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Collaboration Services: Recovering Deleted Items in Exchange

Note: You cannot perform the following recovery operation in Outlook 2011 or Apple Mail for Mac OS X. However, in Outlook for Windows, the recovery feature is available regardless of the client used to delete the items, including IMAP configurations.

When you delete items (i.e., messages, folders, tasks, appointments, or contacts) using Outlook they move to the Deleted Items folder. You may retrieve them by opening the Deleted Items folder, locating the items, and then moving them to another folder. When items are deleted or emptied from the Deleted Items folder, they are in retention and recoverable for 28 days before they are permanently deleted. To recover items during the 28-day period:

Outlook Web App (OWA)

  1. Log in to the Outlook Web App (OWA). A window similar to the following will appear:

    The OWA main mail screen. On the left is the Deleted Items folder.

  2. Right Click on the Deleted Items folder.
  3. Select Recover Deleted Items. A window similar to the following will appear:

    The Recover Deleted Items window. The desired items to recover should be checked.

  4. Check any items you want to recover.
  5. Click the small recovery icon Recovery Icon.  A window similar to the following will appear.

    The Recover To Folder window. The folder should be selected where the recovered items will be moved.

  6. Select the folder you wish to move the recovered messages too.
  7. Click Recover.

Outlook 2010

  1. In Outlook 2010, click the Deleted Items folder.

    The Deleted Items folder in Outlook 2010.

  2. Click on the Folder tab in the ribbon.

    The Recover Deleted Items option, located in the Folder tab of the Outlook 2010 Ribbon.

  3. Click the Recover Deleted Items button. A window similar to the following will appear, containing items that you have deleted within the last 28 days:

    The Recover Deleted Items window. The desired items to recover should be highlighted.

  4. Highlight the items you want to recover
  5. Click Recover Selected Items (the icon looks like an envelope). Note: This will place the items into your Deleted Items folder. From there you can move or drag them back to your Inbox, or to any folder you wish.

    Note: All items in the recovery window appear with an envelope icon, regardless of object type. If the item recovered is a non-mail item (such as a contact, appointment, or task), Outlook will recover it properly with the appropriate icon when it appears back in your Deleted Items folder.

    Note: If you delete something from the 28-day retention area, or the time limit has expired on an item, it is not recoverable even with administrative intervention.

Outlook 2007

  1. In Outlook 2007, click on the Tools menu.
  2. Select Recover Deleted Items.  A window similar to the following will appear, containing items that you have deleted within the last 28 days:

    The Recover Deleted Items window. The desired items to recover should be highlighted.

  3. Click Recover Selected Items (the icon looks like an envelope). (Note: This will place the items into your Deleted Items folder. From there you can move or drag them back to your Inbox, or to any folder you wish).

    Note: All items in the recovery window appear with an envelope icon, regardless of object type. If the item recovered is a non-mail item (such as a contact, appointment, or task), Outlook will recover it properly with the appropriate icon when it appears back in your Deleted Items folder.

    Note: If you delete something from the 28-day retention area, or the time limit has expired on an item, it is not recoverable even with administrative intervention.

Last Updated: 9 November 2011

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