When you delete items from a folder in a mailbox, the items first are moved to the Deleted Items folder in the mailbox.  If you wish to move an item out of the Deleted Items folder, click on the item and drag it to the folder you wish.

When you empty your Deleted Items folder, all items in it are moved to the Deleted Item Retention area (DIRT).  Items that are emptied from the Deleted Items folder are moved to the DIRT for 14 days.  Weekend and weekdays are included.  Users can access the DIRT themselves through Outlook or OWA and recover those email messages any time during the 14 day period.  An item cannot be recovered after it is removed from the DIRT.

Note the “Deleted On” field, DIRT stamps the date and time of deletion on the item. This becomes important for Deleted Item Retention because deleted messages are automatically purged from the database 14 days after the ‘Deleted On’ date/time. It takes time for the management process to run so it’s possible a message will still be in the DIRT a little longer.

 

Follow these steps to recover deleted items:

  1. Select the Deleted Items folder from the Folder list.
  2. Click Recover Deleted Items on the Folder Tab (Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010) or the Tools menu (Outlook 2007).
  3. Select the item you wish to recover.  Hold the Shift key down to select multiple item or hold the CTRL key down and click to select noncontiguous items. Click Select All if you want to recover the entire list.
  4. Click the Recover Selected Items button. The items will be returned to your Deleted Items folder.  You can move them to other folders as needed.

Mac users should use OWA to recover deleted items, regardless of the email client they are using.

  1. Log into OWA (Outlook Web App): 
  2. Go to the "Deleted Items" folder on the left side of the page; if the email isn't in the folder continue to step #3, if the email does appear in the "Deleted Items" folder you can highlight the email and drag it back into your inbox. 
  3. If the email you are looking for doesn't appear in the deleted items folder you will have to recover it. To recover the email go to the "Deleted Items" folder and right click; then select "Recover deleted items..." Make sure to right click the "Deleted Items" folder that isn't under "Favorites"
  4. After clicking "recover deleted items.." a new window will appear displaying recently permanently deleted items. To recover an email; click to highlight the email, then click "recover" at the bottom right of the window.
  5. A "Recover Items" window will appear informing you what emails will be restored. To confirm, press "OK

Note: It is also possible to delete items without first moving them to the Deleted Items folder. This procedure is called a "hard delete" as opposed to a "soft delete."  You can recover these items by following the steps above.  Messages are hard deleted in the following scenarios:

  • You are using Microsoft Outlook and you press SHIFT+DELETE to delete a message.
  • You are using an IMAP client such as Eudora, Thunderbird, etc, or another type of client that does not move the message to the Deleted Items folder.
    1. Select the Deleted Items folder from the Folder list.
    2. Click Recover Deleted Items on the Tools menu (Outlook 2007) or the Folder Tab (Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013).
    3. Select the item you wish to purge. If you want to purge multiple items, press and hold SHIFT to select contiguous items or press and hold CTRL to select noncontiguous items.  Click Select All if you want to purge the entire list.
    4. Click the Purge Selected Items button, and then close the Recover Deleted Items window.  If the Recover Selected Items is not visible, hover the mouse pointer over the chevrons at the bottom of the menu then click Recover Selected Items.
    5. The items are now permanently removed from the server and will not be recoverable.

    The items are now permanently removed from the server and will not be recoverable.

    Article number: 
    1480
    Last updated: 
    September 12, 2016