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How to Recover Deleted Items

Have you ever had that sinking feeling that you just permanently deleted a file you didn’t mean to? I love to use Shift+Delete to delete files without having to delete them again from my Deleted Items folder. But, there have been a few times when I accidently deleted something I needed by mistake. Luckily, if you are an Outlook user, Microsoft has something called the Recoverable Items Folder. It is the place that deleted email content goes after it has been “permanently” deleted where it can be evaluated to see if true permanent deletion meets company policies.

Items that a user has permanently deleted will remain in the Deletions section of the Recoverable Items Folder for 14 days by default, but IT administrators can extend that to 30. This folder also enable businesses to safeguard content using retention policies for compliance or legal requirements. The good news for those of us who get a little crazy with trashing emails, is that both Outlook Desktop and Outlook on the Web make it very simple get emails back as long as they are within the time period mentioned above.

In the desktop version of Outlook, go to the menu and choose Folder and look for the “clean up” section to choose Recover Deleted Items. Once the Recover Deleted Items window opens, you can sort by the various headings at the top with a double-click, select the one(s) you need to recover, make sure the Restore Selected Items radio button is selected and click Ok. Now the recovered email will be moved back to the Deleted Items folder.

Outlook on the Web makes it even easier. From the Deleted Items folder click the heading at the top for recovering deleted items.

I hope this tip helps you the next time you accidently send an Outlook item to permanent deletion by mistake. Please contact us to offer suggestions for future posts or get help setting up retention policies to meet compliance standards for your business.