How to Set Up an All Mail Folder in Outlook

Collect all of your Outlook mail in one place

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So, you want it all? Inbox, "last year," the family folder or someplace mysterious: sure, you can have Outlook search for a particular message in all these locations, but can it also display the complete emails from all mailboxes in one long list?

Thanks to its search folders, Outlook can. Setting up such a smart folder is easy, too. There are, after all, just about no criteria to define.

Set Up an "All Mail" Folder in Outlook

To add a search folder for viewing all a PST file's mail in Outlook:

  1. Go to Mail in Outlook. You can press Ctrl-1, for example.

  2. Open the inbox (or any other folder) in the email account or PST file for which you are creating the "All Mail" folder.

  3. In Outlook 2013 and 2016, make sure the Folder ribbon is active and expanded. Click New Search Folder in the ribbon's New section.

  4. In Outlook 2003 and 2007, select File > New > Search Folder… from the menu.

  5. Make sure Create a custom Search Folder (at the bottom, under Custom) is selected in the Select a Search Folder: area.

  6. Click Choose... under Customize Search Folder:.

  7. Type "All Mail" under Name: in the Custom Search Folder dialog.

  8. Click Browse… under Mail from these folders will be included in this Search Folder:.

  9. Make sure the top Personal Folders folder (or whatever the topmost folder is called for the PST file or email account for which you set up the "All Mail" folder) is checked under Folders.

  10. Now make sure Search subfolders is checked as well under Folders:.

    Of course, you can also leave Search subfolders unchecked and choose the folders whose messages you want to see individually.

    If your Junk E-mail folder is, in fact, filled with junk email, consider choosing all folders but it manually. You can also make all your mail folders sub-folders of the Inbox or another folder and search that with Search subfolders enabled. Alternatively, exclude mail in the spam folder using a filter criterion; see below.

  11. Click OK.

  12. Click OK again, in the Custom Search Folder dialog.

  13. Now click Yes in response to Outlook's warning that All messages in the folders you have selected will appear in this Search Folder.

  14. Click OK once more in the New Search Folder dialog.

Customize an "All Mail" Folder With Criteria (Plus Examples)

To make your "All Mail" folder contain all messages except those you have excluded with criteria (say, to remove junk or really old emails, for example):

  1. Open the "All Mail" search folder you wish to customize further.

  2. Make sure the Folder ribbon is selected and expanded.

  3. Click Customize This Search Folder in the ribbon's Actions section.

  4. Click Criteria… in the Customize… dialog.

  5. Specify any criteria you wish to use for excluding certain messages. To exclude a certain folder, say "Spam", for example:

    • Go to the Advanced tab.
    • Click Field under Define more criteria:.
    • Select All Mail Fields > In Folder from the menu that has appeared.
    • Select doesn't contain under Condition:.
    • Enter "spam" (or, of course, the name of the folder or folders you wish to exclude) under Value:.
    • Click Add to List.
    • Click OK.
  6. To make an "All Large Mail" folder:

    • Go to the More Choices tab.
    • Make sure greater than is selected under Size (kilobytes).
    • Enter a value, like "5000" for around 5 MB.
    • Click OK.
  7. To exclude a particular sender, say "mailer-daemon":

    • Go to the Advanced tab.
    • Click Field under Define more criteria:.
    • Select Frequently-used Fields > From from the menu.
    • Select doesn't contain under Condition:.
    • Enter the email address (or part of the address) you want to exclude under Value:.
    • Click Add to List.
    • Click OK.
  8. Click OK.