Outlook ate my shortcuts! (Favorite folders and calendar disappearing in Outlook)

This one has been bothering me for a long time. It also happens that three or four others in the office are having (soon to be past tense) the same problem.

About Outlook favorites

In Outlook, one of the features that is very nice is the one where you can create a set of “favorite” folders. This extents to public folders and even calenders (which are just folders that hold appointment items). I use this constantly, changing out my favorites when I am moved from one project to another.

The Problem of disappearing favorites

Several months ago my favorites began ‘resetting”. When I would add or remove a favorite folder, my changes would disappear the next time I started Outlook. This held true for shared calendars as well. I would add another persons calendar to my list, but the next time I started Outlook that person would no longer be in my list.

Getting my favorites back in Outlook

This, of course, was frustrating. I did quite a bit of research at the time to no avail. Today it finally got me riled up again so I decided to take another stab at it and wouldn’t you know it, I found two possible solutions!

  1. You can create a new mail profile. This resets everything you’ve customized unfortunately, so it is, in my opinion, a last resort.
  2. You can navigate to the folder that Outlook stores settings in. In Windows XP it defaults to:
    C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
    In this folder you will find a file called Outlook.xml. Very innocuous sounding, don’t you think? This is the file causing all of the woes! You should exit Outlook completely then rename the file (never delete outright, bad form my good Pan!). Restart Outlook and you will notice all of your favorites and calendars are gone. Reset them to the way you would like, exit Outlook again and restart. *Poof* they are back!

Now the problem appears to be some sort of corruption to this file. The odd thing is, the file is only saved when you exit Outlook. I have confirmed this by watching the file system when starting Outlook with the file already gone. It does not reappear until I exit. My best guess is that if a corrupt file is loaded it messes something up within Outlook itself. No error that I could find is generated; however, the file is never saved again.

After some more poking around (it was easier to search for Outlook.xml than for the symptom itself) it seems that the general consensus is that this file becomes corrupt more often than you would imagine. If you’ve had this problem once, chances are pretty good that you will once again find your Favorite Shortcuts not being saved so keep these instructions handy!

An observation

As a side note, it was interesting to view the “corrupt” version of Outlook.xml and a “good” version of the file. They are very similar, but it would appear that one section called <userDefined> is the one that does not get saved after the file has went down the drain.

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127 thoughts on “Outlook ate my shortcuts! (Favorite folders and calendar disappearing in Outlook)

  1. Interesting – I’ve been having this problem a lot lately, but it’s usually preceded by Outlook not shutting down properly – most often if XP doesn’t go into Hibernate mode correctly.

    How about making a back-up of the Outlook.xml folder, so that after a crash you can just rename it and bring your Favourites back to life. Would that work?

  2. Cueball,

    I’ve thought about that and indeed I do have a backup copy just in case. Since I’ve taken that step I have not noticed the problem of course! I can’t think of a reason it shouldn’t work since it’s simply a text (XML) configuration file but if anyone has experience, please let us know!

    I agree that it seems to happen when Outlook has a problem shutting down. In my case at work we have an automated policy that reboots workstations every night. I suspect that this sometimes causes Outlook to hiccup while shutting down precipitating the folder disappearing issue. Of course, once it’s corrupted it doesn’t seem to recover well by itself.

  3. I just had the problem occur again. Yesterday my workstation decided to spiral in the black, or rather blue hole of death. A couple of BSOD’s and then failing to boot.

    Once it came back up this morning Outlook was very grumpy. I shut it down and replaced the now corrupt Outlook.xml with my backup. After restarting everything was fine.

  4. From my searching, apparently there is a command-line switch to do the same thing that should work for at least Outlook 2003 and 2007. It’s OUTLOOK.EXE /resetnavpane

    Outlook 2007 is located on my system at \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12.

    Although this did reset the nav pane on my system (including deleting custom search folders), it did not solve the problem. Unless for some reason it will work after a complete reboot…

    I’m running Vista, and I also tried renaming C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook\.xml – there was no outlook.xml. But this seemed to have no effect and was not recreated when Outlook was restarted/exited. Oddly, the timestamp on the file is all the way back in November…

    So then I went to C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook and renamed .xml.kfl and .sharing.xml.obi and ~last~.sharing.xml.obi — to no avail. These files (except ~last~) were recreated when Outlook was restarted, but the problem remained.

    Hopefully the command-line switch will help someone and if anyone knows anything else I can try I would appreciate it. Thanks.

  5. I used angled brackets in my post and those parts of my post are missing… the correct file names for my post in order are (profilename).xml, (profilename).xml.kfl, (profilename).sharing.xml.obi, and with no change, ~last~.sharing.xml.obi

  6. Asa,

    Did you make sure that Outlook was closed and all Outlook.exe processes were stopped? That is one reason it may not work.

    Also, I have noticed that if I let my Outlook get closed by our automated reboot process it causes the problem. As long as I make sure to exit it from the file menu prior to leaving it seems to work ok.

  7. Yes, I checked that it was closed and there was no outlook.exe process running. I just tried exiting Outlook manually and rebooting, but it was no help. I also tried renaming (profilename).srs which was in the same folder as the xml. It was recreated, but didn’t seem to help. I also created a new profile as a copy of my original but that didn’t help. So then I tried creating a completely new profile from scratch…. and the problem still exists!

    I’ll try the Microsoft forums and see if there are any ideas there.

  8. I hope you find the solution. If you do, please post a comment here. The only difference I see so far is that my environment is still Windows XP Pro. While the theory is that should not make a difference, it is entirely possible that it does. Sorry I was unable to help further 😦

  9. So many times i come across solutions to problems I have had and normally I’m not able to comment or more importantly a thanks. this time i am, cheers mate for your time and effort in finding this solution. Guys like you help us all…. cheers

  10. I am having the exact same issues on Windows Vista Ultimate. I closed Outlook 2007, renamed the outlook.xml file, fired up Outlook, set my favorite folders and then closed outlook.

    Opened it back up expecting my folders to be there but they weren’t. Looked in the roaming\microsoft\outlook folder and the outlook.xml file was not recreated.

    Did a few other things but it boils down to Outlook is not writing/updating the outlook.xml file at all.

    Any guesses?

  11. Very strange. Are you using cached Outlook mode? That could be one thing different, I abhor that way of working, it causes all kinds issues that I’ve run across.

    If you are, you may try turning that mode off, restarting Outlook, then turning it back on again. Believe it or not, I’ve had that method fix other users problems with strange Inbox behavior.

  12. Ah, thanks for the clarification. My environment is strictly Exchange as far as Outlook is concerned. That doesn’t sound like it should make a difference, but who knows? For all the nice things Outlook has, there are a lot of quirks! πŸ˜‰

    If you do come across a solution, please let us know here! There are a couple others that have not been able to resolve the issue with this method as well.

  13. Thanks very much for your solution – I was trying to set up Favorite Folders, but in View, Navigation Pane there was NO OPTION available for Favorite Folders. I followed your advice, the option showed up and now I have Favorite Folders set up.
    Very nice …

  14. I have the same problem and it occurs every time i close outlook. Renaming or deleting or backing-up the .xml does no good because it only creates on closing and it always closes with the problem. I agree with an earlier comment that it appears that outlook is just not updating the.xml file at all. Does anyone have any other ideas?

    • This worked like a charm. Be sure to close outlook first. No reboot was required. When I opened outlook I kept windows explorer opened to where I had remanmed the .xml file to .old and watched as it re-created a new .xml file. Then the option to add to favorites showed back up in the menu and I added my files back in to the favorites.
      Thanks so much.

  15. I’ve been searching and searching and banging my head against the wall trying to get my settings back after one laptop has faltered and I’ve switched to another.

    You. Have. Saved. My. Sanity.

    Thanks for that.

  16. I’m intrigued by your statement “In Outlook, one of the features that is very nice is the one where you can create a set of β€œfavorite” folders. This extends to public folders and even calenders (which are just folders that hold appointment items). I use this constantly, changing out my favorites when I am moved from one project to another.”

    I’ve tried several different ways to get “public folders” into my Favorite Folders group, and have had no luck. I thought I had it when I put the public folders I wanted into the Public Favorites folder and then added that folder to Favorite Folders… it appears momentarily… then it disappears.

    Any ideas on how to fix this? cmz πŸ™‚

  17. Charles,

    If you haven’t already done so, exit Outlook completely. Make sure there is no Outlook task still running, which can happen sometimes if you have ActiveSync installed. Delete the Outlook.xml file as described above in this article, then restart Outlook and try it again.

    I have come across different scenarios that seem unrelated; however, deleting the Outlook.XML file has fixed each one. With general computer support, the first question is usually “have you rebooted?” With Outlook, my first question these days is “Have you deleted your Outlook.xml yet?” πŸ˜€

    -J

  18. The Outlook.xml file does not exist on my Outlook 2007. What did work right off was to follow the Comment by Asa | January 5, 2008.

    Run> C:\\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\OUTLOOK.EXE /resetnavpane brought my Favorites folder right back.

  19. Just a quick note to say “thanks”. Your advice saved me hours of troubleshooting, and worked on the first try. Thanks for taking the time to share!

  20. My shortcuts/xml file have been corrupt several times and lost all my shortcuts, but I have made a backup of the xml file and restored it and it works everytime. Also worth having a backup of the NK2 file too just in case. It’s rather annoying why this happens though, seems to be when I install certain things, like last night it happened after I installed XP SP3!

  21. I also have had this problem though it happens sporadically, anywhere from one month to several months between occurances. I have noticed a different behavior from what has been mentioned. In my case, Outlook will continue to update the xml file after it has been initially corrupted. I can tell because I shutdown Outlook after noticing that the shortcuts were messed up and when I restart Outlook the shortcuts became even more messed up.

    What I see is that the groups I have created (which look like folders) become duplicated multiple times (currently about 10 copies of each) though most of them have no entries under them. The entries that were under the original groups have been split among some of the duplicate groups or deleted. When I shut down Outlook and restarted, I got even more copies of the empty groups.

    I am running Outlook 2003 SP3 with an Exchange server and not using cached mode. As with the rest of you, I don’t know why this is happening and neither do my computer support people. I’m planning on backing up the xml file as a workaround.

  22. OK…here is a simple work-around. If you are like me and have given up on the FAVORITES FOLDERS in Outlook try this:

    **This will actually move your folder to the location mentioned below although works similarly as the Microsoft feature.

    1. Create a new folder under your Personal Folders (or similar).
    2. Name it “_Favorites”
    3. You should now see the folder ‘_Favorites’ in the same area (under Personal Folders) as your ‘Inbox’.
    4. Drag and drop all your most commonly used folders to the folder you just created ‘_Favorites’.
    5. Click the + sign on the right of ‘_Favorites’ to have them show all the time.

    That’s it!

    Let me know your thoughts.

  23. That’s a good workaround if you are using local folders. If you are working with Exchange Server public folders, I don’t know if that will fit the bill.

  24. I had the same problem on my new Vista (Home Basic) notebook. My folder disapeared not when I closed and opened Outlook, but when I started my notebook the next day.
    I did have some problems with Outlook closing funny or corrupting my Hotmail folder, but that been over for about 10 days now (fingers crossed). Extra info: I have one POP account, one HTTP (hotmail) and two IMAP acounts.

    In the C:\Users\(ProfileName)\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook folder I renamed the Outlook.xml.kfl to Outlook1.xml.kfl, opened Outlook 2007 and my favorite folders were -still- there (but that wasen’t my problem anyway, only on restart laptop) and there was a NEW Outlook.xml.kfl file created.
    –However I do find it strange that if the favorite folders are stored in this file, and I renamed it, Outlook could still rember my favorite folders on the next startup of Outlook.–

    Now when I restart my notebook and startup Outlook, I still have my favorite folders (at least today after several notebook restarts, so no long term experience) and I can change them and it still remembers it when I’ve restarted my notebook.
    Guess my file was just slightly corrupted or something like that.

    My guess is however, that with Vista… you just need some luck, and lets hope mine doesn’t run out.
    I still have several other problems to tackle…..

  25. I have Vista and outlook 2007 had the same problem, after reading the thread i tried closing Outlook and the run OUTLOOK.EXE /resetnavpane (start > run) and it seems to work ok now and retains the fav folder:)

  26. This worked great. I have Windows Vista. Followed the same procedure for XP, renamed the file that was the xml file opened Outlook when finished and my favorite folder was back on top. What a life saver. Thanks

  27. The XML parser has to be installed (as a manual service) – it is called upon when Outlook – or any program that edits xml files – closes, as part of the close routine, Outlook writesa any changes to that file (in particular the user defined series). When Outlook hiccups, the parser is started to write to the file from Outlook (or editors) buffer. It’s just the way xml files work (they cant run at the same time they are edited, hence the need for a parser)

  28. Also,it’s not ‘user defined’ section that holds the favorites, the section that holds the favorites is actually called ‘favorites’ – and if it’s missing, the only thing that is remembering your favorites is the ‘recently used’ portion of the xml file. When Outlook crashes on exit, it fogets all the recently used – hence why we think our favorites are ‘missing’ – the really were never there, because the xml parser wasnt running in the background (xml parser is a thread in windows explorer service, as long as you have the parser installed or as a service – usually devs have it running)

  29. Dan,

    My experience is that they are indeed kept in the tag. The reason I say this is because I have a backup of my Outlook.xml file. Each time my working file becomes corrupt, I simply delete it and copy my backup to the appropriate location.

    As a side note, there is no tag.

    It seems odd that a separate service should be responsible for it. As a developer, I will typically read and write these sort of files in short operations to reduce the chance of file corruption. Regardless of whether Outlook relies on this other service or not, it seem to be a decidedly fragile method of keeping track of user data.

  30. The actual filename Outlook.xml was not my problem, although it existed in the folder. There was also one with my last name there “lastname.xml” That was the one.

    THANK YOU! My fav folders disappearing each time has been driving me NUTS.

  31. Anyone have a specific version of XML Parser that they have had success, please don’t say “newest” or “current”.

    newer is not always better

  32. Personally I do not have a specific version. I will typically keep it up to date via Windows Update. I haven’t had any problems doing this with the XML Parser for several years.

  33. Perfect solution. ‘My Favorites’ and ‘My Calendars’ were totally messed up with actual favorites missing and unrelated folders showing. This was a quick and easy fix. THANKS!

  34. reading all this post I still was unsure what I should do, that my Favorite Folders in Outlook would remain the same as I want them to be, all the time I turn on my PC, because they always were changing back to default.
    What I’v did: I just deleted mentioned here Outlook.xml from mentioned directory (Microsoft Outlook was closed at that time). Then I started Outlook and arranged Favorite Folders the way I want them to see always (expanded and with folders I want) also I closed (collapsed) all other Folders (Personal, Archive…), because I don’t need them daily. After rebooting PC and starting Outlook, I found Favorite Folders the same way as I left them – expanded and with all by me placed folders. Also there were not showing anymore personal Folders, Archive – they remained collapsed. It was done.

  35. Pingback: Outlook 2007 Shared Calendars disappear | keyongtech

  36. Thanks for the post, just tried it, hopefully solves the problem!

    One tip on finding the correct directory, this works for both Vista and XP users: %USERPROFILE%, eg %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft (Vista) will take you to your user directory.

  37. Thank you for this insight. Yes, people I work with have this problem constantly. I find it interesting that Microsoft does not support XHTML file types, yet uses internally XML file types. Seriously, this Outlook.xml file should be the fix. Why not save a copy of Outlook.xml after the Favorites were set?

  38. Looks encouraging. Am yet to try it on my boss’ PC since report the same problem today. I’m hoping the /resetnavpane will do the trick

  39. Hi,

    Issue: I cannot see my manually-created favorite folders (they used to appear under the Inbox folder in Mailbox-) in Outlook 2007 at my office.

    What really happened?
    I got a mail from the Administrator that “Your mailbox has exceeded one or more size limits set by your administrator. To make more space available, delete any items that you are no longer using or move them to your personal folder file (.pst).”

    So, because I didn’t want to delete any of the mails, I went to File > Data File Management > Data Files, and added a .pst file [which got created as Personal Folder(1).pst]. And Poof!!! That’s how it all began. Also, the size of the Personal Folder(1).pst is merely 265 KB containing only folders and no data within.

    I don’t know if this happened because I hibernate my system or something else.

    At this location, C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook, I’ve the Outlook.ost, Archive.pst, and Personal Folder(1).pst files. I have these files in my Outlook mailbox, but cannot see the mails that are gone since they were in those manually-created favorite folders. I am afraid I’ve lost all those mails since apart from these three files, I cannot see any other data file which would have my mails. Or would they be safe somewhere else?

    I tried all the options mentioned in this post and comments, nothing has worked out. Please help.

    A bunch of thanks in advance!

    • Ashish, the steps in this post are only meant to be used for fixing missing shortcuts that Outlook allows you to create. It sounds like you are having some other issue with your emails which is beyond this scope. I highly recommend you contact your system administrator for help with the missing emails.

  40. I already contacted my system administrator, but he could not help. Anyways, thanks for the quick response! πŸ™‚

  41. I’m having the same problem with previous emails, gone. All my folders, gone. All my contacts, gone! How can I restore this? I tried everything #60 did. Please someone have an idea.

    • If you’re missing actual old emails, you might check to see if you have auto-archiving turned on. Perhaps they’ve been moved to an archive data file. Other than that, I don’t think I’ve heard of emails going missing.

  42. This has been driving me crazy!
    I’ve spent hours navigating though Microsoft’s endless options and help pages before Googling it. Lesson learned!
    Thanks for the solution!!!

  43. I solved this by deleting every folder from the favorites pane and then exit Outlook. After restarting Outlook I then added my favorites to the pane and after exiting and restarting they were still there.

  44. I’m using Outlook 2003 SP3 and this solution worked for me but the .xml file was named “AHOUTPROF.xml”, not “Outlook.xml”. Thanks

  45. I have done a couple things as a temperary solution to this issue:

    1.) I have downloaded/installed the Microsoft SyncToy and configured it to back up (“contribute”) the folder my outlook.xml file is in. I have configured Windows Tasks to automatically do this weekly for me.

    2.) I have changed the Target in the Outlook Shortcut to:
    “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\OUTLOOK.EXE” /recycle /resetnavpane

    This has worked quite well for me.

  46. it’s now 2010 and Outlook continues to be the bane of our existence. For all the things that it does well, these little maddening issues continue to irratate us. Recently the Calendars section got tossed into my Favorites Folder mysterously. I could find no way to get rid of it. Thanks to this 2007 blog entry I went in and edited the xml file with notepad (saved a backup of it using .old extension “just in case”) and removed that shortcut manually. Voila! all is well again!

    • Bryan,

      I’m glad the article assisted you. It does seem that the XML file in question controls a lot of UI and is responsible for much of the “weirdness” that occurs.

  47. Thanks!! It fixeed my problem, but also… I went back in and made the file “read only”, so it couldn’t get modified again by a glitch. Not sure if that will cause problems down the road but for now it seems to be stable. Dan

    • Dan, I think the only issue you may have with that is if you make some change (add a favorite for example) and forget to mark it writable it probably won’t save it, but I doubt it will cause any other issues.

  48. Thank you *so* much for posting this! The outlook.exe /resetnavpane thing worked like a charm, to restore my Outlook Calendar (using Outlook 2003 on an XP machine). It had somehow been added to my Favorites folder, and I tried to remove it — and then I couldn’t see it at all! I knew it was still there (my reminder notices were still being generated), but it was somehow hidden. That runtime command restored it to its correct place.

    I’ve been looking everywhere for a solution…so glad I came across this thread!

  49. I appreciate all of the posts. The fix has worked on 95% of my users. Of course I have a stubborn one. Does anyone know how to get Outlook to create the xml file. I have a user who has no outlook.xml file on any of the computers she logs into. I have tried the resetnav command and can not get the calendar to stay in her favorite folder. The application does not create a xml file. My guess is I need to blow her profile and recreate it.
    Thanks

    • I would agree with your suspicion regarding her profile. I’ve seen user profiles become corrupted in some way that necessitates starting fresh. It’s a pain, for sure, but sometimes it’s the only thing to do.

      Before you take that step, you might just verify that the user has permissions to write to the folder that the xml file should be stored in, just in case something “whacky” happened to her ACL’s. Other than that, I don’t have any further ideas.

  50. Hi,

    I’ve just migrated to Office 2010 and wanting to copy of .xml Outlook shortcuts file back to my local drive. Saved to C:\Users\user name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook folder and it doesn’t seem to have come back. Any ideas?

    Nixsta

      • Two hints:
        1/ make sure to put outlook.xml in the folder where Outlook.xml already exists (might be Roaming subfolder instead of Local ?)
        2/ Shortcuts in the Outlook.xml are HARDCODED to the file location paths, your PST files referred by shortcusts MUST be moved to exactly the same location as it was on previous computer.

        It worked for me, so can be done.

  51. We have one or two users where this happens on an occasional basis…for each of them I have created two batch files backup.bat and restore.bat

    cd c:\documents and settings\\application data\microsoft\outlook\
    copy outlook.xml c:\ost /y

    cd c:\documents and settings\\application data\microsoft\outlook\
    copy c:\ost\outlook.xml c:\ /y

    where c:\ost is the location of the outlook.ost file to prevent long romaing profile load/unload times.

    When the user has changed the ‘favourite folders’ they run the backup.bat file. As and when the file corupts they shutdown outlook and run the restore.

  52. Hello. I’m not very computer literate but tried restoring my favorites window by using what seemed the easiest solution in this blog; that is, I clicked Start, then Run, then typed in outlook.exe/resetnavpane, but got an error message saying outlook.exe/resetnavpane could not be found.

    I found a simple solution at another website–simply click on the mail icon in the navigation pane. Worked! πŸ™‚ Whew!

  53. My issue was that the Favorite Folder option was missing from the Navigation Pane menu. Pressing Ctrl + 1 brought it back.

  54. I found the problem is caused by using OWA. Let’s say the shortcuts are there in Outlook, then exit. Launch OWA (I usually click the calendar or send an email) then Exit. Launch Outlook and the shortcuts should be gone again.

    I used Exchange 2010, Outlook 2010 in cached mode (though that does not matter as the problem apepars in non-cached mode too).

    Still testing the behavior.

    • Gail, that could be part of it; however, I can attest that I used OWA so little, and never on my workstation, so there are likely other conditions that cause the issue.

  55. I agree that there may be other issues that cause the problem. So far using OWA on any workstation causes the problem. One thing I notice is that OWA does not have the ability to create Favorites to Public Folders. The shortcuts that I keep losing are my Public Folder favorites.
    Did you test using OWA to see if your shortcuts disappear?
    Anyway, that you for the quick fix since I will have the problem repeatedly as I use OWA away from my office.

  56. I contacted Microsoft. They agree that the Outlook Public folder shortcuts disappear after using OWA is an active bug. A hotfix is planned in the future.

  57. Brill! Number 2 option worked 1st time. This has been bugging me for ages, but not had time to do any research.Too busy supporting my users to worry about my probs!

  58. Hey, I have all the updates to Office Pro 2003 SP3 and the problem got worse in the last week!!! After reading the posts i simply did File – Exit and then re-launched Outlook. Bingo!!

    • I see the link for correcting this problem in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

      But what is the link for Vista?

  59. Pingback: 2010 Office -- Favorites folder not staying in order.

  60. Pingback: Gecko's Tech » Outlook Favourite Folders disappearing

  61. Okay ! I’ve do the xml thing first, no luck. After the outlook switch, noluck. Remove the Use Cached mode + removed the xml while outlook was running and also while oulook was running i’ve set the customisation I wanted. Closed outlook then restart it, the public folders contacts are now under my contacts folders as I wanted.

    Thanks for this post !

  62. Brilliant! I know this is an old article, but it solved my frustration – I renamed Outlook.xml, and on the next restart, my favourites appeared as I wanted Thanks!

  63. SWEEET ! THANKS !
    worked like a charm. simply renamed existing .xml to “outlook_corrupted” for clarification since it remains in folder.

  64. Thank you, Jason. This has been a totally frustrating issue that made no sense. Many months ago my Outlook Favorites folder completely disappeared and I’ve been looking for a solution. Then I found this blog. I did the Start, Run, outlook.exe /resetnavpane. It worked! Thanks so much!

  65. WHAT WORKED FOR ME: Uncheck most (if not all) Addins. I do not know if this will work for anyone else, but it worked for me: – Go to FILE / OPTIONS / ADDINS / Manage: COM Add-ins [Go…] – Uncheck as many Add-ins as possible (I disabled everything except for one external program that I use with Outlook) Hope this helps someone else.

  66. randomely disappering folders from favorites
    a simple workaround in outlook10 with exchange server
    -rightclick the folder that disappeared from favorits in the folder list
    -click remove from favorites
    -click add to favorits

  67. I fixed the issue by going to C:\Users\Barry\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook and restoring an older version of the xml file (using the right click – restore previous versions option).

  68. Just spent the last 4 hours troubleshooting this and still have no idea what’s going on. For my setup, the “favorites” folders are definitely NOT stored in outlook.xml (or any xml file in that folder) on my machine. And I know I have the right XML file because it’s being edited every time i exit outlook. But the Favorites are being tied to the individual PST, not to the XML file. I can swap between PSTs and watch my favs appear and disappear without even touching the XML file.

    The weird thing is that the PSTs are also identical, save for being located in two different folders. Not sure why moving a duplicate PST to another folder would cause it to lose track of the favorites, but that’s definitely what’s happening.

    I’ve resorted to just taking a screenshot of the favs and recreating them manually each time this becomes a problem. Backing up and restoring the XML file(s) doesn’t do anything for me.

  69. I have right clicked on the folder which is dropped from Outlook’s favorite list and removed it from favorites list, even though it is not there and then right clicked on the folder and told it to put the folder in the favorites list. Done deal

  70. Worked for me in Windows 7 / Office 2007.
    The outlook.xml file is in C:\Users\USERName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

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