Unified inbox or incoming messages view

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Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2021 64 bit
Email Account
Is there any way to create some sort of a unified view of two or three IMAP inboxes in one place (in local installation of Outlook 2010)? Something like iOS has in its native mail app, All Inboxes.
Managed to create it. So that's basically a search folder. If I keep it open, will it refresh automatically (so whenever an IMAP server gets a new message, it'll be displayed here)?

BTW, what do I have to enter instead of "received: (this week)" if I want everything from all inboxes to be displayed?

(The main reason why I'd like to have this... right now I use POP3 so Outlook pulls down email and deletes it from servers. I'd like to change the "paradigm" so that inboxes stay on servers, thus I can access them from whichever device I want, and once the items have been dealt with, I will manually move them to local folders in Outlook. And no, I don't want to use "copies" or "leave mail on servers" to complicate things. :) )
OK, I removed the "received: (this week)" part, and now it shows all items. It seems the "folder" is not auto-refreshed. Is there any way to make this happen (I guess this could replace automatic send/receive if I switch them all to IMAP)?
One last "edit"... turned out it was my mistake -- the view is refreshed automatically, I just forgot to include the IMAP server in the scheduled Send/Receive group.

One question does remain... when I move a message from here to another (local) folder, it only gets crossed in its original IMAP inbox (i.e. marked for deletion). How can it be automatically purged from the server then? Should I uncheck "Purge items when switching folders while online"? It's not really practical then, if you have to click the IMAP's PST and then click various folders there just to achieve the purge.
I haven't had a chance to test the different purge settings so I'm not sure if unchecking the purge options will purge anything. I hadn't thought much about it until someone had problems with outlook.com imap yesterday.
From what I've been able to find (and try out), the "Purge items when switching folders while online" does just that, i.e. expunges messages marked for deletion when you leave the folder (or select another one and come back; I've unchecked the setting, and the messages now stay there). Not really useful in my case, especially if I want to have the "unified inbox" as the central point. Seems like there's no way to automatically purge messages marked for deletion, or I wasn't able to find one yet.
Addendum: The to-be-deleted messages, shown with strike-through in Outlook, are local only. They have in fact been removed from the server (checked via webmail). As to how to purge them in Outlook (other than having "Purge items when switching folders while online" checked, and clicking another folder), I have no idea. Maybe on shutdown.
From what I've been able to find (and try out), the "Purge items when switching folders while online" does just that, i.e. expunges messages marked for deletion when you leave the folder (or select another one and come back; I've unchecked the setting, and the messages now stay there).

This is the behavior i expected, but I'm surprised they are removed online with this setting, I thought it was mark for deletion everywhere. Guess its time to do some testing and write it up. :)
After I shut down Outlook and started it again, I can confirm the "deleted" messages are still there, displayed with strike through. So far it seems the only way to purge them is to have the "switching folders..." option on. :/

Any idea why the Quick Access button for my Unified Inbox search folder macro doesn't react now anymore? I click it, nothing happens. (The macro is still there, if I open the editor with ALT+F11, though.)
I'm guessing the macro doesn't work because of macro security settings. File, Options, Trust center, macro security to check (or look on the developer ribbon, if you have it enabled).
That was my first guess too. But it didn't make a difference:

The setting was on "Notifications for digitally signed macros, all other macros disabled" (same as always, including previous sessions when it worked).

I tried changing it to "Enable all macros". Nothing.

I changed to "Notifications for all macros" (which I kept for now), still nothing.

However, if I go to the editor with ALT+F11, and try to Run the macro there, I get the dialog box "The macros in this project are disabled. Please refer to the online help...".
Thanks, this did the trick. I had to do it twice, for some reason, though. :)

Now I need to find out how to purge deleted/moved messages from Outlook's IMAP accounts' folders (apart from that only option "when switching between folders").
I wonder if empty deleted items on exit would work on items marked for purge... except i really hate that setting as it slows outlook's shutdown down.

This will purge the current folder:
Set bars = Application.ActiveExplorer.CommandBars
Set cmd = bars.FindControl(, 12771)

So... something like this:
Sub PurgeIMAP()
Set myServer = Session.Folders("alias@imapserver.com")
Set myInbox = myServer.Folders("Inbox")
Set ActiveExplorer.CurrentFolder = myInbox
Set bars = Application.ActiveExplorer.CommandBars
Set cmd = bars.FindControl(, 12771)

'When you are done purging, run the unifiedinbox macro

End Sub

you either have to repeat the code for each inbox or walk the accounts and loop this code. For two or 3 accounts, repeating the code will be about the same length as a loop.
At first sight it looks like even more work than the original "switching between folders" option. ;)

Since you mention Deleted Items... If I delete a message, it goes there (and Deleted Items can be emptied via right-click, as with local folders). If I move a message to a local folder, it doesn't go there. In both cases the message gets the strike-through, remains in the local shadow of IMAP folder (with option to undelete it), but doesn't exist on the server anymore.

It's weird there's no other sane way of purging it, apart from when switching between IMAP folders...

Well, I came up with another workaround, I'm just not yet sure whether it'll work or not: I set up a filter (or another condition) on the Unified Inbox view, which will hide the "deleted" items. In addition, I turn the "Purge items when switching folders while online", so they actually get purged "casually" when I do click around. Thus, I get a clean Unified Inbox view, plus the messages get deleted eventually.

Do you think this would be feasible? Which condition or filter should I use for this (I played with IMAP Status and Remote Status somewhat, but it didn't work out the way I thought it would)?
Hide deleted is a standard imap view so your custom view/casual purge should work just fine.

If the messages are deleted from the mailbox, the original version of the macro was an application startup macro that purged folders on startup. But if the view/casual purge works, no need to mess with a macro.
Which Hide Deleted are you referring to? I found some reference to "Hide Messages Marked for Deletion" setting somewhere, but it's probably meant for older Outlook versions?

As for 2010, I tried to enter Filter, under Advanced, IMAP Status ... equals ... Unmarked. It works just fine if I open the IMAP server's Inbox directly. However, if I introduce this filter to this Unified Inbox view, the "Searching..." (along with the corresponding animation) goes on literally forever (and puts some considerable strain on CPU). Some sort of a bug, or something I've done wrong?
That's the one, it is a standard IMAP view in all versions of outlook. You should have it on the View tab > Change view command when in an IMAP folder.

I'll look into it - I've used custom views with instant search before, so it should work but it might be something unique to using custom views with imap accounts. (I did it with Exchange).

If you don't have custom views (or have ones you can easily recreate), try closing Outlook and restarting with the /cleanviews switch -

In the Start menu, search field (or use Windows key+R to open the Run command), type or paste

outlook.exe /cleanviews

and press enter. Note, there is a space between outlook.exe and the /.

I'm not sure it will fix your problem though... but if you aren't using views that will be a pain to recreate, it's worth a short.
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