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Hotmail folders – manage emails in your account

Understand Hotmail folders - custom and default

Each Hotmail account has five default folders – the Inbox, Junk, Drafts, Sent and Deleted. These are found in the folder panel, typically, on the left of the screen – refer image below.

The Hotmail folders panel with the five default folders and the New folder link

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A folder with unread (or new) messages will have its name in bold with the number of unread messages in parenthesis. New emails arrive at the Inbox folder and if identified as spam or a phishing scam by Hotmail’s automated junk email filter, goes straight to the Junk folder.

What are folders and how do they help?

You can consider folders in Hotmail similar to drawers in your closet. Just as you use drawers to organize your clothes and accessories, Hotmail folders help you arrange your email messages. With a storage of 5GB in your Hotmail account, you can collect hundreds (even thousands) of emails over time and if all these lie in your inbox, it would be one big mess. Not only does Hotmail provide five default folders for basic management it also allows you to create additional (customized) folders to help organize emails. Sorting emails into folders has many advantages:

  • Keeps your Inbox clean and uncluttered.
  • Segregates email messages.
  • Helps in locating an email quickly.

Hotmail default folders

As mentioned above, there are five default folders in each Hotmail account. A folder name may appear in bold if it has unread emails with the number denoting the number of unread messages.

The hotmail five default folders. Folder names in bold signify unread messages

Hotmail inbox folder
Stores all legitimate incoming emails. Any message that gets caught by the automated junk filter is sent to the junk folder.

Junk folder
Collects all emails that are marked junk by the Hotmail filters. This automated filtering process is far from perfect and occasionally legitimate emails are also marked as junk and sent to this folder. You can shift such messages back into the inbox (or a custom folder) easily – refer how to move Hotmail emails. Please check this folder regularly which helps the filter learn and improve over time. Typically, potential spam and phishing incoming emails are the ones that get caught by the junk filter. A word of advice – if you find a junk message in the inbox, don’t just delete it, rather select it and mark is as junk.

Drafts and Sent folders
Emails you send from your Hotmail account are stored in the Sent folder. If you are running short of time, you can always save a message you are composing to return to it later. Such messages will be placed in the Drafts folder. FYI, Hotmail settings allow you to change the default action of saving sent messages in the Sent folder.

Deleted folder
The email messages you delete are moved to this folder.

Learn how to create hotmail folders for better sorting and organization of your email messages. You can also have emails automatically sorted into folders using Hotmail filters.

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