Column heading row missing in Outlookk 2016 for subfolders

Occasional Contributor

Brand new surface laptop, loaded office 365 with outlook desktop application.  (Note this because his original surface laptop did NOT have this problem.) The user has the column headings on his "Inbox" folder but the row is completely gone on all other folders.  I can't see a way to turn it on.  I know how to add columns once the row is there - that is not what I am asking. I am saying the view I subfolders doesn't even list columns.


I tried to "apply view" from the inbox to the subfolders and that feature doesn't add it, now does it change any of the other setting to match the inbox.  The "apply view" feature seems to be broken or something.


I have tried doing a quick repair, online repair, the troubleshooting tool from the Microsoft site and rebuilding his outlook profile and none have fixed it.  Short of completely wiping and reinstalling office I am out of things to try.  And I would rather not go with that option because he has a huge number of "customizations" he has set and would loose all those. (He lost those with the create new profile try - but I didn't delete the old one so we could just easily switch him back since that wasn't the fix.)


Suggestions anyone?

19 Replies

No this isn't the fix either, I had tried that thinking if I added some columns to the default it may trigger it to display. The problem is that the entire heading row is gone.  So no matter how many columns I add the row itself doesn't show up.

Have you tried to start Outlook in Safe Mode (outlook.exe /safe)? Does the row appear?

best response confirmed by Becky Martin (Occasional Contributor)

Finally found the solution.  Under views we edited his view and unchecked "User compact layout in width smaller than 125 characters" and this put the header row back in.  This was checked by default. I am not sure if this is something that has changed or just some oddity. (see print screen below)  Regardless this allowed the header row to come back.


Outlook settings - No Header row showing.JPG


Ms Becky; Thanks for sharing the info; I got a new laptop and spend hours & hours to fix this outlook issue. Was too irritated as am use to filter based on subject/FROM etc. 


Cordial Thanks & appreciated 

Thanks Becky. It solved the issue and I was going nuts to find the solution

THANK YOU!!!!! I have been searching for a solution to Outlooks annoying default Column View.   Thank you for sharing information.   Yolanda

I am having the same issue: column header disappeared with 2 out 3 email accounts. Add/remove columns is not the issue.  The above description of the problem is mine exactly, but I cannot get the two email address to reset.  Any other ideas?    Thanks for any help you can give.

Thanks for helping me fix this annoyance.  

Thanks, this was helpful, it worked

This saved me too@Becky Martin!  I would add one very important additional step.  When you uncheck 'User compact layout in width smaller than 125 characters' you must ensure that 'Always Use Single Line Layout' is checked.  Outlook automatically selected the 'Always Use Compact Layout' checkbox for me, which of course is the very thing we're trying to remove!

OMG! I've spent hours and hours trying to figure this out. Thank goodness I found this page! All fixed.


@Becky Martin 


Thanks for the solution.  Not an obvious one but works great.

Thank You @Becky Martin . I got an update to office and outlook defaulted to this funky view. This really helped!

Thank you Thank you Thank you. I have been searching for this FOREVER!!! You are a gem!

@Becky Martin Great find.  Really helped me out. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! It's 2021 now and yet my most recent update did this exactly thing to my columns in my subfolders. Then I saw your answer here, and it worked perfectly. It saves me HOURS of sorting through hundreds of emails per day, now that I have my columns back. Thank you! :)

Try this Under View Menu > Change View > Click Single. U may get It. This was useful for me.