissions to each folder.
    I also find that after changing the permissions on a mailbox, you need to close and then restart Outlook on your own machine to access the other mailbox. If you have multiple servers then it may take a few minutes for permissions to replicate to all servers.


    Author Comment

    Thanks Simon.  I actually tried that after I posted this message and everything works like a charm now.  Thanks anyway!  Appreciate it.

    Expert Comment

    I was able to FIX this one by giving the "EVERYONE" group the "RECEIVE AS" rights to the "Mailbox Store" (Within Exchange System Manager). Before that I also followed Microsoft KB839531 but that in itself didn't fix it.

    My configuration is as follows:
    - Windows 2003 Server with Exchange 2003
    - Clients running Office 2003

    The weird thing is that even as an Administrator I would get the "Unable to expand" message.

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