Is it possible to do this?

I'm using Outlook with my GMail account, and as such I don't really need/want the Junk E-mail folder as GMail does a sufficiently good job in filtering out the spam.

I've tried using both another email client (Thunderbird) and the GMail web app to remove the folder, but Outlook just recreates it the next time it starts up.

If I can't remove it, is there a way to map the folder Outlook is using to the GMail/Spam folder instead?


As far as I understand you can't delete the Junk E-mail folder since it's a system folder that Outlook uses (like Inbox, Deleted Items, Sent Items).

  • While I was convinced the above is true, I've recently found a way to delete the default "Junk Email" folders from my Outlook clients when connected to Gmail. Chances are the same is possible for other email servers, but I haven't tested that. – Shaamaan Mar 8 '17 at 10:46

I've managed to find a solution.

The following is based on using Gmail via IMAP in Outlook 365 (probably the same is true for Outlook 2016).

  1. Log into Gmail and allow the Spam folder to be visible in the IMAP client. To do that, go to Settings -> Labels, find the Spam label, and make sure the Show in IMAP next to it is ticked.

  2. Open Outlook. Right-click on the root Gmail account folder, and select IMAP Folders. This will open up a new window where you can select which folders are being subscribed. Press the Query button, and once the folders have been shown, mark the Spam folder and press the Subscribe button. Click OK to apply changes and wait for the new folder to be visible.

  3. Restart Outlook. You should now be able to delete the old Junk Email folder (it shouldn't be protected any more).

In other words it seems like Outlook NEEDS some kind of folder for junk email, but it also seems like it's not picky - if it can have the one from Gmail, it'll be more than happy to use it and let you delete the "default" Outlook folder. Obviously if you don't want ANY spam folders in Outlook, that doesn't solve the issue, but at least you're using the Gmail Spam folder rather than the Outlook one and you don't get the unnecessary extra label which is otherwise created in Gmail.

EDIT: Anyone know how to pick this as an answer after the fact? :/

  • After clicking Query, I see a [Gmail]/Spam folder, which I subscribe to. I restarted Outlook 2010, open IMAP Folders, and checked the Subscribed tab to confirm subscription to [Gmail]/Spam. Unfortunately, the Junk E-mail folder still cannot be deleted. – user2153235 Jan 4 '20 at 21:02
  • I did, however, move moved all messages into [Gmail]/Trash folder. Since folders are implemented as tags in gmail, those same messages also exist in [Gmail]/All_Mail, and I'm not sure if they are removed from there when I drag them from Junk E-mail to Trash. I tried to be smart and copied the subject line of one of the messages, but didn't manage to paste it before being detoured into other lines of troubleshooting. In the course of the latter, I overwrote the copy/paste text, i.e., the subject line that I was going to search for in gmail's webmail. – user2153235 Jan 4 '20 at 21:12
  • Some users might find a solution in selecting the Junk E-mail option No Automatic Filtering, but I don't have the user rights to do so – user2153235 Jan 5 '20 at 3:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.