Outlook 2010 Error when moving folder in another user’s mailbox: "Cannot copy this folder because it may contain private items"

This error occurs when you try to move a folder in another user’s mailbox that contains private items (duh!). Upon Googling (Binging) this you’ll see people sprouting about how this is a bug that’s been around forever, it’s something Microsoft should fix, yada yada yada. The fact of the matter is, private items are private for a reason, and by design. You can mark items private so that without your express consent, no other user – not even one with “Full Control” over your mailbox – can see them. Allowing users to see and move private items is a somewhat trivial exercise, but the solution is relatively evasive on the internet, so here goes: Open Outlook as the user whose mailbox the private items are in. Click on File, Account Settings and then Delegate Access.

Click on Add, then find the account of the user who’s receiving the error. Complete the dialogue so the settings below are set (at minimum):

Click OK, then OK again. It’s as easy as that! Restart Outlook and you will be able to move the folders and items.

When doing this, I received the following error:

This is an error that halts the saving of settings, so you need to tell Outlook to ignore this. A simple registry key will suffice: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Preferences Create a DWORD IgnoreSOBError with value 1. Restart Outlook and you’ll be able to perform the actions above without seeing this error.

Written on May 15, 2012