IMAP Mail Directory Keeps Going Empty

Not open for further replies.


Outlook version
Outlook 2010 64 bit
Email Account

We use Outlook 2010 our our Windows 7 laptops. Only one email account for our domain is set up as IMAP. That account is set up so my wife can receive her emails on her laptop as well as her iPhone 4s (running the updated iOS8).

We noticed a problem a couple of days ago that her folders all disappeared. When she checked her iPhone, it was the same.

When I contact our hosts, they said that the mail directory is empty. When he checked to see if the file was accidentally removed, he didn't find any evidence of this. It's like it disappeared.

We restored the files from a back up, but then it happened again! This has been the case twice now.

They are trying to figure this out but at the moment, they are stumped.

We have run virus checked on the laptop and iPhones doesn't have any recent apps added to it. We thought perhaps there was something going on with some sort of conflict but can't find any evidence of this.

At the moment we are uninstalling and re-installing Outlook and are uninstalling the account from the iPhone to then re-install.

Have you run into anything like this before? Any help or direction would be appreciated.


Does she have the account set up as a POP3 account somewhere? Is she using rules to move mail to folders in a pst? A POP3 account that is not leaving mail on the server is the usual culprit when mail disappears from the inbox. It shouldn't delete mail from other folders or the folders themselves.
Hello Diane,

She has an old POP3 account installed in Outlook but it's from the same email address. This change was made almost a year ago.

Here is a link to two screen shots -

Yes....she is using rules but that was for the IMAP account.

What I have been told is that the entire directory is going missing.

Have you heard of such a thing?

Thanks for the help :)

No, i haven't ever heard of an imap directory going missing, especially on the server. Did she have other folders in the imap account besides the default folders?
She had may 20 or so folders that she would sort her emails into (or have rules do that for her).

What I have now done is uninstall and re-install Office 2010. I was hoping to just re-create the IMAP account but when I opened Outlook, the account was still there (as was her old POP3 account). :/

My server people want me to remove that account but Outlook says it's the default account and won't let me. When I try to make the IMAP account the default, the option is greyed out :confused:.

This is where I'm stuck at the moment and it's the next hurdle I need to clear for their diagnosis.

Any thoughts on how to correct this?

Thanks for your input and help :)
You should be able to set the imap account as default email account, but you can't set it as the default data file, you need a pst file as the default.

Close Outlook. Open Control panel, search for Mail. Open the profile - on the Email Account tab, remove the imap account and the recreate it.

I'm wondering if she was using rules to move mail into a pst file and that is missing from the profile for some reason. Is there a pst file at Documents\Outlook Files that is large and was last modified when she lost the folders?
Not open for further replies.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
M Managing Gmail "All Mail" sync issues with IMAP Using Outlook 1
Mark Foley Color Categories on IMAP mail lost when installing new Windows 7 workstation Using Outlook 12
GaryW88 2016 Archiving IMAP keeping mail on Gmail Server Using Outlook 1
H Need help setting up GetFolderPath-Makro with Vodafone IMAP Mail-Account Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
P Outlook Keeps Synchronizing IMAP "Sent Mail" Folder Using Outlook 0
G VBA code to enable a rule based on time of day for a IMAP mail account Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 14
A Outlook 2013 IMAP using Google Mail App not syching Sent Mail Using Outlook 3
Chris Smith Outlook 2013 will not retrieve my IMAP mail Using Outlook 1
F Using Outlook 2007 as an IMAP Mail Station Without Saving Data Locally Using Outlook 2
Commodore Junk Mail filtering and IMAP Using Outlook 3
B Problem with new imap mail account with delete not working as I would like Using Outlook 2
J 45 This mail is not currently available (IMAP) Using Outlook 1
B How to have Outlook 2010 Calendar when your mail server is Imap? Using Outlook 10
M IMAP & Exchange accounts sending mail Using Outlook 1
O synchronising a computer to an old (IMAP)mail account Using Outlook 2
J Outlook 2003 does not send or receive imap mail from server Using Outlook 0
N microsoft 365 IMAP Using Outlook 0
P Yahoo/IMAP folder rename by Outlook desktop 365 Using Outlook 0
O Outlook - Switch from Exchange to IMAP Using Outlook 2
HarvMan Importing PST into IMAP account Using Outlook 12
S Email was migrated from GoDaddy to Microsoft exchange. We lost IMAP ability Exchange Server Administration 1
I Help with Smart Folder + Query Builder on IMAP Using Outlook 0
CWM330 Discussion for all: IMAP + Safety Using Outlook 3
P Copying ALL calendar entries from Calender in PST file to IMAP OST file? Using Outlook 1
TomHuckstep Remove Send/Receive All Folders (IMAP/POP) button from Outlook 365 Ribbon Using Outlook 2
C Trying to move messages between imap accounts/folders Using Outlook 5
R Outlook 2019 accesses POP3 but says its offline (because of IMAP servers?) Using Outlook 0
P "Item could not be moved" message occurs frequently for IMAP inbox, Office 365 Using Outlook 0
B Strange MAPI/Exchange/IMAP behaviour in OL 2016 under10.0.19044.2006 Using Outlook 0
B IMAP server rejects sent email - cannot deliver messages Using Outlook 2
P Comcast IMAP broken but their second level support said to call "the Outlook company" Using Outlook 4
C Outlook 2016 Unable to delete Gmail IMAP calendar Using Outlook 2
K Closing external IMAP email... Outlook 2013 Using Outlook 0
HarvMan Exporting IMAP OST file to PST Using Outlook 5
A Imap account not auto syncing inbox at startup Using Outlook 0
Z Remove GMAIL IMAP account from Outlook 2016 Using Outlook 2
Abraham Outlook 2013 Lost my folders when moving from PST to IMAP Using Outlook 11
I Outlook for Mac 2019 using on desktop and laptop IMAP on both need help with folders Using Outlook 1
G Outlook 2016: Want IMAP Data Files on My D: Drive and Not C: Drive Using Outlook 1
O Newbie question: how to sync two Outlook -Exchange and IMAP- calendars? Using Outlook 4
e_a_g_l_e_p_i A few question before I decide to switch to Pop from imap Using Outlook 9
P Sending email from outlook IMAP to GMAIL where embedded images are added as attachment Using Outlook 1
L IMAP Emails Disappear Using Outlook 0
V IMAP backup Using Outlook 0
B Emails get stuck in Outbox of Gmail IMAP in Outlook for Windows Using Outlook 0
K Imap PC Outlook + Android phone Using Outlook 1
S Outlook (2016 32bit; Gmail IMAP) - Save sent message to Outllook Folder Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
Terry Sullivan Sender's Name Doesn't Appear in the From Field on Outlook 365/IMAP Using Outlook 2
J Outlook 2016 Moving IMAP emails to Exchange Using Outlook 1
K Outlook 2016 - controlling IMAP OST size with Group Policy not working Using Outlook 1

Similar threads