Full Fix: Outlook folders in your mailbox have name conflicts

By: Madeleine Dean
6 minute read

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Quite a significant number of Outlook users have recently reported they can’t use their Outlook account properly due to an error message informing them that their mailbox folders have conflicting names.

Outlook users rushed to the Microsoft Forum searching for a solution, only to get disappointed. Microsoft’s Support engineers suggested using a different web browser, but haven’t been able to offer a permanent solution.

How to fix Outlook folders in your mailbox have name conflicts error message?

Outlook folders in your mailbox have name conflicts error can prevent you from sending and receiving emails on your PC. This can be a big problem, and speaking of Outlook problems, here are some similar issues that users reported:

  • Two folders in your mailbox have the same name Hotmail – This is just a variation of this problem, and if you ever encounter this issue, simply remove your Outlook account and add it once again. Some users suggest that you might be able to fix the problem by using a POP account, so be sure to consider that option as well.
  • One or more folders have the same name as the following default Outlook folders – Outlook has a list of default folders, and if you or your email client creates new folders that have the same name as the default folders, you’ll encounter this problem. To fix it, simply remove or rename the duplicated directories and the issue should be resolved.
  • Outlook one or more of the folders in your mailbox is named incorrectly – This is just a variation of the main error, and it’s usually caused if one of your folders is using the reserved names. Simply delete or rename those folders and the issue should be fixed.
  • Outlook folders won’t delete, sync, update – Not being able to sync your folders can be a problem for most Outlook users. If you’re having this issue, be sure to try some of our solutions from this article.

Solution 1 – Reinstall Outlook

If you’re having this problem on your PC, you might be able to solve it simply by reinstalling Outlook. Sometimes your Outlook installation might be corrupted, and that can lead to this and many other problems.

There are many ways to reinstall an application, but the best one is to use uninstaller software. If you’re not familiar, uninstaller software is a special application designed to completely remove any program from your PC. This means that the application will remove all files and registry entries associated with the application you’re trying to remove.

This is perfect since it will prevent any leftover files from causing this problem again. If you’re looking for uninstaller software, we would have to recommend IOBit Uninstaller and Revo Uninstaller.

All these applications are quite similar in terms of functionality, and each of them will be able to remove any application from your PC. Once you uninstall Outlook using one of these applications, install it again and check if the problem is resolved.

Solution 2 – Remove and add your Outlook account

According to users, if you’re getting Outlook folders in your mailbox have name conflicts error message, the problem might be your Outlook account. Sometimes your Outlook account can get corrupted, and in order to fix this issue, it’s advised to remove your Outlook account.

Keep in mind that removing your Outlook account won’t remove your emails from Microsoft servers, so you should be still able to access them. Once you remove your Outlook account, add it once again and check if that solves the issue.

This is a simple solution, but many users reported that it worked for them, so feel free to try it out.

Solution 3 – Remove or rename the problematic folders

Here’s how the exact error message appears:

One or more folders in your mailbox have name conflicts with others or system reserved names.

Folders with these names can’t be downloaded by your IMAP e-mail program.


Please connect to your mailbox using your Web browser and rename those folders. Once renamed, those folders will be displayed in your IMAP e-mail application correctly.

Outlook folders in your mailbox have name conflicts error can appear if you have folders that have the same name in your inbox. Many users reported that they have two Junk folders in Outlook, and this is most likely the cause of the problem.

Most users have only one Junk folder on their account, but if you have two Junk folders, you might be able to fix this problem simply by renaming or deleting one Junk folder. According to users, only one of these folders can be deleted, so delete one Junk folder and check if that solves the problem.

If you don’t want to delete this folder, you can also rename it and that will solve the problem as well. Several users suggested that you log in to the web version of Outlook and rename or delete the problematic directory from there.

Many users reported that this solution worked for them, so we strongly suggest you try it out. Although the Junk folder is the usual problem, sometimes you might see other duplicated folders. If so, remove or rename them and the problem should be resolved.

Solution 4 – Use POP instead of IMAP account

If you’re having problems with Outlook folders in your mailbox have name conflicts error message, you might be able to fix the problem by using POP protocol when adding your Outlook account. In case you’re not familiar, the POP protocol is older, and it has certain disadvantages over the newer IMAP protocol.

The POP protocol will download the email from the server so you can always read emails on your device, even if you’re not online. However, this means that POP protocol doesn’t support email synchronization, so if you delete an email from one device, it will be still available on your other device since it’s downloaded to your hard drive.

As you can see, the POP protocol has its flaws, but several users reported that they fixed the problem by using a POP account as a workaround. If you don’t plan to sync your emails on multiple devices, you might want to try using the POP protocol as a temporary solution.

Solution 5 – Use a third-party email client

Two folders in your mailbox have the same name Hotmail

If you’re getting Outlook folders in your mailbox have name conflicts in your current email client, you might be able to fix the problem by switching to a client. Although Outlook is great, sometimes certain issues can appear, and if reinstalling the application doesn’t help, maybe you should consider switching to a different email client. There are many great email clients available, but if you’re looking for a new email client similar to the Mail app, you might want to consider Mailbird.

If you were a fan of Outlook Express, you might want to consider using eM Client since it has a similar layout to Outlook Express. Both these applications offer great features, so feel free to try any of them.

Outlook folders in your mailbox have name conflicts can be a problematic error, but we hope that you managed to solve it using one of our solutions.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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