New Public Folder Picker for OWA


The Exchange Public Folder team has been working on improving the Public Folder experience in OWA. Today we are announcing a new feature available in Exchange Server 2013 CU10, Exchange Server 2016, as well as Office 365 customers over the coming months.

OWA has long supported the ability to add Mail Public Folders (public folders that contain Mail and Post Items) into your Favorites collection from within OWA. In Exchange Server 2013 CU9, we added support for showing Public Folder Calendars and Public Contact Folders that have been added to your Favorites collection via Outlook. With Exchange Server 2013 CU10, and Exchange Server 2016, we are bringing you the ability to add those types of Public Folders to your Favorites collection within OWA directly.

In addition, we have redesigned the public folder picker to make it easier to navigate your organization’s public folder hierarchy, and select public folders to add to your favorites collection.

Opening the new public folder picker

Accessing the new public folder picker from the OWA Mail App is the same as accessing the existing one, you right-click on the “Folders” collection in the right, and select “Add public folder to Favorites”.

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Opening the public folder picker from the OWA Mail App

New however, is the ability to open the public folder picker from the OWA Calendar App, and the OWA People App. To open the public folder picker from the OWA Calendar App, right-click on the “Other Calendars” section, and select the new “Add public folder to Favorites” option.

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Opening the public folder picker from the OWA Calendar App

To open the public folder picker from the OWA People App, right-click on the “Other Contacts” section, and select the new “Add public folder to Favorites” option.

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Opening the public folder picker from the OWA People App

Using the new Public Folder Picker

The new picker is larger, and has icons that allow you to identify which type of items are contained in the public folder.

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The new public folder picker in OWA

Folders that can be added to your favorites collection are shown in bold, while folders that cannot be added (such as folders that contain Tasks or other item types) are greyed out.

After selecting any public folder, and clicking the “Add to Favorites” button, you will receive a confirmation message indicating that the folder was added to your collection successfully.

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Example of adding a calendar folder to the Favorites collection.

It’s important to note that, when selecting a public folder and adding to favorites, it will be added to the favorites collection of the corresponding type. In other words, favorited Public Calendar Folders will appear in the “Other Calendars” section of the OWA Calendar App, and favorited Contact Public Folders will appear in the “Other Contacts” section of the OWA People App. This happens regardless of which App was open when you opened the new public folder picker.

Additionally, new favorited Public Folders added in OWA will show in your Outlook client as well.

Version Support

As of this writing, the new OWA Public Folder Picker, and associated menu options in OWA Calendar and OWA People apps, will only work when:

  • Both the callers mailbox and the public folder mailboxes have been upgraded to Exchange 2013 CU10
  • Both the callers mailbox and the public folder mailboxes have been upgraded to Exchange 2016.

There is a known issue where, even if the callers mailbox has been upgraded to Exchange 2016, and the public folder mailboxes have been upgraded to Exchange 2013 CU10, then the old picker will still show up. This is hopefully going to be addressed in an Exchange 2016 update.

Wrapping up

For organizations that have a large investment in Public Folders, we hope that you will find the new picker useful. We welcome your feedback.

Ben Spain

Comments (2)
  1. Are there any technical limitations to the tree view when having thousands of public folders?

  2. Benjamin Spain -- MSFT says:

    Nothing beyond the limits of screen real-estate. It was tested with tree depths in the 1000’s. If you encounter an issue, then please provide feedback using the "Give feedback" button in OWA.

Comments are closed.