I’m organizing my emails in various subfolders which have subfolders of its own again. In addition, I’m using rules to move messages to their corresponding folder. Usually I keep this folder structure collapsed but then I can’t see if a message arrived in any of these subfolders.
Is there a way to make the parent folder show the combined amount of unread items in any of the subfolders?
No, there is no way to do that in Outlook. However, you can still achieve something similar by using Search Folders.
For instance, when you have 2 main subfolders below the Inbox called “Private” and “Business”, you can create a Search Folder that aggregates all the emails of the Private folder and all its subfolders into a single view. In addition, you can modify the Search Folder criteria to show only the unread items in that folder. The same can be done for your Business folder.
If you have subfolders in your Business folder for each project, then you can also create a Search Folder for each or a specific project to expose that there are still unread items for that specific project.
To create a new Search Folder use;
- Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007
File-> New Search Folder
- Outlook 2010
Folder tab-> New Search Folder
A more detailed description of the creation process of a similar Search Folder is discussed in this previous post.