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Move Folders in Outlook

In Microsoft Outlook, you can create a convenient extensive folder structure to organize messages, contacts, calendar events, and other mailbox items. These folders can be moved within and between accounts. This article explains the manual and automatic ways to move folders in your Outlook profile.

How to move folders in Outlook manually

Outlook organizes folders in the following way: system folders such as Inbox, Drafts, Sent Items, Deleted Items, and others are displayed first. After them, in alphabetical order, are the user-created folders. You can change the folder order and nest them in other folders by dragging and dropping them with the mouse or via the context menu.

Move Outlook folders using context menu

The order of the system folders can be changed, but they cannot be renamed or dragged into other folders.

You can copy any folders, including system folders, as subfolders. To do this, right-click on the desired folder to open the context menu. If the copied folder already exists in the parent destination folder, the duplicate is assigned a number in brackets.

How to quickly find Outlook folders to move

If you have many folders and multiple subfolders on different levels, it's challenging to find the ones you need. Here the Quick Folders utility in the ReliefJet Quicks package can help. You can use it to:

  • show all folders of the accounts connected to your Outlook profile in a single window;
  • quickly find the desired folder by typing part of its name;
  • display only folders of a certain type: Mail, Calendar, People (Contacts), Tasks, Notes;
  • instantly navigate to a folder containing an open Outlook message.

Click the Quick Folders button on the ReliefJet tab of the Outlook ribbon.

By clicking Go to Folder, you can view all available folders and instantly navigate to any of them.

ReliefJet Quick Folders for Outlook

Limitations of moving and copying Outlook folders manually

  • You cannot move or copy multiple folders at once.
  • When you move or copy folders, they are only copied with the subfolders.
  • When you copy the same folders repeatedly, Outlook does not notify you about duplicates and offers no additional actions with them.
  • No additional features are offered when you copy and move Outlook folders manually.
  • If you need to move many folders, searching and copying would take too much time and effort.

How to move any number of Outlook folders automatically

The advanced version of the Merge Folders utility allows you to move or copy several Outlook folders at once, change the nesting level, move only parent folders or keep the whole structure, and apply an additional filter by date.

The utility is easy to configure in a minute:

  1. Select the directories to migrate in the Source folder(s) field.
  2. Include subfolders if needed.
  3. Enter the path to the destination directory.
  4. Select the option Create source folders in destination folder.
  5. Specify whether you want to move the folders or copy them.
  6. Select the option to handle duplicates when copying the same directories repeatedly.
  7. Apply one of the filters, if desired.
  8. Run the utility.
ReliefJet Merge Outlook Folders utility

You can learn more about how to merge folders in Outlook in our blog.


You can move a few Outlook folders or change their location manually with the mouse or from the context menu.

But to bulk move or copy Outlook folders from different accounts, move folders from different nesting levels, or change the folder structure, use the special Merge Outlook Folders automatic tool. This will allow you to copy, move or merge any folders and their subfolders.

If you are planning to move Outlook folders between different computers, please read the article on Outlook Folder Migration.


How to move subfolders in Outlook?

You can move Outlook folders alongside all the subfolders one at a time manually. Or choose an advanced version of the automatic tool that will quickly migrate any number of folders from any nesting level.

How do I move a group of folders in Outlook, keeping the structure?

You can move a folder tree in Outlook as follows:

  1. Open the advanced Outlook Folder Merge utility.
  2. Select the source directories.
  3. Activate the Include subfolders option.
  4. Specify the destination.
  5. Check the Create source folders in destination folder option.
  6. If you are moving the folders instead of copying them, check this option.
  7. If necessary, make the rest of the settings and click the Run button.

How do I delete an Outlook folder and its subfolders with the structure intact?

To preserve Outlook folder structure when deleting, use the Merge Folders utility. During configuration, specify Deleted Items as the destination directory.

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