Ways to Retrieve Deleted Emails from Microsoft Outlook

Are you looking to recover an email message or a contact you just deleted mistakenly? Or you are searching for a contact that you erased from your MS Outlook ‘Contacts’ folder and now realized that it was important.
The good thing is that accidentally deleted items from an Outlook mailbox can be recovered by searching through the Deleted Items folder. If you cannot find them there, you can search for them within the Recoverable Items folder. But initially, let’s understand how to restore an item back to its respective folder from the Deleted Items folder.

#1: Recover from Deleted Items
In order to recover an email message, follow this procedure if the item still exists in the ‘Deleted Items’ folder
  1. Launch Outlook application and move to the email folder list
  2. Click on the Deleted Items folder and search for the message you need to restore
  3. Right click on the deleted item, message or folder and select Move and then Other Folder
  4. Finally, choose a folder to which you need to move the item such as Inbox and next click on OK button
To recover any other item such as a contact, appointment, a task or any other component, you may follow either of the given steps:
  • To recover Calendar Items: Right-click on the item and then click on Move>> Other Folder>> Calendar
  • To recover Contact: Right click on the contact and then select Move>> Other Folder>> Contacts
  • To recover a Task: Right-click on the item and then select Move>> Other Folder>> Tasks
#2: Unable to Locate Item in Deleted Items Folder
If the deleted items do not appear in ‘Deleted Items’ folder, the possibility is that the application has deleted the item automatically. To prevent permanent deletion of items, you may follow this procedure
  1. Click on the File tab and then click on Options
  2. Next, click on the Advanced option
  3. Click to clear the checkbox associated with Empty Deleted Items folder when exiting Outlook available under Outlook Start and Exit option
  4. Then click on OK button to save changes

If you still unable to find the item, you can use the ‘Search Deleted Items’ or (Ctrl + E) to search for the intended item you need to recover. Alternatively, you can find the item via Instant Search feature. Moreover, it the date on which the when the item was erased or moved from MS Outlook is known, the Modified column can be added to the Deleted Items folder as it makes it easier to search for a particular item in the user Mailbox. To do this
  1. Under the View tab, click on the Current View group and click on View Settings option
  2. Next, click on Columns
  3. Under Select available columns from in the drop-down list, select the Date/Time fields
  4. Click on Modified and then click on Add button. The sequence in which the columns appears can be changed or modified
#3: Restore Items from Recoverable Items Folder
If none of the deleted items such as an email message, contact information, tasks or the calendar appointment are found in the ‘Deleted Items’ folder, you may find them in ‘Recoverable Items’. The folder can be accessed using Recover Deleted Item as items being deleted move to the respective folder and displayed as a subfolder.

Outlook provides an option to set up policy for deleting items from the ‘Deleted Items’ folder after specified number of days. The items that are deleted by policy moves to Recoverable Items folder and if any of the items is not found in the Deleted Items folder, you can search it in the Recoverable Items. To do this
  1. Launch MS Outlook and go to the email folder list and then click on Deleted Items
  2. Ensure that Home menu is selected and then click on Recover Deleted Items from Server
  3. Select the item that needs to be recovered and then click on Restore Selected Items.
  4. Next, click OK
If you notice that Recover Deleted Items from Server is greyed out, the possibilities are that
  • you are working in Offline mode and you need to switch to an online mode to enable the option
  • you are not using an Exchange account. If you do not hold an Exchange account, it is not possible to recover items deleted permanently or has been removed from Deleted Items folder.
However, system administrators are provided an exclusive right that enables them to specify the time duration during which the items can be recovered from the Recoverable Items folder. For example: As per policy settings, an item can retain in the Deleted Items folder on Server for a number of days. Once this duration is passed and the item has been deleted, it is still possible to recover this item for14 days. The Administrator can modify this time duration and can set a different policy for the mailbox items.

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