How to Find the Name of the Folder an Email is Stored in Outlook

I personally think that search in Outlook is pretty damn good. I usually find what I’m looking for 95% of the time (the other 5% is because the email was archived, deleted long ago, or was a figment of my imagination).

Once I spot the email in a list of search results, I often wonder “now where did I actually put that?”.  I have an embarrassing amount of nested folders that I use to organize the thousands of emails I receive because I never delete any of them. Plus I am guilty of accidentally drag-and-dropping folders into other folders and losing them. Poking around through the folder filing system is honestly painful, and more effort than I care to exercise, especially when I end up clicking around for longer than 30 seconds. I knew there had to be an easier way!

During my internet search for answers, I discovered Outlook MVP Robert Sparnaaij’s blog and was really impressed with his writing style. He has found the perfect balance of short, direct answers with just enough detail to get results. Thank you to Robert for wading through vast amounts of documentation to track down the answers to our real world questions!

In Robert’s blog post Determine the folder path of a message found in Search results“, he shares four solutions of increasing complexity to help you figure out where an email lives in Outlook.

Because I honestly need to recall these keyboard shortcuts 3-4 times a week (and ALWAYS forget), I’m posting them here. Please read Robert’s blog post for detailed instructions and step-by-step screenshots. Again, 100% kudos to Robert for these solutions.

Solution #1: Sort your Search Results by folder (so smart!)

Solution #2:  Alt + Enter is the keyboard shortcut to bring up the Properties dialog box for an Outlook email – this will show you the name of the folder the email lives in.


Solution #3:  To see the exact full folder path, use CTRL + Shift + F will open the Advanced Find menu. It will tell you what folder the email is in AND let you use the Browse button to reveal where that folder sits in the folder hierarchy.


Solution #4: If you want a solution that gives you the ability to click to open the file location, use the link above to go read Robert’s blog post: Determine the folder path of a message found in Search results

17 responses to “How to Find the Name of the Folder an Email is Stored in Outlook

      1. I’m having the same problem. Hitting browse doesn’t show me the path either. It just shows me all of my folders and asks where I would like to search…

  1. thanks, it helped me.
    It would have been great if solution was provided with out 4 para of story at front.

  2. This is awesome! For years I have wanted to figure out the current folder of an email. Finally decided to search and found this. Perfect!

    1. Thank you for the comment. I was very lucky to discover Robert’s post that explained it all in such detail. I’m glad you found my cliff notes blog post useful.

  3. Thank you!
    Never knew these handy shortcuts and wondered so many times 🙂
    good job

  4. Unfortunately the CTRL-Shift-F Browse trick does not work for me because we are on a network system where emails are vaulted after 14 days therefore when I search I can see the sub-folder name displayed on screen but when I open the email and use C-S-F the folder name that it displays is Symantec Enterprise Vault.

  5. THANK YOU! You cannot believe how much time I have spent looking for the answer to this question! YIKES!

    Thank you!

  6. Wow – thanks so much. The first solution is indeed brilliant and so simple! Why didn’t I think of that!!!! 15 mins of searching solved in 3 clicks!

  7. Wonderful! I right-clicked on the field columns bar, selected “field chooser” and found the label there. All I had to do was to move it to the rest of the fields and now it’s there all the time. I love this function.

  8. Thanks for the cliff notes, you gave me what I needed w/o have to wade through all the other info. Thanks to you and Robert 🙂

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