Changing the display name of a mailbox or pst-file

When I look at my Outlook folder list on the left, I see most of my mailboxes are named after the email addresses that they receive emails for. I also have a pst-file that is called “My Outlook Data File”.

These names are quite long and thus get truncated unless I widen the Folder Pane. Especially since some of my mailboxes only differ in the domain part, I prefer to shorten or otherwise customize these mailbox names.

How can I change the names for my mailboxes and pst-file?

Rename Mailbox buttonIn Outlook 2010 and later, the default name of a mailbox is the email address of the account it belongs to. This wasn’t always the case for all account types in previous Outlook versions.

The default name of a new pst-file also changed over the Outlook versions from “Personal Folders” to “My Outlook Data File”. When using AutoArchive, the default name of the pst-file that it creates is “Archive”.

As you can imagine, this can result is quite a mix of naming schemes and longer names that don’t look good in the Folder List.

However, even though they all end up showing in your Folder List, when it comes to renaming them, they all are managed differently.

Exchange mailboxes

Exchange account buttonExchange mailboxes are named after the primary mail address of your mailbox. Sadly, this can’t be changed from within Outlook.

If you really want to change it, you can do so via MFCMAPI. Step-by-step instructions for this can be found in the guide: Rename Email Accounts and Mailbox Folders.

POP3 mailboxes, Personal Folders, Archives and other pst-files

POP3 account buttonChanging the display name of these folder sets can be done quite easily:

  1. Right click the root of the folder set and choose Properties.
  2. Click on the button: Advanced.
  3. Select the tab: Advanced.
  4. Edit the field: Name.

An alternative method to do this in Outlook 2010 or later is via;

  1. File-> Account Settings-> Account Settings…
  2. Select the tab: Data Files.
  3. Double click on the data file which you want to rename.
  4. Edit the field: Name.

Change the display name of a pst mailbox.
Changing the name of a POP3 or other pst-file.

IMAP mailboxes

IMAP account buttonThe display name of an IMAP mailbox in Outlook 2010 and previous can be changed in the same way as a POP3 account.

When you are using an IMAP mailbox in Outlook 2013 or later, you can change it in the Account Settings for that IMAP account:

  1. File-> Account Settings-> Account Settings…
  2. Double click on your IMAP account.
  3. To set the account name;
    • Outlook 2010 / 2013 /2016 (MSI)
      1. Click on the button: More Settings….
      2. Change the mail account name on the General tab.
    • Outlook 2016 / 2019 / Microsoft 365
      Modify the “Account name” field.

Changing the name of an IMAP account (and mailbox) in Microsoft 365.
Changing the name of an IMAP account (and mailbox) in Microsoft 365. and Hotmail mailboxes

Outlook Hotmail Connector account buttonWhen you are using an or Hotmail mailbox in Outlook, then this is most likely configured as an Exchange account. Therefor, you can follow the instructions for the Exchange account as mentioned above.

If you have chosen to configure the mailbox as an IMAP or POP3 account instead, use the instructions for the respective account type.

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