Recently, I had a user who was having a problem with Outlook 2013. Basically, they were trying to delete an old Contacts folder from Outlook that they no longer used. Every time they attempted to delete it, they got the following error message:

Cannot delete this folder. Right-click the folder, and then click Properties to check your permissions for the folder. See the folder owner or your administrator to change your permissions. Outlook is synchronizing local changes made to items in the folder. You cannot remove this folder until the synchronization with the server is complete.

Cannot delete this folder. Right-click the folder, and then click Properties to check your permissions for the folder. See the folder owner or your administrator to change your permissions. Outlook is synchronizing local changes made to items in the folder. You cannot remove this folder until the synchronization with the server is complete.

I checked the folder permissions –  the user had full permissions to that folder and was the owner. I checked synchronization – nope, Outlook was fully synced. But no matter what we did, we still got this error message.

Just for the heck of it, we logged to the user’s email account via OWA webmail and tried to delete it there:

OWA 2013 how to delete

Okay, we got a confirmation screen, this is a good sign….

OWA 2013 Delete Screen

We clicked Yes, and lo and behold – the item deleted, no issues, no warnings. We re-launched Outlook 2013 on the local machine, and the folder was gone there as well!

So lesson learned – if you’re having issues deleting any type of item on your Outlook profile, try your OWA logon and see if that allows the action. If not, then it’s a good sign there actually are permissions issues that need to be researched – but I think this will save administrators a lot of time that would otherwise be spent barking up the wrong Exchange permissions tree. 

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