Emails are being copied to “Important” folder

I’m connecting to my Gmail account via IMAP and in the folder list on the left, I also have a folder called “Important”.

In this folder, I receive various emails which are also received in my Inbox folder. It also contains many emails that also exist in my Sent Items folders.

How can I prevent my emails from being duplicated in this “Important” folder?

Important Folder Gmail buttonThe “Important” folder is being added to your folder list as part of a feature of Gmail. This feature is called “Importance markers”.

You can’t completely turn off this feature in Gmail but you can unsubscribe from this folder in Outlook and prevent the folder from being added again in the future.

Unsubscribe from the Important folder in Outlook

IMAP Folders buttonAs an IMAP account allows you to select which folders you want to sync, a quick way to get rid of the “Important” folder in Outlook is to unsubscribe from this folder.

  1. Select a folder in your IMAP mailbox.
  2. Open the IMAP Folders dialog.
    • Outlook 2007 and previous
      Tools-> IMAP Folders…
    • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
      tab Folder-> IMAP Folders
  3. Press the Query button.
  4. From the folder list that is being retrieved select; [Gmail]/Important
  5. Press the Unsubscribe button.
  6. Select the option: When displaying hierarchy in Outlook, show only subscribed folders.
  7. Press OK to close the IMAP Folders dialog.

Unsubscribe from the Gmail Important folder.
Unsubscribe from the Gmail Important folder.

Note: Selecting the option “When displaying hierarchy in Outlook…” is not required when you perform the steps below as well. The folder will then be removed automatically after some time or when your press the Send/Receive button in Outlook.

Disable “Important” as IMAP folder in Gmail

Gmail button

  1. Logon to Gmail.
  2. Press the Gear icon in the top right corner (below your picture) and choose Settings.
  3. Select the Labels tab.
    This direct link should work as well.
  4. For the Important label, untick the option: Show in IMAP.
  5. Return to your Inbox in Gmail; The setting is saved automatically.

Gmail Settings - Labels - Do not show the Important folders in IMAP
Prevent the Important folder from being shown in IMAP accounts.

Note: Do not perform this step before unsubscribing from the folder in Outlook or you won’t be able to properly unsubscribe from it. If you did, then you’ll need to enable it again in Gmail first.

Turning off Importance Markers

If you don’t want to see the Important folder in Gmail either, you can use the above steps to hide the folder as well.

When you are in any folder, you will still see that a message was marked as important because of the Important label in front of this. You can disable this label as well by going to your Gmail settings as indicated above and then select the Inbox tab.

Near the bottom, you’ll find an option for “Important markers”. Set this option from “Show markers” to “No markers”.

Gmail Settings - Inbox - Importance markers - No markers
You can remove the Importance Markers in Gmail as well.