Microsoft Outlook is one of the most popular information management software and email clients with millions of users all over the world. But no matter how great software it is, accidents can always happen. Also, there’s always a possibility that you would lose important emails because of accidental deletion and many other reasons. Fortunately, Microsoft has given us many ways to recover deleted emails from Outlook. In this article, we will show you how to restore emails deleted from Microsoft Outlook using a few straightforward methods. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Recover Deleted Emails from Outlook If You Don’t Have a Backup
If you do not possess a native backup of the deleted emails, going through the “Deleted Items” folder and “Recoverable Items” are the only ways to recover them. Let’s see how you can use them to restore your emails in the following sections.
Restore Your Emails from the Deleted Items Folder
You can retrieve any email deleted from Microsoft Outlook easily by employing the “Deleted Items” folder. However, to restore those emails, you need to fulfill two important conditions, which are:
- You will find the email in the “Deleted Items” folder only if it hasn’t been 30 days after the deletion from its original location. Any such email will remain in the Deleted Items folder only for 30 days. After that, the email will disappear from the folder forever.
- You haven’t deleted the email from the Deleted Items folder.
In other words, as long as you haven’t cleared the folder, and it hasn’t been more than 30 days after the email’s deletion from the Outlook inbox, you can still retrieve the email using the method below.
Opening Outlook in Your Web Browser
If you’re planning to use Outlook via your web browser, follow these steps below to recover the lost emails:
- Open your web browser, go to the Microsoft Outlook website, and sign in using your Microsoft credentials.
- Next, click on the “Folders” option on the left panel. It will open a dropdown menu containing multiple folders.
- Now, click on the “Deleted Items” folder.
- Once you get into the Deleted Items folder, you will see the emails that were deleted from the Outlook inbox less than 30 days ago. Select the emails you want to recover, and then right-click on them. A new prompt with multiple options will pop up.
- After that, click on the “Restore” option.
With this, the emails you have selected will be restored to their original folders before deletion.
Launching the Outlook Desktop App
If you have the desktop app of Microsoft Outlook on your computer, please follow these steps:
- Open the Microsoft Outlook desktop app and click on the “Deleted Items” folder.
- Now, select the emails that you want to rescue. If you want to select multiple emails, press and hold the “CTRL” button and left-click on the emails one by one.
- Next, right-click on them and click on the “Move” option.
- Now, pick a location you want to place your recovered email and confirm it. The emails will be restored to your chosen location.
Rescue Removed Emails from Outlook Using Recoverable Items
Did you accidentally remove all the emails from the “Deleted Items” folder on a whim? Probably the email you were looking to recover has already crossed the 30-day time limit. But this doesn’t mean that there is no hope. Microsoft still gives you a second chance to recover your emails using the “Recoverable Items” option. Here’s how you can use it to regain your emails in Outlook:
- First, open the “Deleted Items” folder.
- Next, click on the “Recover items deleted from this folder” option right under the “Deleted Items” section. You will now see emails that you have either accidentally deleted from the “Deleted Items” folder or those that finished their 30-day stay limit inside.
- Now, select the emails you want to retrieve and click on the “Restore” option at the top of the screen.
- After that, select the folder or the location where you want to move the emails and confirm it.
With this, the emails will be restored to the location of your choice.
Please Note: Emails will only stay in the “Recoverable Items” folder for 30 days. Once that period is over (starting from the moment an email first appears in this folder), they will be erased forever. You can no longer get those emails back afterward unless you have a native backup.
Do You Have Native Backups? Recovery of Erased Emails on Outlook Works Like This
Many people tend to back up their Outlook emails using the Microsoft Office 365 tools to keep them safe. These backups are called native backups. In this section, we will show you two ways to restore your deleted Outlook emails as long as you have made a native backup.
Retrieve the Emails Using the Archive Folder
Microsoft Office 365 desktop version comes with the “Auto-archiving” feature that lets you move your Outlook emails to the “Archive” folder to keep them safe. Sometimes, this feature remains active by default. As a result, it automatically moves your old emails to the Archive folder of Microsoft Outlook. This often leads Outlook users to think that their old emails have been deleted. Let’s see how to find your old emails in the Archive folder and restore them to their original location:
- First, open Microsoft Outlook on your computer and click on the “Archive” folder on the left panel.
- Now, check if the email you’re looking for is inside the Archive folder. If you find the emails you’re looking for, select them and click on the “Move to” option.
- Next, select a folder you would like to move the email to and click on it.
The procedure is complete. Your selected emails will be restored inside your chosen folder of Microsoft Outlook.
Recover Deleted Emails from Outlook Using eDiscovery
The eDiscovery tool of Microsoft Office 365 was introduced as a convenient way to preserve and search legal documents and sensitive information. But you can also use this tool to recover lost Outlook emails. However, you need to fulfill two requirements to use this tool. They are:
- You need to have a Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise subscription.
- You must be an IT administrator. If you’re not, it would be impossible for you to access this tool.
I meet the criteria for eDiscovery. What now?
If you can fulfill the conditions, follow the steps below to recover deleted emails from Outlook using eDiscovery:
- Go to Microsoft Office 365 Dashboard.
- Now, go to “Settings” and click on the “Admin” option to enter the Microsoft 365 admin center.
- Next, on the left panel, click on the “Show All” option.
- After that, scroll down and click on “Security & Compliance.”
- On the left panel, scroll down until you find the “Exchange” option and then click on it.
- Next, click on the “Permissions” option, and then from the three available parameters, click on the “Admin roles” option. It will open up a dropdown menu.
- After that, click on the “Discovery Management” option and select “Edit.”
- Once the “Discovery Management” window opens, scroll down and click on the “+” symbol under the “Members” section. Another new window will open.
- In the new Window, find your name and select it. After that, click the “Add” button and then select the “OK” option.
- Now, you need to re-enter your admin account by signing in again.
- Once you sign in to your account again, navigate to Exchange admin center > Compliance Management > In-Place eDiscovery & Hold.
- Next, click on the “+” symbol to initiate a new search.
- Give your new search a name and click on the “Next” option.
- To find the exact emails, you need to select the email addresses that received them. First, click on the “Specify mailboxes” option and then search and add the mailboxes that contained the deleted emails. Once you’re done, click on the “Next” option.
- If you want to narrow down the range of your search, you can click on the “Filter based on criteria” option and filter the keywords or time frame of the email. You can further narrow down your search by clicking on the “Select message types to search” option and selecting the “Email” option. Once you have chosen the appropriate filters, click on the “Next” option.
- Now, go to the “In-Place Hold” settings and click on the “Finish” option. It will start the search for the emails you’re looking for based on the selected criteria.
- After that, go to “In-Place eDiscovery & Hold,” find the search list you have just made, select it, and click on the “Export to a PST File” option.
- Once the “eDiscovery PST Export Tool” opens, click on the “Browse” option. Select a location to restore the .pst files and click on the “Start” option.
- Next, the application will ask you to re-enter your admin login credentials. Enter the credentials to continue to the next step. After that, all the files will be downloaded in .pst format in the location of your choice.
- Now, open the desktop app of Microsoft Outlook on your computer and click on the “File” tab. After that, navigate to Open & Export > Open Outlook Data File.
- Look for the .pst file you have saved and open it. You will find all the filtered emails, including the deleted Outlook emails in the file.