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Outlook 2007 Search function deleting emails

Posted on 2013-12-30
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Last Modified: 2014-02-05
We are running Outlook 2007 clients on Exchange 2010.

When searching within Outlook (using the native Outlook 2007 mail search bar), within any folder/location (Inbox, Sent, etc), Outlook seemingly randomly deletes email messages. And it deletes them permanently (not in Deleted Items, or the 'Recover Deleted Items...' menu). It happens after you search and start to click through the search results. They just disappear/clear from the search results, and are no longer to be found in the mailbox via manual or search methods.

I have not been able to intentionally re-create this. However, I have experienced this personally, as well as have at least two other higher-up staff.

Has anyone else experienced this and/or have any idea on how to prevent this? It is very frustrating and a potential liability concerning legal email retention. Also, any ideas on recovering the missing messages?
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Question by:miworksIT
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39746072
I assume you mean more than one Outlook in the above post.

I have used Windows / Outlook search in Windows Vista, Seven, Eight and 8.1 for Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013.

Search does not delete emails.

I would look for Rules that are doing this. Take one problem machine, remove all Rules, restart the computer and try Outlook again.

... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:dsnegi_25dec
ID: 39746359
Check if any retention policy.
Check archiving policy If that's on your environment.
Check antivirus is not deleting the emails.
Is the issue with specific user base ? Did you check through OWA.
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Author Comment

by:miworksIT
ID: 39751226
The happenings have occurred across the entire organization (no specific OU/grouping), on more than one PC, for more than one account/staff. It occurs in a Windows 7 x64, Exchange 2010, Office 2007 suite environment, although it happened to one user prior to Windows 7 (they were on XP). AV is ESET.

I will look at the specific Outlook configurations to see what is similar between them, including Rules. I don't suspect ESET is the culprit, but there is an Outlook add-in, so I will also check into that. I have not checked into archive, but will do as well.

I have not been able to ad-hoc re-create it (in OWA or regular Outlook). However, the messages are gone from both places.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39751323
If messages are gone from both Outlook and OWA, then it is likely rules or some other retention policy. ESET should not delete emails.

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:miworksIT
ID: 39824503
I have followed the above advice (Outlook plugins/rules, etc), looked into ESET, the spectrum of users/groups/OUs, looked at the archiving policies... and it happened again, to me a few days ago. Any other suggestions?
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Accepted Solution

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John Hurst earned 600 total points
ID: 39824526
If the issue is not ESET, not Rules (this is not clear from the above), and emails are gone from both Outlook and OWA, then there must be something wrong with the Exchange mail store. You may need to (want to) get Microsoft Support involved to fix it.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Closing Comment

by:miworksIT
ID: 39837063
Problem was not actually resolved, but guidance on direction was given.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39837108
@miworksIT - Thanks and I was happy to help to the extent I was able to.

.... Thinkpads_User
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