Search Folder support in OWA 2013

After my mailbox got upgraded to an Exchange 2013 server, I now have the new Outlook Web App 2013 layout as well for reading my emails in a browser. However, I’m now missing my Search Folders.

I’ve already tried to recreate and re-upload them via Outlook as I also had to do for OWA 2010 but my Search Folders are still not visible in OWA 2013.

How do I get access to my Search Folders again in OWA 2013?

Search Folder iconSadly, Search Folder support has been dropped in Outlook Web App 2013 (OWA 2013) which is being used for Exchange 2013 and also for Exchange Online (part of Office 365 for Business)

Some Search Folders can be emulated with search queries but the results aren’t optimal and they are not automatically updated. Instead, you’ll have to re-execute the query. Also, the results can’t be grouped by folder.

At any case, the workarounds are better than nothing at all but hopefully Search Folder support for OWA will be added back in a future update.

Search Query for the “All Mail” and “Unread Mail” Search Folders

The main Search Folders are the “All Mail” “Unread Mail” Search folders. You can’t recreate them in full scope but usually this is overkill anyway. If you don’t mind to limit yourself to only recent results, you can use one of the following queries:

  • received:today
  • received:thisweek
  • received:thismonth

To only see unread items, click on the “unread” link underneath the Search box.

Search field in OWA 2013 - received:today

Fine-tuning the Search Query results

Depending on the amount of mail that you are receiving, you might need to click on the “Get more results” link at the bottom or even use a smaller time span.

Include messages from: Entire mailbox - Current folder (Inbox) - Current folder and subfoldersIn the pane on the left, you can set the option to include results for the entire mailbox, the current folder and its subfolders or the current folder only.

This basically emulates the Today’s Unread Mail Search Folder which you can create in Outlook. However, it doesn’t update automatically and it won’t sort the results into folders either.

When you’ve set the search scope to “Entire mailbox”, the results also may contain (empty) Contact items and Calendar items. You can filter these out this with the following query:

  • received:today size:>2K

Submit a feature request

If you feel that the Search Folders feature should be added back to OWA 2013, open a Support Case with Microsoft Support and submit the feedback as a feature request. This request is already on the radar of the Exchange team but it basically just needs more “votes” for it to get more priority.

You might need to supply credit card information to open a support case but of course no support charges will apply.

Note: Any Search Folder that you create in Outlook still gets uploaded to Exchange and will also sync to any other device on which you are using Outlook. This feature removal really only applies to OWA 2013.

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