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SteveK08's avatar
New Contributor II
4 months ago

Email Transition - Lost Outlook Subfolders

Hey all,

I transitioned to Yahoo today and established credentials and everything without a hitch. (I didn't use the password generation, FYI) The problem is I cannot see my many inbox subfolders in Outlook anymore. If I log in to Yahoo webmail they're there, but they're flat-out missing in Outlook.  Does anyone know of the fix for this?



  • I am happy to say that newly-created Yahoo folders DO show up in Outlook so you can create like-named folders to match your missing Outlook folders and move all the messages from old to new. Here's the workflow I used:

    • Open Yahoo mail (Webmail in my case).
    • Open one of the folders that's missing in Outlook.
    • Select all messages (conversations in Yahoo Speak)
    • Click the move button
    • Create a new folder or select one you've already created
    • Watch them move

    Make sure you get them all moved before deleting the old folder. The system will only move 100 conversations at a time. And give Outlook some time to download it all. It took me several minutes on a fast connection.

    Hope this helps!



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  • Vegas_Low_Rider's avatar
    New Contributor II

    Only changed the file names on Yahoo Web app and ran Update Folder List on Outlook Desktop. (Thank you dea_1).

  • OMAQman's avatar
    New Contributor II

    Kudos SteveK08!  After a brief test I can confirm that your discovery/workaround works!  Cox should fashion some kind of FAQ around this (and send you a check ;) ).  I'll admit some trepidation in trying it, since, like others, I have 'mission critical' emails in the former Cox Inbox subfolders (and, indeed, sufficient trepidation to have not tried to move them yet per your workaround -- it is that scary to risk losing them -- and have only done a 'test' of your workaround to confirm it will work).

    By way of supplementing your workaround and maybe adding some additional clarity for future readers, I'll share a small part of my experience on the matter.  Yep, like others, a couple (3? 4?) hours of unfruitful research before finding your post.  And let's just say a few cuss words were involved.

    The first thing for people to understand is that Yahoo's concept of 'Inbox' is not quite the same as Cox's former webmail platform's concept of 'Inbox' (and the allowance for subfolders 'underneath' said Inbox).  That was my first stumbling block when trying to implement your instructions.  In the Yahoo webmail interface you 100% *cannot* (in my experience) create a new subfolder directly underneath their Inbox.  You can only create them in the "+ New Folder" area down below.  To us longtime Cox/Outlook users, that is *not* intuitive.  Thank you very little Cox, Yahoo, and Microsoft.

    Again, in my experience (YMMV), no amount of "querying" the IMAP folders in Outlook will produce the opportunity to 'subscribe' to the former Cox Inbox subfolders.  They simply do not appear.  If somebody has a workaround for this, please post it.

    In my Yahoo webmail interface all the former Cox Inbox subfolders appear in the "+ New Folder" area containing an "INBOX/" prefix, e.g., "INBOX/[whatever you named the subfolder]".  It is my supposition that the "INBOX/" prefix is what throws the Outlook IMAP query tool off track.  Again, nice work Cox, Yahoo, and Microsoft.

    Why is that my supposition?  Because your workaround according to my testing actually works, and the new folders created in the "+ New Folder" area have no "INBOX/" prefix.  How's that for deductive reasoning?  ;)

    For anybody wanting to replicate my test before proceeding with hours and hours of (potentially risky) manual labor (the reality of which has my wife seriously contemplating abandoning Outlook as an email client), here's what I did (following SteveK08's method):

    Logged into Yahoo mail in a web browser.  Went to the "+ New Folder" area and created a folder called "New_Folder_Test_For_Outlook".  I then clicked and dragged a piece of junk mail from the Yahoo Inbox to this newly created folder.  I then went to my Outlook desktop app and did a "Send and Receive" and -- VOILA! -- both the new folder and piece of junk mail appeared!  Whoop!  Whoop!  Not as an Inbox subfolder, mind you, but as a separate folder.  I can live with that.

    Please don't get me started on the "Bulk" folder the transition magically created and cannot be found in the Yahoo web interface.  Or the various flavors of "Sent", "SentMail", "Sent_Items" and what have you, 'cuz then I'm just startin' to sound like a whiner.

    Thanks again for your post and workaround SteveK08.  Very, very helpful.

    • SteveK08's avatar
      New Contributor II

      I'm very glad to have been a help to you guys!



    • stretchurbrain's avatar
      New Contributor

      You all have no idea the gravity of what you have done.  I was able to figure out how to remove the inbox\ from the front of subfolders so they would show up in outlook, but that isn't the only problem.

      The folders under the subfolders do not even show up in yahoo so they can be moved.  I had important emails from before and after my daughter was killed and they are gone now.  You should have done a better job testing the transitions.  

    • patti_rose's avatar
      New Contributor III

      Hi Lisa!  I appreciate your quick reply, but, the link you posted doesn't answer our questions about folders and subfolders stored in Outlook.  

      Will our subfolders still be in Outlook once we transition to Yahoo?  

      I understand that the subfolders will be in Yahoo, but will they also remain in Outlook?



      • stretchurbrain's avatar
        New Contributor

        I would suggest you make a local copy of your pst on your compute BEFORE you do the transition.  It's fairly easy to make a data file and then copy your folders over.  That way no matter what happens during the transition, you still have all your files on your local computer. 

        Yes, you can get the subfolders to populate with some work, but my experience is that the subfolders under the subfolders do not even show up in Yahoo to be able to copy/move them.

        After the transition, you can go into the Yahoo email and take off the INBOX\ before the name of the subfolder and press enter.  That renames it to something that Outook 2013 and 365 (I tried in both versions) can read. Then the next time you log into Outlook, they show up slowly. 

        Yahoo should have stripped out INBOX\.  This transition has been nothing but a monumental headache and heartache for the emails that I no longer have access to.  

  • patti_rose's avatar
    New Contributor III

    What you are describing (Steve) is my main big concern, losing folders and subfolders in Outlook!  I use Outlook also.  My email accounts with Cox are due to transition to Yahoo within about 2 weeks.  I have 3 email addresses with Cox.  I have years of stored folders and subfolders in Outlook for each of those 3 email addresses.  Once the transition to Yahoo happens, will we no longer be able to view all of our folders and subfolders in Outlook?  This is very concerning, as I have literally thousands of folders and sub-folders I don't want to lose!  

    Please, someone from Cox address this question, would really appreciate a response from a Cox Moderator.



    • dea_1's avatar
      New Contributor


      So I had the same problem, folders from Outlook transferred to Yahoo Webmail but were totally disappeared from my Outlook account after synching. Based on OMAQman's observation that there might be a problem with the "INBOX/" prefix, I went through my folders in Yahoo webmail and renamed them without the "INBOX/" prefix. So "INBOX/filename" became "filename". The renamed folders then immediately synched to Outlook. Still a painful workaround but better than creating new folders and transferring files in bunches of 100. One caveat, if you have a Webmail folder with subfolders it won't rename. In that case, just right click and move the subfolders to the "top" and they will also synch to Outlook. 

      Hope this works. Took a couple of hours a maddening work and help from this forum to figure out the solution.

      This whole transition have been a trainwreck. Period. 

      Thanks to everyone who posted to help. 


      • jbecker31's avatar
        New Contributor

        Thank you.

        The renaming convention worked great.  Thanks for the tip.