Exchange – Outlook / OWA Sent Items Folder Missing – Sent Items in Contacts

Recently we had a user report that their Sent Items folder had disappeared from Outlook.  Upon investigation we discovered that the “Sent Items” folder was missing from both Outlook and OWA.  We were able to do a search for a recently sent email, and find it, but we were unable to locate where this email was being stored (and in our testing we would receive an error when trying to retrieve the body of the message).

Eventually we discovered that the user now had 2 “Contacts” folders, and sent items were now being stored in one of them.  It seems as though the “Sent Items” folder in Exchange for this particular user had been converted to a “Contacts” folder.

In Outlook, looking at the properties of each of the “Contacts” folders showed it set to post items as the type “IPM.Contact”.

Contact Folder Properties
Contact Folder Properties

We would expect the “Sent Items” folder to post as type “IPM.Post”, but unfortunately there is no wayy way to set this through Outlook. 

Launching Outlook with the “resetfoldernames” switch made no difference.

In order to resolve the issue, we first had to edit the mailbox directly with MFCMapi.

Ensure the Outlook Profile on the machine is set to Cached Mode, and then launch MFCMapi.exe.

Click “Session / Logon” and logon using the profile with the lost “Sent Items” folder.

MFCMapi Logon
MFCMapi Logon

Double-click the user’s mailbox to open it.

MFCMapi Open Profile
MFCMapi Open Profile

Expand “Root – Mailbox” / “IPM_SUBTREE” and select the copy of “Contacts” that contains the “Sent Items” objects.  If you’re not sure which is which, expanding the actual “Contacts” folder will show a handful of items nested underneath it related to your actual contacts and Global Address List.

***Note: In the event you do not see “IPM_SUBTREE” but do see a “Top of Information Store” folder that you can expand, it means the profile you are using is set up in non-cached mode.  You should change the profile to cached mode and then reconnect.

Contact Folder Items
Contact Folder Items

With the “problem Contacts” highlighted, there are 2 properties we need to look at updating.   Right-click and select “Edit Properties” for:

  • PR_CONTAINER_CLASS_W
  • PR_CONTAINER_NAME_W

PR_CONTAINER_CLASS_W should be changed from IPF.Contact to IPF.Note

PR_CONTAINER_NAME_W should be changed from Contacts to Sent Items

Mailbox Object Properties
Mailbox Object Properties
Mailbox Object Properties Edit
Mailbox Object Properties Edit
IPF.Note Edit
IPF.Note Edit

***Note:  When updating the “PR_CONTAINER_NAME_W” element, you may encounter the following error:

Code: MAPI_E_CORRUPT_DATA == 0x8004011B
Function m_lpMAPIProp->SetProps(1, m_lpsOutputValue, &lpProblemArray)
File D:\a\1\s\UI\Dialogs\Editors\PropertyEditor.cpp
Line 542

If this occurs close MFCMapi and reconfigure the Outlook profile to use non-cached mode.  Once confirmed, re-launch MFCMapi and try again.

If the renaming still fails, open Outlook from a run prompt using the “resetfoldernames” switch.

Outlook Reset Folder Names Switch
Outlook Reset Folder Names Switch

At this point, even if the “Sent Items” folder is still named “Contacts”, you should be able to see all previously sent messages in the folder in both OWA and Outlook.

 

As Outlook completes its synchronization process, the name of the “Sent Items” folder should turn back to its regular name, and fall within the Inbox hierarchy as expected.