After many searches I found this dialog box of Outlook> Preferences > General which is the most common search result for trying to figure out how to get the panel of folders and accounts to show up in Outlook for Mac. It ain’t it.
What you want to do instead is go to View > Sidebar and turn it on. You’ll get it wrong if you think it has something to do with the Ribbon, or some control on the Ribbon, or some submenu of Panes, etc. Activate the Sidebar!
Why is this hard to get right? It’s because you need to know that the thing on the left-hand side is called the “sidebar” of course! And now you know it too! —JM
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