Outlook: Recover a Deleted Email Message

Posted December 6, 2005 by katy8439 in Microsoft Outlook

Did you accidently delete an important email message from your inbox? Fortunately, with Outlook, getting it back is possible. Keep reading to find out how this is done.


Earlier today I decided that, in order to get into a productive frame of mind, I should clear out my inbox. Therefore, I deleted items. I soon realized I had deleted two important email messages with attachments I needed but had not saved. I recovered these items easily using Outlook’s Restore deleted items or folders option. To use this option, follow the steps below:

1. Open Outlook and click on the deleted items folder in the navigation pane.
2. Go to Tools > Recover Deleted Items.
3. Select the item(s) you want to restore to the deleted items folder.
4. Click the restore button – – and the selected items will be back in the deleted items folder.

I have only tested the above tutorial with Outlook 2003, but I assume it is the same for other versions.

Microsoft’s notes:

    This feature requires you to use a Microsoft Exchange Server e-mail account. In addition, your administrator must have enabled this feature on Microsoft Exchange Server version 5.5 or later.

    Some items or folders may not be recoverable because the length of time that deleted items are stored on the server is set by your administrator. For public folders, expiration dates take precedence over the length of time set by your administrator.

Looking at my items they do go back a couple of weeks which is nice as I do not have to panic about deleting something or having to ask for an item to be resent.

However, I would not like to rely on it.

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