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My question How can I see all mails in the Microsoft Outlook web interface (OWA)? (mirror) was closed by a moderator.

I chatted with the moderator regarding the closure and I believe the moderator closed the question because the answer to my question would be that "it is not possible." I don't believe this to be a valid close reason. Instead, the question could be answered with an explanation as to "why it's not possible to list all emails."

For example, the following answer could have been given:

The emails are stored in folders in the Microsoft Outlook web interface (OWA). OWA doesn't provide the option to view emails from different folders at once. Therefore, it is not possible to list all emails. However, one can run a search on emails across all folders.

Also, I would remark that I also posted the question on Reddit where it received a clear answer and nobody asked me to clarify the question. Here's loskinski's answer on Reddit:

There is not an equivalent view of the all folders approach that you reference from Google. When you use Folders you will get a view of just that folder in Outlook.

So why was the question closed here?


The question has since been removed by Roomba so I am including below the version that was closed as well as the version that includes subsequent edits that the mod did not reopen.

Original Version (closed by mod)

How can I see all mails in the Microsoft Outlook web interface (OWA)?

I can see all mails in a given folder in the Microsoft Outlook web interface (OWA) by clicking on the folder. But how can I see all mails in all folders?

In Gmail, one can see all mails in all folders by clicking on "All Mails":

enter image description here

Does the Microsoft Outlook web interface (OWA) offer something similar?

Edited Version (mod didn't reopen)

How can I see the list of all mails I received, regardless of which folder they are located in, in the Microsoft Outlook web interface (OWA)?

I can see all mails that are present in a given folder in the Microsoft Outlook web interface (OWA) (https://outlook.office365.com/owa/) by clicking on the folder.

However, I wonder the following: How can I see the list of all mails I received, regardless of which folder they are located in?


For example, in Gmail, one can see all mails in all folders by clicking on "All Mails":

enter image description here

Does the Microsoft Outlook web interface (OWA) offer something similar? I tried to look for some "all mails" option in OWA but I didn't find it.

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2 Answers 2

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I closed your question because of a lack of detail and clarity. It remained closed as it wasn't appreciably improved. It was then automatically deleted as part of the site cleanup (Roomba).

You are not ignorant and have been answering questions about outlook-on-the-web for 5 years and have been an active community member for even longer, with the reputation to match. You can select the correct tag and you can describe an OWA problem from the perspective of OWA.

I approached this in a manner commensurate with your importance to the community. I freely committed my time and I was responsive from the beginning. I initiated a discussion with you on chat when I closed the question that lasted ~4 days (Jun 29 - Jul 3). I strived at all times to be polite, patient, and respectful. I provided targeted feedback and encouraged you to improve the question.

I acknowledge that your question is easily answered on Reddit and likewise, a Google search returns "more" value with even less effort. I don't see either of these facts as material points in your favor.

Throughout this matter, there's been a significant disparity between your investment in "the question" versus "the argument" about the question. If the question had value to you I'm at a loss to understand how you arrived at this point with it deleted.

I feel like a good question about "OWA custom search folders" or something similar was missed in favor of "this."

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    "I closed your question because of a lack of detail and clarity. It remained closed as it wasn't appreciably improved" What detail is missing or what is unclear? Jul 21, 2023 at 22:59
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    The community needs these questions. Please stop closing them, especially when they are clear and detailed.
    – Flimm
    Sep 4, 2023 at 15:55
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    @Flimm it costs zero effort for Yes it is. No it's Not. Yes it is! etc. Out of the two of us only one spent hours and hours with the OP trying to improve the question. You could clarify in more detail why the question under discussion is valuable to you.
    – Blindspots Mod
    Sep 4, 2023 at 20:06
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    @BlindSpots Please note that the moderators have closed the question, leading to the question being deleted by Roomba, so it is any surprise that out of the two of us, only you have spent hours with the OP trying to improve the question? Also, the question didn't need improvement, it was already perfectly clear and detailed. Why did the moderators close it as lacking "detail and clarity"? Why are you avoiding answering this question?
    – Flimm
    Sep 5, 2023 at 22:58
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    "You are not ignorant and have been answering questions about outlook-on-the-web for 5 years" This is not relevant to why the question was closed one iota. Experts are allowed to ask questions on Stack Exchange.
    – Flimm
    Sep 5, 2023 at 22:59
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    "I acknowledge that your question is easily answered on Reddit and likewise" this doesn't justify closing the question is lacking details or clarity. We want questions on Stack Exchange that are easily found on Reddit. See my upvoted meta post about this: webapps.meta.stackexchange.com/a/4954/24544
    – Flimm
    Sep 5, 2023 at 23:00
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    "Throughout this matter, there's been a significant disparity between your investment in "the question" versus "the argument" about the question." Please consider that the moderators are investing a lot of time in closing questions that the community doesn't want closed, and then not investing nearly any time answering "what details or clarity does this question lack". Isn't that weird?
    – Flimm
    Sep 5, 2023 at 23:02
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    "I feel like a good question about "OWA custom search folders" or something similar was missed in favor of "this."" Just because there could be a better question, doesn't justify closing this one as "lacking details or clarity".
    – Flimm
    Sep 5, 2023 at 23:02
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This is a reply to the answer by Blind Spots ♦, the moderator who closed the question. (This was a comment to their answer, but my comment was deleted):

Blind Spots' answer would be more helpful if it could explain, specifically, what details or clarity the OP could have added to their question to prevent it from being closed and deleted. (If such guidance was given in the chat conversation linked by the OP, perhaps it could be quoted or summarized in the answer for the benefit of future question askers.) Simply repeating that the question "needs details or clarity" is not very informative since that is already the reason given for closing the question. A clear and detailed explanation of the criteria for avoiding question closure would be appreciated.


This was my answer prior to the answer by Blind Spots ♦:

(I wrote an answer to avoid the automatic deletion of the question by the Community bot (also known as “Roomba”). However, the question is about a unilateral moderator action. Ideally, this question should be answered by a moderator. If no one had written an answer, this question would have been roomba’d, dismissing it entirely.)

From reading the linked chat conversation, what I understood was that the moderator thought that the OP got certain facts wrong in the formulation of their question or that the OP’s premise was wrong. From the chat message:

I closed the question because MS Exchange uses folders to organize messages, and messages can't exist in more than one folder at a time. So if you have an OWA question it should be framed within that context.

If that’s the case, then that should be addressed in an answer, so that other users who have the same issue or question as the OP will also know the solution to their issue. That type of answer is known as a "frame challenge" answer, AKA "challenging the assumptions of a question", or "questioning its premise". This fits with Stack Exchange’s goal to "have the best answers to every question". The question can’t be answered if it’s closed.

The "needs details or clarity" close reason is for questions that are ambiguous, vague, or unclear about what the actual question is, as opposed to "has a faulty premise", "got certain facts wrong in the formulation of the question", or "does not meet quality standards". (Related: Is “needs details or clarity” connected to the help center article on questions that are automatically blocked for not meeting quality standards?)

Also, Web Apps SE implemented three-vote question closure more than three years ago, in January 2020. Since we already have three-vote closure, I think the mods should let the close voters vote on whether the types of questions like the one mentioned above should be closed or not. That way, the mods can focus on dealing with the blatantly off-topic questions as per the Stack Exchange Theory of Moderation. This would make the closure process more transparent and democratic and also reduce the workload for the mods.

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