Outlook is one of the most prominent multi-purpose personal information management systems. It is launched by the tech giant, Microsoft, as a part of the Microsoft Office Suite. Almost all businesses make use of MS Outlook for email management, calendar scheduling, and a lot more functions. Therefore, a lot of critical data is stored in Outlook accounts. However, technology tends to lose data at certain times. We may accidentally delete some of our own data, or it may even get deleted automatically due to a technical glitch. Sometimes, this data loss may be really expensive. We may lose some of our critical folders in the process.
But what to do if you have lost all your important folders on Outlook? How to get them back? Should you contact a professional? Or, is there any way that you can carry it out on your own? Have you lost a few Outlook folders, and are these questions going on in your head right now? Don’t worry! You have reached the right place. We have answered all the questions mentioned above in this article. We have listed out a few methods that can help you get back all of your deleted folders. Just keep reading to find the perfect solution to recover your Outlook folders –
Method 1 – Recovering Deleted Outlook Folders from Deleted Items Folder
What is the Deleted Items Folder?
In many cases, you may tend to accidentally delete some of your Outlook Folders. On the other hand, you may have even deleted a folder on purpose, and changed your mind later. In both these cases, you want to get your lost folders back from Outlook.
It is impossible to avoid human errors. Therefore, to cope with such accidental errors, many applications offer in-built data recovery solutions. Similar to the Recycle Bin on your computer or like the Trash folder in Gmail, Outlook has a dedicated folder called the Deleted Items. If you accidentally or purposely delete something on Outlook — an email, a contact, or even a folder, it temporarily moves to the Deleted Items folder. It stays there for a few days, during which you can restore it whenever you want. However, it gets permanently deleted after a period of time. After this, you cannot get your deleted items back from this folder.
How to Recover Data from this Folder?
In this method, we will be checking the Deleted Items folder in Outlook for the folder that you are searching. If it is there, you can easily recover it. However, you cannot recover the entire deleted folder from this Deleted Items folder. But, you can recover every item that was previously present in that folder. Here is how you can get back all the contents of your folder –
- Open the MS Outlook application on your device (Either the application on your PC or your mobile application).
- On the side panel, you will find a list of all the available email folders (like Inbox, Drafts etc.,). Open Deleted Items from this list.
- Search for the particular contact, email, task, or calendar that you want to recover. To make things more easy, you can even use the Search bar to the top of the page (Ctrl + E) or the Sort by Icon column to group all the contacts together.
- Once you find the item that you are looking for, Right Click on it. From the options listed down, click on Move and then select Other Folder.
- A list of all available folders will appear. Select the location where you want to move your selected items. If you want, you can also create a new folder here.
That’s it. You have now successfully restored all your deleted items from the Deleted Items folder to your destination folder. However, in some cases, you may not find your lost items in the Deleted Items folder. This may be because your data has crossed the threshold period and is now permanently deleted. Likewise, you may have even cleared the Deleted Items folder before recovering your data. In such cases, this method does not work for you. Keep reading to find the next suitable method.
Method 2 – Restoring your Outlook Folders from Recoverable Items Folder
What is the Recoverable Items Folder?
If you cannot find your deleted data in the Deleted Items folder, they may have probably been moved to the Recoverable Items folder. The Recoverable Items is a hidden folder. If you perform any of the actions mentioned below, Outlook moves your data to the Recoverable Items folder –
- Deleted a single contact from the Deleted Items Folder.
- Cleared or Emptied the Deleted Items Folder.
- Permanently Deleted a contact by clicking Shift + Del.
How can you Recover Items from the Folder?
So, if you have done any of the things mentioned above, your data is now probably present in the Recoverable Items folder. As mentioned before, the Recoverable Items folder is hidden. Here is what you should do to find it and recover all contents from it –
- Open the MS Outlook application from your device (PC).
- On the side panel to your left, you will find a list of all the email folders available (like Inbox, Drafts etc.,). Open Deleted Items from the list.
- Make sure that you select the Home Tab (There is a list of all tabs on the top).
- Now click on Recover Deleted Items from Server from the options that are listed below Home.
- A list of all the recoverable data will now appear. Find the specific data item that you want to recover. To make things easier, click on the Subject header to sort all the items in that column.
- Select the particular item that you want to recover. Now check the Restore Selected Items radio button given below.
- Hit Ok.
After you restore them, all these data items are now moved to the Deleted Items folder. Go back to the folder and carry out all steps listed in Method 1.
If your Recover Deleted Items from the Server option is greyed out or if it is disabled, then you may be offline. Try enabling an internet connection. If it does not work, then you might not be using an Exchange Account. You can use this method only if you have an Exchange Account.
Method 3 – Recovering your Deleted Outlook Data through Backup Files
Have you already taken a backup of the folder that you lost? If you have a backup file, then it is extremely easy to get back your data! You just need to import the PST file into your account and all your deleted data will be back in no time! Here is how you can import your backup –
- Open MS Outlook application from your device (PC).
- Go to File from your Outlook Menu.
- Click on Open & Export. Now, from the options that are listed, choose Import/Export. If you are using a 2007 or 2003 version of MS Outlook, go to File and then Import and Export.
- Now, select Import from another program or file and then click Next.
- Depending upon the version of the Outlook Application that you use, select Outlook Data File (.PST) or Personal Folder File (PST).
- Click on Next.
- Now, select the location of your backup file. If you want to change the location, click on Browse, and then locate your PST file.
- From the next set of options, select any of the following –
- Replace duplicates with items imported — If it finds any duplicate item, it replaces those items with the items in this file.
- Allow duplicates to be created — Imports all the data and makes multiple copies of the data that are redundant.
- Do not import duplicates — It does not import any duplicate data, and they remain in the backup.
- Click on Next.
- Select all other options — whether to create subfolders, location of subfolders and other similar things.
- After setting up all options, click on Finish.
You haven’t taken a backup of your data earlier? Then this method does not suit you. However, there are other methods to help you that are listed below. Keep reading them to find the best fit.
Method 5 – Using Third-Party Recovery Software for Outlook Folder Recovery
If you have tried out every method listed above, and you cannot recover your data even then, then there may be nothing more that you can do. However, if your data is extremely important and costs you a lot, then you can opt for getting professional help. There are a number of professional recovery tools available that offer to help you recover your data. Still, not all of them are trustworthy. When you put in a lot of money on something like this, you must trust the service. A reputed Data Recovery Service like EaseUs can easily bring back your lost Outlook folders. Just follow the steps mentioned below and EaseUs will help you with your files –
- Download and Install EaseUs Data Recovery Tool.
- Launch the software.
- Select the location where you previously stored your Outlook Folder. Once you select the location and click on Scan, EaseUs will start scanning your location for deleted items.
- To speed up the process, you can use the filters available to select the type of documents you are looking for.
- A list of all the recoverable files will appear here. You can also preview the files.
- Select the files and emails that you want to recover and click on Recover.
- Save the recovered items into a new folder in a different location.
That’s it. You have now successfully recovered all the contents of your deleted folder! If this hasn’t worked for you, then try out the next method to get your files back.
Method 6 — Contacting the MS Outlook Support Team
If you have tried all the above methods, and still cannot recover your deleted data, then this may mean that Outlook has permanently deleted your files. There is almost no possibility to get your files back. However, there is one possible method that can help you out – the Microsoft Support Team. You can try contacting the Microsoft Support Team and request them to give your contacts back. Here is how you do it –
- Visit the official MS Outlook Support page.
- Type in your problem in the search box to the top of the page.
- As you start entering the problem, a list of suggested queries appear below. If your problem is listed, open it. A collection of official articles to help you solve your problem appears below. Read the desirable document and follow all the instructions that are listed below.
However, there is no guarantee that you will get back all your lost files. Even though, there is no harm in trying out every method possible.