Outlook 2011 – Get the Unread Mail folder back

In Outlook 2007 and 2010 for Windows, it always offered an ‘Unread Mail’ folder, where you could instantly see all of your unread mail regardless of folder. I use a lot of rules to push mail into different folders, alerts from servers, reports on stuff, facebook alerts, twitter, etc etc. I want the mails but just not in the mail Inbox.

Anyway, I tried to live without it, but it just irritated me until I HAD to replace it. So, here’s my step by step, it’s not rocket science, and about halfway through you’ll get it and probably ignore the rest… Here goes.

Outlook 2011 has a concept of ‘Smart Folders’ you should see them in the LH folders column.

Smart Folders

Open Outlook, click the search box.

Search This Folder

This opens the search ribbon, click ‘All Mail’ button.

All Mail

Now click Advanced.

Advanced button

On the dropdown (little arrows) that appears and will currently say ‘Item Contains’,

Item Contains
click it and select ‘Read Status’

Dropdown Options

This brings up 2 more boxes, you want ‘is’ and ‘unread’

Read Status Options

Now click the little + symbol to add another condition.
This time change the second condition to be ‘Folder’ ; ‘Is Not’
On the 3rd option, click it and select ‘Choose Folder’
In the pop up box, type ‘Deleted Items’ and then select it from the results and click Choose

Choose Folder

By now you should see all your unread emails, in all your folders, and your search conditions will look like this

All search selections

We now need this to be repeatable, so, now click ‘Save’
This should prompt you to give a folder an appropriate name under SMART FOLDERS, I called mine Unread Mail

Save and name the folder
That’s it, you’re done. Now whenever you just want to see all your unread email, just click on the smart folder you saved.
Also, you can now sort that folder in whatever way you like, my preference is to sort by folder or conversation.

Hope it helps!