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Al Christie

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Accidentally deleted Outlook data files. I restored from recycly bin, but Outlook can't find the files now.

I accidentally deleted my Outlook Data files. So Outlook (2013; Office 365; Windows 7) doesn't show my email. So I restored the deleted folder, but apparently the path has changed, and Outlook can't find it. How do I restore the path so Outlook can find the data files when it opens?
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Andrew Leniart
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Make sure you have your restored files.

Now put them in Documents \ Outlook as Backup.PST (and Backup1.PST)

Now you can import them into your current data files
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CONTROL Panel/mail/datafiles
If your email is an exchange server account (viewable in Outlook in browser) that creates an .ost file rather than a .pst file (storing emails downloaded from your ISP account), Outlook creates a unique hash and the link between the app and the data file cannot be re-established.

If you have an exchange email account, your local data should be restored from the server... but items that are local only (e.g., tasks, notes, RSS feeds) are lost. There are some 3rd party tools that can recover contents from a local .ost data file. Free versions have limited functionality. The one I used was Stellar OST to PST Converter. I can't testify that it is the best but it did the job so I didn't look any further. Mostly, I needed to recover notes and the free version was sufficient, but the full version is a little bit spendy ($99). Cheap if your lost files are mission critical.
Weird that deleting you datafile caused you not to see any emails in o365
Deleting an ost file is no biggy because you can just resync from the server and a restored PST can just be relinked...

Was only the folder deleted from Windows Explorer or from Outlook?
Avatar of Al Christie
Al Christie


I was deleting stuff from My Documents (Word, Office 2013.
The system restore, set back to the day before I deleted the folder, did the trick. Thank you Thank you! Andrew Leniart
Case Closed!
Excellent! Glad you found a solution. Glad you had a restore point (well done, Al).

Please be sure to accept Andrew's solution and close this question. ;=)
No worries Al Christie, I'm glad it helped.

A lot of people disregard System Restore which has been built into MS Operating Systems because for certain problems, it can't help. They even advise turning it off, which to my mind, is crazy.

As you've now confirmed yourself, for certain system related issues it can prevent a lot of time doing unnecessary trouble shooting and manual repairs.

As suggested by Colleen Kayter, if you could now close this question and accept my solution, that would be great.

I thought I had closed this question a few days ago, thanking Andrew Leniart for the solution. But I just got an email asking me if I want to close the question, which surprised me, because I thought I already had. Guess I still don't quite understand how your system works.
Hi Al,

There should be a Close Question box down the bottom left of your screen if I recall correctly. Click that and follow the steps.

This "How to" guide may also be of some help to you.

Best regards..