Change Outlook/Exchange Folder Data Type and Much More

article #1053, updated 1153 days ago

Sometimes an import to Outlook gets in all of the data, but the data type of the folder is wrong, so Outlook tries to show (e.g.) a Contacts folder as a list of emails. This was easy to fix in olde versions of Outlook, one just pulled up the properties of the folder and changed the type. The Microsoft lords have decided not to give us this easy way anymore, but one of their many major engineers gave us something which will do this among many other things:

This is a very interesting GUI tool which will connect to a recent working Outlook profile, and permit you to do lots of deep things. It’s interesting to google MFCMAPI to see a few of them. You do need the 32-bit version of MFCMAPI if you have 32-bit Outlook, and 64-bit for 64-bit.

In this case, let’s say we have the situation in which we have imported a Contacts folder, but Outlook is showing it as a list of badly formed email forms. To fix it:

  1. Open the profile in MFCMAPI. (We do not have to close Outlook while this is happening, but we do need to restart it to see results.)
  2. Double-click on the Display Name of the account you wish to open. There may be just one, or more.
  3. A window comes up. Open its tree in the left pane using the little arrow to the left of the name near the upper left corner.
  4. Scroll down and open “Top of Information Store” in the left pane.
  5. Left-click once on the default Contacts folder for the profile, the one that is working well.
  6. Scroll in the right pane, down to PR_CONTAINER_CLASS. Doubleclick on it. Under “Ansi” it should say “IPF.Contact”, this verifies you are in the right place. Click Cancel.
  7. Right-click on PR_CONTAINER_CLASS and choose “Copy property”.
  8. Open and/or scroll in the left pane to the contacts folder which is not working properly.
  9. Right-click anywhere in the right pane, the properties list, and choose “Paste property…”. Complete the little wizard.
  10. The change will be visible immediately in Outlook if it’s open.
  11. However, at least in the case just seen, the change was not synched to EOL. I had to open the original export PST and recopy, after deleting the file in OWA. One thing not tried yet was to do the above with cached-exchange turned off; in theory this might sync directly through Outlook to EOL. Also, MFCMAPI includes folder copy capability, which may make it an entirely different import method, if it works!

MFCMAPI does lots and lots of things, but not everything extremely well :-) For instance, it may throw errors when deleting a folder stored on EOL; if so, use OWA for this, OWA seems to be much more quickly authoritative.