Outlook Duplicate Personal Folders

I had a problem where my Outlook PST was duplicated and showed up twice in the “All Mail Folders” list. I found a similar issue on the Computing.net site (read it here) but I could not post a follow up. In case the link fails, here is a quick summary of the original problem and of the entry that helped me out. Hopefully this can help others:

Original issue:

Name: Jet (by luckypingudog)
Date: July 19, 2005 at 13:57:54 Pacific
Subject: Outlook Duplicate Personal Folders
OS: Win XP Pro SP2
CPU/Ram: 2GHz 1GB

I recently installed Office 2003 Professional on a computer which previously didn’t have Office installed.

I then copied my PST file from Outlook 2000 on another computer onto the new computer, pasting this PST file into:

C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook, replacing the PST file that was there already.

Then when I opened Outlook 2003 (on the new computer) for the first time, it said something along the lines of “PST File cannot be found” (I can’t remember sorry), and it prompted me to browse to my new PST file (in the above directory), which I did. I selected this new PST file then Outlook 2003 opened and all my emails where there.

The problem is that I have two duplicate “Persoanl Folders” in the “All Mail Folders” list on the left of my screen.

Every time I receive a new email, it appears in the inboxes of both of these duplicate “Personal Folders”. Everytime I delete an email from either folder, it is also deleted from the duplicate folder.

My PST file is approximately 1.5GB in size and I have approximately 100 custom sub-folders in each “Personal Folders” list – and each one of these is totally duplicated in each list!

Another seemingly related issue, is that when I click “Send/Receive”, Outlook 2003 does two sends and two receives. As if it’s doing one for one “Personal Folders” and the other for the suplicate “Personal Folders”.

If I right-click on each of the “Personal Folders” and choose “Properties”, the properties for each are 100% identical – even when I click “Folder Size”. When I click “Advanced” in the properties dialogue box, I get the error message:

“The Operation Failed. An object could not be found.”

If I right-click each of the two “Personal Folders” and choose “Open Outlook Data File…” – they BOTH browse to:

C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook and show ONLY “outlook.pst” in that folder.

(I have ‘show hidden files and folders’ turned ON, so I’m sure there’s nothing else there).

If I right-click on the two “Personal Folders” then the “Close Personal Folders” option is disallowed (it’s grey and unavailable).

I have tried doing a repair of office 2003 professional, and I’ve also uninstalled it, reinstalled it, and performed an Office Update – but still the problem persists.

Can anyone help? I’ve hunted on the net and it seems a few people have this issue, but I’ve tried following suggestions and so far none apply and/or work.

luckypingudog at hotmail.com

Here is the helpful response:

Name: kdpape
Date: January 04, 2006 at 17:40:25 Pacific
Subject: Outlook Duplicate Personal Folders

i get this all the time (don’t know what causes it – but – it’s easy to fix (temporarily – for a week or so)

-close outlook
-go to control panel
-go to mail
-select ‘data files’
you’ll see two listed – although only one has a full path

-highlight the one that doesn’t have a path

– select ‘Remove’

– reopen outlook and all is peachy –

… now if i could just figure out why it happens randomly every couple weeks!


And my attempted response:

Thanks kdpape,

I had the same issue and your response just helped me clean up this annoyance.

In my case it was some sort of problem with SynchPST that resulted in an issue with my outlook. For some reason my Desktop outlook started trying to open the PST file that resides on my laptop. When I tried opening laptop on the desktop when the laptop was turned off Outlook complained as described in the first message above. I naively navigated to my existing desktop pst file and ended up “double opening” it and then couldn’t get rid of the 2nd entry or the annoying fully qualified folder names in the favorite folder section.

Again Thanks for the quick solution!


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