We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Why does my Public mail folder not notify users in Outlook when new mail arrives?

MikeMazza asked
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Using Exchange 2003 on Windows 2003 x32.  Have a public folder setup for receiving common mail monitored by several Outlook 2007 users.  Public Mailbox is visible in their public folders.  Mail that arrives is visible and accessible.  They can respond to that mail as themselves or on behalf of that mailbox.  All works fine.  Almost....

Problem: the arriving mail does not "light up" that folder.  In other words, the folder font does not go bold and the number of new messages does not display next to the name.  It worked briefly when I first set it up, but now the folder shows now reaction to new mail.

Is this a quirk in Exchange/Outlook?  If so, does anyone know a way around this.  This simple visual cue is important for productivity.
Watch Question

This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)


Correct.  I already learned that from reading other threads on EE.  However, it doesn't react as it should even when it's in the Favorites folder.   I've tried restarting Exchange, Outlook.  I've tried recreating the folder.  Nothing seems to help

It's odd and seems like a bug in Outlook 2007.  Any other suggestions?


We'll, I've been googling and searching on-and-off all afternoon.  I find nothing to explain this.   Another odd thing I've noticed is that the messages inside the folder display as "unread" with bold fonts.  Normally when you read it that font should go back to regular.  However, it stays bold.  

So I have emails in the public folder that won't change to "unread", and the folder itself won't even indicate that there are unread messages in there.  The whole thing is not behalving properly but nothing else is acting strange.

Does anyone else have an Outlook 2007 / Exchange 2003 environment?  I'd like to prove that this even works for someone else.  

Hi Mike,

I tested this scenario on my system (OL2007, Ex2003) and it works fine.

I remember there is a parameter which tells a public folder whether to track read/unread for individual users. Perhaps this has got switched off.

In Exchange system manager, look in folders / public folders and find the relevant folder. Right click the folder and select permissions. On the general tab, check the 'maintain per user read and unread information for this folder'


Glad to see it works for you.  That's a relief.  

The "maintain" switch was a good suggestion.  However, I've tried both settings already.  No joy :(

Sounds like I'm probably not doing anythign obviously wrong or stupid.  I guess that's a good thing and it tells me something eventhough it doesn't solve the problem.  I've tried restarting some of the Exchange services.  Also  no help.  Maybe I should try rebooting the entire Exchange server before wasting any more time on this.  I'll try it this weekend and post the results.



Followup:  Rebooting the server somehow solved the problem.  For anyone reading this thread the bottom line is this;
- Mail notification in Public Folders does indeed work with Outlook2007-Exchange2003-Windows2003 setups.
- Visual notification only works if you place the folder into your Favorites folder.
- When in doubt, reboot.

Gain unlimited access to on-demand training courses with an Experts Exchange subscription.

Get Access
Why Experts Exchange?

Experts Exchange always has the answer, or at the least points me in the correct direction! It is like having another employee that is extremely experienced.

Jim Murphy
Programmer at Smart IT Solutions

When asked, what has been your best career decision?

Deciding to stick with EE.

Mohamed Asif
Technical Department Head

Being involved with EE helped me to grow personally and professionally.

Carl Webster
CTP, Sr Infrastructure Consultant
Empower Your Career
Did You Know?

We've partnered with two important charities to provide clean water and computer science education to those who need it most. READ MORE

Ask ANY Question

Connect with Certified Experts to gain insight and support on specific technology challenges including:

  • Troubleshooting
  • Research
  • Professional Opinions
Unlock the solution to this question.
Join our community and discover your potential

Experts Exchange is the only place where you can interact directly with leading experts in the technology field. Become a member today and access the collective knowledge of thousands of technology experts.

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.