When you sign up for a Hotmail account, it will automatically contain five "standard folders", which cannot be deleted, renamed, or otherwise affected.
These folders appear on the left of the screen, with the Inbox on its own and four others listed at the top of the folder listing. You can expand and collapse that listing, a useful feature to minimize the amount of scrolling you need to access Quick Views and Messenger functionality - notice on our screenshot that the cursor is above the show/hide folders button - this is where you'll need to click if you cannot see any folder besides your inbox.
This tutorial will give you an basic overview of the standard folders, custom email folders, and Quick Views (which are covered in more details in their own tutorial).On this page: Standard Email Folders | Custom Folders | Folders vs. "Quick Views"
Here are the standard folders common to every Hotmail account on the planet:
Tip: if you setup your Hotmail account in an email program, these folders will be visible as well. Depending on the email program you use, and how you set it up, you may be able to see all folders in your Hotmail account, including the custom ones discussed next (hint: the easiest way and best experience is to use Windows Live Mail, a free email client for Windows 7 / Vista / XP, which is also created by the Windows Live team, a group at Microsoft that manages Hotmail).
In addition to these standard email folders, you can create folders (and even make subfolders!) in your account to organize your emails. While the four standard email folders after Inbox will always appear at the top, custom folders and subfolders will automatically be sorted alphabetically based on the name you choose for them, yet another trick to keep in mind when you pick a name: starting a folder name with the same prefix (like a number or abbreviation) allows you to "force" Hotmail to keep them next to one another. (And you can rename folders any time you want!)
Email folders in Hotmail are like "real" folders you find in most email programs - when you place a message in it, it will not appear anywhere else, with two exceptions discussed below. The advantage of this approach is an easy-to-understand organizational scheme; the downside comes up when a message really belongs to two (or more) folders, which most of us use as "filing categories".
So, while these two case show you messages grouped as if they were in a single folder, Hotmail keeps track of their true location behind the scenes, so you can safely open each email, mark it as Read/Unread, flag it, etc. You can even gather all these messages, and move them all into another folder of your choice.