Windows Live Mail Inbox disappeared? Follow these steps

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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Windows Live Mail Inbox not showing

While working with Windows Live Mail, users often face various issues. One of the most common errors is associated with emails. More precisely, the Inbox folder disappears out of a sudden.

This makes the situation complicated as you no longer have access to your Inbox emails, while all other folders remain intact.


That’s not acceptable coming from the desktop email client that you use daily to check your email. Fortunately, there are quite a few different steps you can follow to try getting your Inbox back.

What can I do if Windows Live Mail Inbox is not showing?

1. Help IMAP client to configure itself

get Inbox folder back

  1. Go to Accounts > Properties > IMAP tab.
  2. While here, leave the Root folder path empty.
  3. Confirm when seeing a popup window regarding resetting the folders list.
  4. Your Inbox should next appear.
  5. Then, in the Special folder section add INBOX. to the start of each path (e.g. INBOX.Sent, INBOX.Drafts, etc.).
  6. Click on the checkbox beside Check for new messages in all folders and Store special folders on IMAP server.

Users often describe how entering Inbox as root folder path works. When prompted to refresh the folder list, it seems to update successfully. The so-called success is for a short while. Right-click your account and select Download all folders.

You’ll see once more that Inbox is nowhere to be found. Chances are your IMAP client is no longer able to configure itself accordingly. Explicitly naming the paths INBOX.foldername seems to solve the problem.

2. Enable Compact View to restore Inbox

Compact View

  1. Open Windows Live Mail.
  2. Click on View in the taskbar.
  3. Then, click on Compact View. Doing so will collapse all Windows Live Mail folders listed and a new sign in will appear under them.
  4. Click on it. A dialog box that lists all folders on your computer appears next.
  5. Put a tick on the Inbox folder box you are trying to get back.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. Up next, click on View.
  8. Click on Compact View twice and Inbox should take its place back.

When Inbox no longer shows in folder list even after performing the procedure above, using the Compact View feature might help.

This offers access to a list of all Windows Live Mail email folders on your computer, so choose the missing Inbox and restore it.

3. Use the import feature from the default directory

use import feature

  1. Hold the Windows Key and press R.
  2. Then, type %appdata% and click OK.
  3. Once there, check these locations:
    AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindows Live Mail
    AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindows Live Mail
  4. When you see Inbox in one of those directories, copy data stored there.
  5. Create a new folder and place it in a convenient location. This will be your backup folder.
  6. Open Windows Live Mail.
  7. Open the File menu.
  8. Click on Import messages, followed by Next.
  9. Click on Browse.
  10. Navigate to the folder in which your backup is stored and select it.
  11. Click on Next.
  12. When you are done, you can safely click Finish.

Finally, we suggest that you give a try to the import feature from the default directory. Confirm the successful restoration of the folder that Windows Live Mail wasn’t showing.

Hopefully, you are no longer bothered by the Inbox disappearing issue now.

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