Create and share a public folder

This feature requires you to use a Microsoft Exchange Server 2000, Exchange Server 2003, or Exchange Server 2007 account. Most home and personal accounts do not use Microsoft Exchange. For more information about Microsoft Exchange accounts and how to determine which version of Exchange your account connects to, see the links in the See Also section.

Public folders provide a way to collect, organize, and share information with others in an organization. Typically, public folders are used by project teams or user groups to share information on a common area of interest. You can manage these folders from Microsoft Outlook. Public folders can contain any type of Outlook folder item such as messages, appointments, contacts, tasks, journal entries, notes, forms, files, and postings.

Creating and sharing information in a public folder consists of several sets of steps.

What do you want to do?


Create a public folder and specify permissions, views, forms, and rules

To create a public folder, you must have permission to create folders in an existing public folder. For information about how to obtain permission, see your administrator.

    Create the public folder

    1. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Folder.
    2. In the Name box, enter a name for the folder.
    3. In the Folder Contains box, click the type of folder you want to create.
    4. In the Select where to place the folder list, click the location for the folder.

ShowQuickly start a public folder with existing items.

    Set permission levels

  1. In the Folder List (Folder List: Displays the folders available in your mailbox. To view subfolders, click the plus sign (+) next to the folder. If the Folder List is not visible, on the Go menu, click Folder List.), in the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes panes such as Shortcuts or Mail and the shortcuts or folders within each pane. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.), right-click the public folder you want to share, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.

You must have Owner (Owner permission: With Owner permission you can create, read, modify, and delete all items and files and create subfolders. As folder owner, you can change the permission level that others have for the folder. This permission does not apply to delegates.) permission for a public folder to set sharing permissions for the folder. You can set permissions for only one folder at a time.

  1. Click the Permissions tab.
  2. Click Add.
  3. In the Search box, enter the name of the person you want to grant sharing permissions to.
  4. Click Add, and then click OK.
  5. In the Name list, click the name of the person you just added.
  6. Under Permissions, choose the settings you want.

 Note   You can assign everyone who has access to the folder the same permissions by clicking Default in the Name list.

    Create views to organize and find information

Do one of the following:

  • Create a view from scratch    
  1. On the View menu, point to Current View, and then click Define Views.
  2. Click New.
  3. In the Name of new view box, type a name.
  4. In the Type of view box, choose the view type (view type: The basic structure of a view. When you create a view, you must first select one of five view types (table, timeline, day/week/month, card, or icon) to determine how information will be arranged and formatted in your new view.) you want.
  5. To change where the view (view: Views give you different ways to look at the same information in a folder by putting it in different arrangements and formats. There are standard views for each folder. You can also create custom views.) will be available, click an option under Can be used on.
  6. Click OK.
  7. To further customize the view, under Description, click a button, and then select the options you want to use.
  8. When you finish selecting options, click OK.
  9. To use the view immediately, click Apply View.
  • Create a view based on a standard view    
  1. Switch to the view (view: Views give you different ways to look at the same information in a folder by putting it in different arrangements and formats. There are standard views for each folder. You can also create custom views.) you want to base the new view on.
  2. On the View menu, point to Current View, and then click Customize Current View.
  3. For each type of change you want to make, under Description, click a button, and then select the options you want.
  4. When you're finished making changes, close the Customize View dialog box.
  5. On the View menu, point to Current View, and then click Define Views.
  6. In the Views for folder folder name box, click Current view settings.
  7. Click Copy.
  8. In the Name of new view box, type a name.
  9. To change where the view will be available, click an option under Can be used on.

 Note   New views are added to the Current View  submenu (submenu: A menu that appears when a user points to a command on a higher-level menu.) (on the View menu, point to Arrange By).

    Change the default view for the folder

To change the default view for a public folder, you must have Owner permission for the folder, and there must be at least one custom view defined for the folder that is visible to everyone.

  1. In the Folder List (Folder List: Displays the folders available in your mailbox. To view subfolders, click the plus sign (+) next to the folder. If the Folder List is not visible, on the Go menu, click Folder List.), in the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes panes such as Shortcuts or Mail and the shortcuts or folders within each pane. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.), right-click the public folder, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  2. Click the Administration tab.

If the Administration tab does not appear, you don't have Owner permission.

  1. In the Initial view on folder list, click the view that you want to appear each time the folder is opened.

The Normal view displays the default Microsoft Outlook view for the type of items in the folder.

    Specify the forms available for others to post information in the public folder

You must have Editor, Publishing Editor, or Owner permission to add forms to a private shared folder or to a public folder. If the folder is a public folder, and you have Owner permission, you can limit the forms that are available to other people who use the folder.

  1. In the Folder List (Folder List: Displays the folders available in your mailbox. To view subfolders, click the plus sign (+) next to the folder. If the Folder List is not visible, on the Go menu, click Folder List.), in the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes panes such as Shortcuts or Mail and the shortcuts or folders within each pane. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.), right-click the folder, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  2. Click the Forms tab.
  3. To add a form to the Forms associated with this folder list, click Manage, then indicate the form.
  4. Click Close.
  5. To limit the forms that you want to be available for other people who use the folder, click an option under Allow these forms in this folder.

    Create rules to process items posted in the folder

You must have Owner permission for a public folder to create or modify rules (rule: One or more automatic actions taken on e-mail messages and meeting requests that meet certain conditions, along with any exceptions to those conditions. Rules are also referred to as filters.) for it.

  1. In the Folder List (Folder List: Displays the folders available in your mailbox. To view subfolders, click the plus sign (+) next to the folder. If the Folder List is not visible, on the Go menu, click Folder List.), in the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes panes such as Shortcuts or Mail and the shortcuts or folders within each pane. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.), right-click the public folder you want to create or modify rules for, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  2. Click the Administration tab.
  3. Click Folder Assistant.
  4. Do either of the following:
    • To create a rule, click Add Rule.
    • To modify an existing rule, click a rule in the list, and then click Edit Rule.
  5. Enter the conditions that the item must meet for the action to occur. For more conditions, click Advanced.
  6. Under Perform these actions, select the options you want.

 Note   When you create a rule, it is active by default.

    Add information to the public folder

Do any of the following:



Share a calendar

  1. Create a new folder, and choose Calendar items in the Folder contains list.
  2. In the Select where to place the folder list, click Calendar, and then click OK.
  3. Add meetings and events to the folder.

Share a contact list

  1. Create a new folder, and choose Contact items in the Folder contains list.
  2. In the Select where to place the folder list, click Contacts, and then click OK.
  3. Add contacts to the folder.

 Note   The shared contact list appears in the Outlook Address Book/Contacts.


Share a task list

  1. Create a new folder, and choose Task items in the Folder contains list.
  2. In the Select where to place the folder list, click Tasks, and then click OK.
  3. Add tasks to the folder.

 Note   While you can copy a task list to a public folder, you cannot copy a task request to a public folder or create a task request from a public folder.


Post information to a public folder

  1. Open the public folder you want to post information in.
  2. To use the default form for posting information, click the File menu, point to New, and then click Post in This Folder.
  3. In the form, enter the information you want to post.
  4. Click Post.

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Create a moderated public folder

You must have Owner (Owner permission: With Owner permission you can create, read, modify, and delete all items and files and create subfolders. As folder owner, you can change the permission level that others have for the folder. This permission does not apply to delegates.) permission for a public folder in order to designate it as a moderated folder.

  1. In the Folder List (Folder List: Displays the folders available in your mailbox. To view subfolders, click the plus sign (+) next to the folder. If the Folder List is not visible, on the Go menu, click Folder List.), in the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes panes such as Shortcuts or Mail and the shortcuts or folders within each pane. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.), right-click the public folder, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  2. On the Administration tab, click Moderated Folder.
  3. Select the Set folder up as a moderated folder check box.
  4. In the Forward new items to box, enter the name of the person who receives incoming messages or the name of an alternate public folder where the messages are stored for review. The moderator who does the reviewing is specified in step 6.
  5. Optional: To automatically send a response when a new message is received by the moderator, select an option under Reply to new items with.

Choose one of the following:

  • Standard response    
    • "Thank you for your submission. Please note that submissions to some folders or discussion groups are reviewed to determine whether they should be made publicly available. In these cases, there will be a delay before approved submissions can be viewed by others."
  • Custom response    
    • Click Custom response, and then click Template. Type the text of your custom response.

Moderators will not receive either of these responses when they post messages.

  1. To add or remove names of people who are moderators, click Add or Remove.
  2. Optional: To view the properties of a selected moderator, click Properties.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2007