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How to Recover Deleted Emails in Microsoft Outlook

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Recover Deleted Emails in Outlook

Often times if you accidentally delete an email in your Microsoft Outlook email account you should be able to recover it. The very first place you should look for a deleted email is in your Deleted Items or Trash folder. Search for the email you deleted and right click and select Move and click Other Folder. If you cannot find the email with these steps then lets try other methods.

If your folder is the “Delete Items” folder, follow the next steps in the instructions below recover those emails, events, contacts, tasks or appointments that were removed from the “Deleted Items” folder.

However, if your folder is the “Trash” folder and you cannot find your deleted email here you will not be able to recover the items deleted from the Trash folder. (Note: If you find the email in the Trash folder you can follow the previous step to restore the email to your Inbox.)

(If you need to recover a deleted folder in Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016, or Outlook for Microsoft 365 you will only be able to recover the folder and all of its messages if it is still in your “Deleted Items” folder. You will not be able to recover a folder that has been permanently deleted. However, you can use the next steps to recover messages from the folder that you deleted.

How to Recover an Item That is Not in Your Deleted Items Folder

If you cannot find an item in the “Deleted Items” folder, then you will have to go to your “Recoverable Items” folder. This folder is hidden, and items are placed here when you do one of the following:

Deleted an Email from the Deleted Items Folder.

Emptied the “Deleted Items” folder.

Permanently deleted something from the Inbox or from some other folder by selecting it and pressing Shift + Delete.

  1. Go to your email folder list within Outlook and choose “Deleted Items“.

(Note: If you do not see your “Deleted Items” folder, but instead see the “Trash” folder then your email account does not support recovering an item that is no longer in your “Deleted Items” folder.

2. Select “Recover Deleted Items From Server” on the “Home” menu.

(Note: if there is no “Recover Deleted Items From Server” command on the menu, your account does not support recovering an item that is no longer in your “Deleted Items” folder.)

3. Select the items that you want to recover, select “Restore Selected Items”, and then choose “OK”.

What happens when you recover an item? When you recover emails from the Recoverable Items folder, they are moved to the “Deleted Items” folder. After you recover an email you can find it in your “Deleted Items” folder and then you can move it to another folder.

How to stop from emptying your Deleted Items folder each time you sign out

Your Outlook email account might empty your Deleted Items folder each time you sign out. To change this follow these instructions:

  1. At the top of the page, select “Settings” and “View All Outlook Settings”.
  2. Select “Message Handling”.
  3. Under “When Signing Out”, uncheck the box next to “Empty my Deleted Items Folder”.

How to backup your email

If you are using email for work, you are most likely using an Exchange or IMAP account. Exchange and IMAP servers automatically archive your email so that you can access it anytime or anywhere. If you have an Exchange account, check with your admin about how to access your archived email.

If you want to back up the messages folders locally (in addition to keeping them on the server), you can automatically move or delete older items with AutoArchive or export the items to .pst file that you can restore later as needed and use importing.

Select “File”, then “Open & Export”, and “Import/Export”

Select “Export to a file”, and then select “Next”

Select “Outlook Data File (.pst), and select “Next”

Select the mail folder you want to back up and select “Next”.

Choose a location and name for your backup file, and then select “Finish”

If you want to ensure no one has access to your files, enter and confirm a password, and then select “OK”

The messages that you keep in a .pst file are no different from other messages. You can forward, reply, or search through the stored messages as you do with other messages.

What data is exported?

When outlook exports email, contacts, and calendar info to a .pst, it makes a copy of the information. Nothing leaves Outlook. You’ll still see and have access to your email, contacts, and calendar in Outlook.

When Outlook exports emails, it includes any attachments to the emails.

Outlook does not export meta-data such as folder properties (views, permissions, and AutoArchive settings), message rules, and blocked senders lists.