Recover deleted items in Outlook 2010: 9 Quick Steps to Recovery

Gmail outlook settingsWe’ve all been there…either you’ve accidentally deleted something or remembered days later that there’s something in the trash that you need. In those moments, knowing how to recover deleted items in Outlook 2010 would be hugely beneficial. Through successful integration of Outlook 2010 with the Microsoft Exchange Server, it is definitely possible to recover the deleted mails over a certain period of time. Please note that this function would only be available for POP3 mail account and you can’t revert any mails from IMAP accounts, including Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc. For a comprehensive tutorial on Outlook 2010 including recovery, configurations, and more, try this acclaimed course to be more productive than ever with Outlook.

Are you asking yourself, why this is a 9 step process?  Can’t I simply go into the Deleted Items folder and do a restore function or move it to another folder? If you can, then that is great! However, many times it is not that easy when you’re dealing with exchange servers. For Microsoft Exchange, once you empty a deleted items folder, it will be gone. Exchange keeps 3 months worth of deleted emails outside of the client. This function described allows a user to view and restore a deleted item. It still has time limitations though. You can recover some deleted items, like messages, appointments, contacts, tasks, and notes, even after the Deleted Items folder is emptied or you’ve “hard deleted” an item by pressing Shift+Delete. Please note that this feature requires a Microsoft Exchange Server account and doesn’t work with POP3 or Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) accounts. When viewing e-mails in your ‘deleted items’ folder you can determine when that particular e-mail will be moved from your ‘deleted items’ folder to the ‘retention’ area (for an additional 15 days) by looking at the “Expires” date (see below).  After this time (total of 60 days from time e-mail was first deleted) that particular e-mail is gone and can no longer be restored. If you’re using Office 365 or another Exchange-based client, you can also restore deleted items using Outlook Web App.

Here are the 9 steps needed to recover your deleted item:

1.  Open up Microsoft Outlook.

2.  Click on the Deleted Items folder. If you can’t see the list of folders, select Folder List under the View menu. Locate the Recover Deleted Item command on the ribbon. However, if you don’t see Recover Deleted Items, you’re probably not using an Exchange account or you don’t have a folder selected in that account.

3.  Look to see of the deleted e-mail is listed in the ‘Deleted Ttems’ folder.  If not, then it must have been deleted over 45 days ago and has since been moved to the e-mail retention area of Exchange for an additional 15 days. Remember, deleted items get moved to a retention area for 15 days and it will   still be restorable until the 60 day mark. Proceed to step 5 if this is the case

4. If you found your deleted e-mail then it’s recommended that you move or make a copy to another folder for safe keeping such as your Inbox or other folder.  Congratulations! This is the end for you since you found your e-mail and successfully restored it.

5.  …But if you haven’t yet, click on the Folder tab, and then choose ‘Recover Deleted Items’. NOTE: If your Recover Deleted Items icon is grayed-out then follow the steps below to enable it:

– Press Windows key + R (This will bring up the Run dialog)

– In the Run dialog box type regedit and press Enter

– Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\Client\Options

– On the right hand window pane you will see a few string values. Ignore them. Right-click anywhere in the white space and select New->DWORD Value

– Type in DumpsterAlwaysOn as the DWORD’s name. Now double-click on DumpsterAlwaysOn and change the value to 1

6.  In the window that pops up, click on the message you want to recover. To select multiple items, press Ctrl as you click each item, and then click Recover Selected Items Button image. Recovered items will be restored to the folder you’re working in. Your Exchange administrator specifies the retention time for deleted items. After this time elapses, deleted items cannot be restored. In the future, you can sort the messages by clicking on Subject, Deleted On, From, and Received. Note that the date next to each message subject is the date you deleted the message. To look at the date you actually received the message, you may have to scroll over or enlarge the pop-up window to see the Received column.

7.  When you have finished selecting the message or messages you want to recover, click on the Recover. Selected Items button (this is the middle button on the top left of the pop-up window).

8.  To force your recovered message(s) to come through right away, click on the ‘Send/Receive All Folders’ button under the ‘Send/Receive’ tab.  But it usually only takes a few seconds for the e-mail to re-appear in your “Deleted Items” folder again.

9.  Now your message has been recovered back into your ‘Deleted Items’ Folder. This is important: You should plan to move any mail messages you want to keep into another folder, such as the Inbox or another folder ‘you’ created. Save time and become more organized with better work methods and more effective use of Microsoft Outlook 2010 with this course.

Here are a few last rules and caveats to recovering your email. This feature works for any of your email folders that are on the ‘Exchange’ server. It will not work for any email that is stored in your personal (local) folders.  These folders are usually on your local computer and have a heading at the top labeled “Personal Folders – mm/dd/yy”.  This is the date you were converted to Exchange. You may repeat the steps above with other folders (such as Sent Items), but most of the time the messages you want to recover were already in the Deleted Items folder to begin with. Finally, messages deleted more than 60 days ago are not able to be recovered. Our apologies! Taught by leading Microsoft trainer this Outlook 2010 tutorial breaks learning down in to simple step-by-step stages. If you feel confident with the basics and want to move onto more advanced concepts, try this course on permissions, searching, archiving, templates and more advanced topics.