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How to configure Outlook 2003 mail folders to automatically display without manually expanding.

Posted on 2007-03-30
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Outlook 2003, Windows XP. I have a user that wants her local folders expanded when she opens Outlook instead of having to click on the "+" sign beside the mail folder. I am relatively new Outlook user myself and have examined the options and can't find the setting to acomplish this. I have noticed that some user's folders are expanded when Outlook opens and others are not so there must be a setting I have overlooked.
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Question by:emassie
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Expert Comment

by:everhost
ID: 18825585
The default behaviour of Outlook is to remember the state the folders were in when you closed Outlook.  So if you have some or all folders expanded and then close Outlook, it should remember that and appear the same way after closing.  If she wants all her folders to be expanded at at launch I suggest she manually expand them all then close down Outlook and see if they come back as expanded when she reopens Outlook.
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Author Comment

by:emassie
ID: 18825868
I thought so also but this does not appear to be the case. Thank you for your suggestion.
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Expert Comment

by:everhost
ID: 18826051
Does your own Outlook remember the state of your folders?

You could try setting up a second mail profile on her PC  to test if the default settings work as expected.  By the way, are you connecting to an Exchange server?
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Accepted Solution

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war1 earned 63 total points
ID: 18826284
Run this command line to open to the folder that you want.  At the Start menu, Run command type:

Outlook /select foldername

Replace foldername with the folder that you want open to, like Sent Items. Occasionally you'll need to use the full path to Outlook, so the command line looks like:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Outlook.exe " /select foldername

Note:  Paths that include spaces between words must be enclosed in quotation marks (") and are case sensitive.
You'll need the full path if you create desktop shortcuts.
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Assisted Solution

by:Frankco
Frankco earned 62 total points
ID: 18828623
Hi everhost,

As everhost stated, Outlook should remember the state at which it was closed. It definately works for me. For some reason or other, on some computers, it doesn't work. In a few cases the /cleanviews switch worked. In others the switch did not work.  It would be nice to be able to figure this one out.

Try everhost's suggestion of a new profile first. You do not have to remove your existing profile. Just create a new one and choose prompt to open. Let us know if you need instructions on creating a new profile.

Other things to try:
1. In Outlook, click the folder list button to show all of your folders. Expand your folders and close Outlook. Open Outlook and see if that worked.
2. Close Outlook. Press the delete ~ Alt  and the control keys at the same time. Select the Processes tab. Look for Outlook.exe. This is to check to see if Outlook is really closing.
3. Start Outlook in safe mode and then close. Reopen to test.
Safe Mode: Click the Start button and type this in the Open box field. Please add the quotes.
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\Outlook.exe" /safe
4. This is a longshot but, open a folder in Windows Explorer. Click Tools ~ Folder Options. Click the View tab and make sure "Remember Folder each folder's view setting is check. Click the Apply to all foldes button. Open and close Outlook and test.
5. Start Outlook with the cleanviews switch.
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\Outlook.exe"/cleanviews
5. In Outlook, click Help ~ Detect and repair.

Question: was your Outlook an upgrade or new install?

Let us know how you do.
cheers,
frankco

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Author Comment

by:emassie
ID: 18838694
Thanks for all the suggestions. I have been unable to try all of then yet but will hopefully be able to tomorrow.
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 18838899
emassie, keep us updated.
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Expert Comment

by:Frankco
ID: 18840134
Hi emassie,

Need to know if this was an upgrade or new install.

If this was an upgrade, and the user's pst file is from an earlier version,  Outlook will not remember the expanded folder when closed and opened.

If this is not the case, until it is fixed, have the user press the * key from the keypad. This expands all of the folders and will save her some clicks.

cheers,
frankco
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Author Comment

by:emassie
ID: 18846551
Thank you for all the suggestions but none have worked thus far except for hitting the "*" key to expand a folder but she has lots of folders and subfolders which don't expand at hit. She only has one arm so things that are not an inconvenience to some are more difficult for her.
We do not currently use Exchange  Server but a product called IPlanet.  On my PC the fOutlook folder view is saved upon close and open of Outlook.
I think the problem may be that she has a mixture of Office 2002 and Office 2003 on her PC. Outlook and Excel were upgrades but prior to installing Outlook I think she was using Netscape 7.1 email client rather than Outlook 2002. Access 2002 is needed to run applications developed in house so only Outlook and Excel were upgraded but since she is not using these apps I am going to save her Outlook .pst file and do a clean install of the complete Office Professional 2003 suite. When I point to the .pst file I saved I may inherit the same problem but I will post a comment either way. Her Excel was upgraded because of a subtotal bug in 2002 that was corrected in Excel 2003 with sp1.
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 18846654
The command line

Outlook /select foldername

does not work?
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Frankco
ID: 18847524
Hi emassie,

You said Outlook was an upgrade. I think thay may be the problem but, a clean install of 2003 isn't a bad idea.
You may experience the "not remembering" even after the install if you use the same pst. Or, maybe you will not have any problems and everything will work fine. I'm hoping for you and, more so for the user :-) If the problem does show up after the install, create a new pst and copy everything over.

Let us know how you do,
cheers,
frankco

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Author Comment

by:emassie
ID: 18847686
Sorry war1 I overlooked that suggestion " outlook /folder name" but will give it a try. I am out of the office for a few days and won't be able to follow up until I return. Thanks again.
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 19052720
enassue,

The correct switch is

outlook /select:foldername

Have you tried it?
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Author Comment

by:emassie
ID: 19054209
I removed her entire Office Pro Suite and performed a complete reinstall. My outlook works fine as it should described above. We are in the process of migrating from a product called Iplanet to Exchange server. I and the rest of the IT staff are already connected to the exchange server the other users have been using Netscape. When PCs are replaced are using Outlook but not yet able to connect to the Exchange server and I believe that this may be part of the problem.  She has so many local folders and subfolders I don't have time to recreate all of them for her and using her existing .pst file may also be the problem. I was not using the proper syntax on the suggestion from war1 so I will try in when I am back in the office Thursday and post the results. I appreciate all of your comments and time. I apologize for dropping the ball. There have been so many other things of more importance to come up since I posted the question I have not been able to get back to it lately. I have found the experts suggestions very helpful in the past and agian appreciate everyone's time in assisting me. If the suggestion works from war1 with his latest coment I will credit points to him/her and also to Franco if it is not too late.
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