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I have an annoying problem in Outlook 2013. My inbox is flagged with "1" unread message, but this is not the case. Even when I empty my inbox folder, this bold "1" stays next to my folder, new as it contains a new message.

I've tried to "empty" it, to "clean" it, to "mark all as read" it. Nothing works.

Any tips?

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I've the same problem ... sometimes "2 unread" ... but no mail inside a folder –  Konrad Jun 26 '13 at 7:34
If your email is hosted on exchange or ofice 365 outlooks's in conflict with the Exchange server. Log into the OWA and view that folder, and magically Outlook gets corrected to the server's state. –  Ben Plont Nov 10 '14 at 22:45

8 Answers 8

Following works for me.

  1. In the “Search Current Mailbox (Ctrl+E)” box, type: read:no and hit Enter.
  2. When it shows “Find More on Server” link, click it. Then the unread email(s) should appear.
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Worked like gangbusters -- thanks! –  Dan Wagner Jun 8 at 14:20
This worked for me, I'm using Cached Exchange Mode. –  Iain M Norman Jun 23 at 13:08
Works like charm and is the correct answer. I think this answer should be marked as the selected answer. –  Itai Bar-Haim Aug 3 at 11:17
Thank you. Better solution that clearing all the views in my opinion. –  Alex March Aug 5 at 13:37
This should be the answer, @Pierre! –  skia.heliou Aug 31 at 15:02


outlook.exe /cleanviews

This cleans the internal viewstate and should resolve the problem.

WARNING: Running this command will also reset any custom views!

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Worked for me. Far better than marking everything as read which is counter productive! –  Quango Mar 26 '14 at 9:49
Cleared out the phantom unread emails in my folders however my inbox still showing 8 unread and empty –  snafu918 Jun 6 '14 at 23:58
Warning! It solved my problem, but it also cleaned/deleted my custom made views! So back it up if you have any. –  mivra Jul 21 '14 at 12:15
Not only did this not resolve the issue for me, but it actually made the counts worse (from 19 unread in a folder with 0 to 52 in one case). I also tried the /cleanips with no luck. –  adamdc78 Nov 3 '14 at 19:36
-1 for this being a rather drastic/destructive solution (and also apparently doesn't work for everyone). –  devuxer Jun 1 at 18:50

I've managed to fix this by going to the web access, right-clicking the problematic folders and selecting "mark all as read". After this, Outlook stopped displaying wrong unread messages count.

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This is the only method mentioned in here that managed to resolve the issue for me. –  adamdc78 Nov 3 '14 at 19:45

I tried "marked all as read" at first and it did not work so I disabled the "Use Cache Exchange Mode" then "marked all as read" and bingo!

I later re-enabled "Use Cache Exchange Mode"

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This one worked for me, so far at least. –  Frater Nov 10 '14 at 0:22
The cleanviews command and read:no search did not work for me, but toggling cache mode did. I notice it's been happening more often after my service provider migrated from local hosting to cloud-based. –  rutter Apr 30 at 14:27

on a microsoft forum they said to go to start>run>type outlook/cleanips but it says no such command so i navigated in cmd to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15> and typed there outlook/cleanips (but close outlook first) and voila it worked.

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This made things worse for me, went from 3 phantom unread to 35. /cleanviews did nothing at all. –  Frater Nov 10 '14 at 0:18

I haven't tried the "outlook.exe /cleanviews" command, but I fixed my Outlook by disabling Cached Exchange Mode and then re-enabling it.

You can set it under your Account Settings. There's an option of "Use Cached Exchange Mode"

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Similar to the answer provided by @Maged, you can do the following:

  1. Close Outlook
  2. In a command-prompt, go to one of these directories (whichever one has outlook.exe):

    a. C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15

    b. C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15

  3. Run "outlook/cleanips".

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I tried everything above with no success. What worked for me was to select the folder with the incorrect unread message count, right-click, and select "Empty Folder". Although the folder was already empty, this got rid of the unread messages counter.

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