How to Set Up an All Mail Folder in Outlook

Use Search Folders to collect all of your Outlook mail in one place

What to Know

  • Go to Inbox > Folder > New Search Folder > Create a custom Search Folder. Enter a name. In Browse, choose folders to include, then exit.
  • To customize: Go to Folder > Customize This Search Folder > Criteria. Specify your criteria and select OK.
  • You can customize Search Folders to exclude specific folders, exclude certain senders, or include messages over a specific size.

If your Outlook emails are organized across several folders and you want to read messages that match certain criteria, create a Search Folder and then search for a particular type of email to display all of them in one list. In this guide, we show you how to set up and customize an "all mail" search folder using Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, and Outlook for Microsoft 365.

Set Up an 'All Mail' Folder in Outlook

To set up a custom Smart Folder that contains all of your email messages:

  1. Open Outlook and go to Mail. If you prefer keyboard shortcuts, press Ctrl+1.

  2. Select the Inbox (or another folder) in the email account or PST file for which you want to create the Search Folder.

    Screenshot of Inbox in Outlook
  3. Go to the Folder tab and choose New Search Folder.

    Screenshot of New Folder on Folder tab
  4. In the New Search Folder dialog box, scroll to the Custom section and select Create a custom Search Folder.

    Screenshot of New Search Folder dialog
  5. In the Customize Search Folder section, select Choose.

  6. In the Custom Search Folder dialog box, enter a name for the Search Folder. For example, type All Mail.

    Screenshot of Custom Search Folder dialog
  7. Select Browse.

  8. In the Select Folder(s) dialog box, select the topmost folder for the PST file or email account of the folders you want to search.

    Screenshot of top personal folder selected
  9. Select the Search subfolders check box. Or, clear the Search subfolders check box and choose the folders that contain messages you want to see.

    If the Junk Email folder is filled with junk email, exclude mail in this folder by using a filter criterion. Or, place sub-folders under the Inbox or another folder and set up the Smart Folder with Search subfolders enabled.

  10. Select OK to close the Select Folder(s) dialog box.

  11. Select OK to close the Custom Search Folder dialog box.

  12. In the Warning dialog box, select Yes so that the messages in the folders you selected appear in the Search Folder.

    Screenshot of Do you want to continue dialog
  13. In the New Search Folder dialog box, select OK. A new Search Folder appears in the Outlook folders list.

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

To customize a Smart Folder so that it contains all of your email messages except those you want to exclude with criteria (for example, to remove junk or old emails):

  1. Open the Search Folder you want to customize.

  2. Go to the Folder tab.

    Screenshot of Folder tab in All Mail folder
  3. In the Actions group, select Customize This Search Folder.

  4. In the Customize [folder name] dialog box, select Criteria.

    Screenshot of Customize All Mail dialog box
  5. In the Search Folder Criteria dialog box, specify the criteria for the messages to include in the Search Folder.

  6. To exclude messages from a specified folder such as the Junk Email folder:

    • Go to the Advanced tab.
    • Select the Field dropdown arrow.
    • Select All Mail fields > In Folder.
    • Select the Condition dropdown arrow and choose doesn't contain.
    • In the Value text box, enter the name of the folder or folders you wish to exclude. For example, enter Junk Email.
    • Select Add to List.
    Screenshot of All Mail Fields > In Folder
  7. To include messages that are larger than a certain size:

    • Go to the More Choices tab.
    • Select the Size (kilobytes) drop-down arrow and choose greater than.
    • Enter a value, such as 5000 for around 5 MB.
    Screenshot of More Choices tab
  8. To exclude email from a particular sender, such as "mailer-daemon":

    • Go to the Advanced tab.
    • Select the Field drop-down arrow.
    • Select Frequently-used Fields > From.
    • Select the Condition drop-down arrow and choose doesn't contain.
    • In the Value text box, enter the email address (or part of the address) you want to exclude.
    • Select Add to List.
  9. Select OK to close the Search Folder Criteria dialog box.

  10. Select OK to close the Customize [folder name] dialog box.

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