The sudden removal of public folder access in outlook on the web

Occasional Contributor

Last week access to public folders was removed from outlook on the web with no announcement, does anyone know why?  and why was the message centre not used to communicate this change ?


Now you get a banner saying "switch to outlook desktop to view public folders"

9 Replies

I still have access to them in OWA, but adding @Gabe Bratton just in case.

I'm not aware of this change. The only issue I am tracking with Public Folders is that Owners can no longer delete them from the UI and temporarily have to use Powershell,

I'll ping my peers and ask them to post if they know anything about this change.

@Gabe Bratton  Thank you for trying to find out about this, here is a screenshot of the message that we now see.  It is so frustrating that communication of changes is now so disjointed in Microsoft.


@technonath Access to mail and calendar type PFs will continue working fine in OWA. The banner indicates Users will not be able to access Public Folders contacts from People Hub in Outlook Web App. Please visit People Hub in Outlook desktop to view and manage Public Folder(s) contacts. 

@Bhalchandra_Atre-MSFT Any chance of explaining why the sudden change? Also why this change is not documented anywhere or mentioned in the message centre.  


Why is Owa not allowed to use shared contacts in any way now either via public folders or via a shared contacts folder in a shared mailbox? 

Also even stranger - 3 of us in the same tenant get this message - but 1 person in our tenant still has the ability to access the public folders. - This is a total mess.
Still no reply ? Please, please can we have some answers

@technonath You can find the announcement here -


The way forward is to use Outlook desktop client to access/manage public folders contacts

This is total rubbish - so you have removed public folder access to contacts and say "just use outlook for windows!" - so how are mac & linux users supposed to access those contacts now ?

Why was this change not communicated through the message centre to you customers before you did it ? Why was the blog post not made in the exchange blog which is where I expect to look for changes to Exchange?