How to Remove / Delete Empty Folders in Outlook PST 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010?
“I am using a comprehensive hierarchical structure to maintain folders within my Outlook 2016 PST data file. After auto-archiving email messages from PST file to Archive.pst, now my Outlook.pst is left with a large number of folders which are empty now. Please suggest a solution on how I can identify those empty folders and quickly remove or delete empty folders in Outlook PST completely. Is there any setting option available anywhere in Outlook account to auto delete empty folders in Outlook?”
“I use Microsoft Outlook 2013 at business and I always use to organize my email messages in folders and subfolders based on different categories (topics, work items, people, sections etc.). Now my Outlook.pst file is having many folders and subfolders created during the previous years. Recently I used the built-in archiving option to migrate previous year’s email messages to a new PST data file (one data file for each year). Now I am facing issues when I search for particular data in it. The Outlook has created all the folders in archived files (also the folder that have no emails in it). As a result, many empty folders are created. And now I need to do a lot of scrolling to get to some folder. I need to know, how to delete empty folders in Outlook 2013 PST file.”
I keep on seeing these kinds of questions asked by several users on diverse technical Microsoft Outlook forum site and blogs. So here in this blog, you will see the solutions to remove or delete empty folders in PST file quickly without any data loss in a few simple steps.
Remove Empty Folders in Outlook PST
When a user is getting a surplus amount of incoming email messages from multiple users or various departments, then it should be managed properly. But a certain point of time, they may remove data from those folders or archive it. And it may result in the creation of empty folders in Outlook PST data file. It will become extremely difficult when the number of created folders is huge and it does not contain any data.
2 Technical Solutions to Exclude Empty Folders in PST
We are explaining 2 technical solutions here. One is a direct method using third-party application which provides the option to exclude all empty folders in a PST data file efficiently. And the other one is a VBA code to implement on MS Outlook account.
- Automated Quick Solution
- Manual Code Implementation
For Example, to show the exact steps to delete Empty Folders from PST file in Outlook, we have created a Test PST (empty_folder.pst) file with empty folders and subfolders in Inbox, draft etc. We will use this empty_folder.pst file and see how to exclude unwanted empty folders from Microsoft Outlook account easily.
1. Automated Solution to Remove Empty Folders in PST File
SysTools provides an efficient application to fix issues in Microsoft Outlook PST data file. The Outlook PST Repair & Recovery Tool helps to resolve PST file corruption issues effortlessly. But the software is having many special features which allow the users to manage there PST data file expeditiously. Here in our case, let us see how this software will help you.
The application is having an option to ‘Exclude Empty Folders from PST file’. It will perfectly remove all the empty folders and subfolders in a scanned PST and will generate a new PST file which is only having folders with data. Now explore the steps to delete empty folders in Outlook PST file.
Run the Quick Solution
First Download & Install the Software from the below-given button. This is the free version of the application.
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- Open the software on your Windows OS system. Press the Add file option on the top left corner.
Select Your PST File to Remove Empty Folders
- Now select the PST file from which you need to remove empty folders. Here we will load text empty_folder.pst file.
Note: From Select PST option, you can browse the required PST file as shown below. Now choose the scan option. Provides 2 scan options: Quick & Advanced. If you need to repair PST file or recover deleted emails from Outlook PST file, then choose Advanced scan option. Or else you can use Quick scan option. Press Add Button.
Scan & Preview Data Folders in Your PST
- The application will repair (if there are some corruption issues, it will be automatically corrected) & load the entire data of the selected PST file in its preview panel. The application will display all the folders in bold font if it contains data inside.
Note: Now you can see all the folders which do not have data. If you have chosen Advanced Scan option to scan the PST file, it will also recover all permanently deleted emails, contacts, calendars, tasks, notes, journals etc. from the PST file. All retrieved items will be displayed in red color as shown in the following screenshot.
- You can see many other folders (not in bold font) which are empty. The item count will be displayed at the left bottom corner of the software.
Export Non-Empty Folders from PST File
- Now to remove empty folders in Outlook PST file, click on the Export button as shown in the image below. This will allow you to create a new PST data file.
- From the Export Options window appeared on the screen, select PST (Export as Microsoft Outlook (.pst) file) option. This will help you to generate a new PST data file without any empty folders in it.
After selecting the PST file option, you can select the advanced setting option to set email filter option, split PST option etc. (Here in your case it is not necessary). Also, browse a destination location to save your newly created PST file.
Note: The software provides several Export option. Other than PST file, it can save your data items in MSG, EML, HTML or can directly move data into Office 365 user, admin, or shared mailbox effortlessly.
Remove / Delete Empty Folders in Outlook PST – Automatically
- In the same Export Options window, The software provides some extra advanced facilities to maintain the structure of the newly generated PST data file. Select the complete Folder list, since you need to new PST file with entire data just by excluding empty folders. The application provides options to Maintain Folder Hierarchy, Don’t Export Empty Folder, Use Outlook, Ignore System Folders.
Here, you need to uncheck Maintain Folder Hierarchy option, then you can check Don’t Export Empty Folder. Now Press Export Option below, then the software will start exporting PST data items.
- The software will display the exporting process progress. It will show the number of data items exported from your original PST file to the new PST file in your required destination location.
The software will provide a success message after the completion of the process. Then Click OK.
Tip: This SysTools Outlook PST Data File Management Tool provides many other facilities for the user. It will generate a Report after completing the Export process. You can save that Report in the desired location in a CSV file format. It will provide the failure and success count information of the Export Process.
View your Outlook PST File Without Empty Folders
- Now go to the Destination Location where you have selected to Save your PST file (The PST file created after removing or deleting empty folders in Outlook PST file that you have loaded.) The newly created PST file-name will be as same as that of your loaded original PST file in Block Letters.
- Now Open or export this new resultant PST file in your Microsoft Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 account.
Open Resultant PST File in Outlook Account
Here, we will Open the EMPTY_FOLDER.pst file in MS Outlook 2013. To import or Open PST file follow the step:
- Go to File Menu > Open & Export > Open Outlook Data File (open an Outlook data file (.pst)).
- Select the EMPTY_FOLDER.PST file from the destination location. And it will be opened in your Outlook account.
Note: In the above Image, you can see both PST files, The PST file with empty folders, and same PST file after removing Empty Folders using the tool. You can remove or delete the old PST file with empty folders now; start using this newly created PST file as your default PST file for your Microsoft Outlook account.
2. Manual VBA Code Implementation to Delete Empty Folders in Outlook
This is a manual way to remove Empty Folders in Outlook account. This needs proper technical knowledge since you are going to edit Outlook back end code. Follow the steps properly without any mistake, because a small error can also corrupt your PST file and can end up in data loss.
- Open your Microsoft Outlook account.
- Now, press on “Alt + F11” to access the VBA editor.
- Now you need to copy the following VBA code given into the “ThisOutlookSession” project.
Public Sub GetAllSubfolders()
Dim xFolders As Outlook.Folders
Dim xFolder As Outlook.Folder
Dim i As Long
On Error Resume Next
'Change "Personal" to the name of your Outlook data file
Set xFolders = Outlook.Application.Session.Folders("Personal").Folders
For Each xFolder In xFolders
If xFolder.Folders.Count > 0 Then
For i = xFolder.Folders.Count To 1 Step -1
Public Sub DeleteEmptyFolder(xCurrentFolder As Outlook.Folder)
Dim xSubFolder As Outlook.Folder
Dim j As Long
If xCurrentFolder.Items.Count = 0 Then
'Process the subfolders recursively
If xCurrentFolder.Folders.Count > 0 Then
For j = xCurrentFolder.Folders.Count To 1 Step -1
Set xSubFolder = xCurrentFolder.Folders(j)
- You can check the following image to understand, how it will be displayed on your screen.
- Restart your MS Outlook to activate the above macro.
- Now onwards, each time when you do a certain action on a Folder in your Outlook account (PST file), and if the folder is becoming Empty, then it will get deleted permanently.
This method provides a permanent solution from now onwards, but this method does not help you to remove your Empty folders in Outlook all-together automatically now. But as a comparison, if we compare this feature the above-explained software, it is a one-time purchase tool, and you can use it for a lifetime. More or less, the product has many other features like, it can repair severely corrupted PST files. It provides Repair option, Recover option, Conversion option, Split option, Excludes empty folder option, preview data items option and more. This is the best reliable Outlook PST Management Tool.
The Bottom Line
The best available method to remove / delete empty folders in Outlook PST file is explained in this blog. The automated application described will help you to easily exclude Empty folders effortlessly in a few simple steps without any data loss. And the second method explains a manual way to implement the code in Microsoft Outlook account to remove empty folders in Outlook. Read the blog thoroughly and understand the processes before you perform it. I would like to suggest you try the described software since it provides an error-free guaranteed result.