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Duplicate public folders multiplying out of control

We have a problem with public folders. We use Outlook 2003 on our clients. We have multiple instances of a folder that I believe happened because users accidentally dragged the good folder. I think Outlook is creating that folder again with a 1, 2, 3, etc. after it. I, as the administrator, cannot delete these folders. They show no one as their owners and have no data. When I try to open the Properties on these folders, I receive an error message:

The object is no longer available
Press F5 to try again
ID No 800040e19
Exchange System Manager

I have looked up this error in the Microsoft Knowledge Base, but have found nothing that helps. I have about seven of these folders, and the more people try to get rid of them, the more are created. Can you please help?! Thanks.

By default, administrators are assigned the right to create public folders. The Default role does not, but can post to folders or to Read items unless those permissions are changed.

You can globally prevent users from creating top-level public folders, which should prevent drag-and-drop duplication at the top level through the following procedure.

To remove the 'Create top-level public folder' permission:

  1. Start Exchange System Manager (ESM).
  2. Navigate to Folders, right-click the Public Folder node and click Properties.
  3. Click the Security tab.
  4. Under Name, click Everyone.
  5. Under Permissions, scroll to 'Create top level public folder.'
  6. In the Allow column, clear the checkbox.

To enable your administrative account to delete the duplicate folders, add your account to the top-level public folder hierarchy and assign yourself full control.

To set the permissions for groups and users to manage individual public folders, navigate to the desired folder through ESM, and click on either Client Permissions and/or Administrative Rights. Client Permissions allow you to select predefined roles that control permissions to create items, read items, create subfolders and establish folder owner, folder contact and folder visible. Groups need to be mail-enabled.

Administrative Rights sets who is an administrator for the folder. In most cases, these are settings don't need to be altered.

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