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Recover deleted items or email in Outlook Web App

When you accidentally delete an item from your Outlook Web App mailbox (the web browser version of Outlook), you can often recover it. The first place to look for a deleted item, such as an email message, calendar appointment, contact, or task is the Deleted Items folder in your mailbox. If you can't find it there, the next place to look is the Recoverable Items folder, which you can access by using the Recover Deleted Items tool.

Recover an item that's still in your Deleted Items folder

When you delete an email message, a contact, a calendar item, or a task, it's moved to the Deleted Items folder in your mailbox.. If the message is there, here's how to recover it:

  1. In a web browser, sign in to Outlook Web App using the URL provided by the person who manages email for your organization. Enter your user name and password, and then click Sign in.

  2. In your email folder list, click Deleted Items.

  3. When you find your message, do one of the following to recover it:

    • To restore a message to your inbox, right-click it, and then click Move > Inbox.

      Menu path to to use to recover item from Deleted Items folder in Outlook Web App

    • To restore a message to a different folder, right-click it, and then click Move . Select a folder location and then click Move.

  4. To recover other types of items in the Deleted Items folder, do one of the following:

    • To recover a contact, right-click it and then click Move to Contacts.

    • To recover a calendar item, right-click it and then click Move to Calendar.

    • To recover a task, right-click it and then click Move to Tasks.

  • If you delete a folder, it's moved to the Deleted Items folder and appears as a subfolder. To recover it (and all the items it contains), right-click the deleted folder, click Move, and then select a folder to move it to.

  • To make it easier to find items in the Deleted Items folder, you can sort by Type, which groups together similar types of mailbox items.

    Sort by Types in the Deleted Items folder
  • Your admin may have set up a policy to delete items from your Deleted Items folder after a certain number of days. Just like when you deleted an item, items deleted by a policy are moved to the Recoverable Items folder. So if you can't find something in your Deleted Items folder, look for it in the Recoverable Items folder. The next section shows you how.

Recover an item that's no longer in your Deleted Items folder

If you can't find an item in the Deleted Items folder, the next place to look is the Recoverable Items folder. This is a hidden folder, and it's the place where items are moved when you do one of the following things:

  • Delete an item from the Deleted Items folder.

  • Empty the Deleted Items folder.

  • Permanently delete an item by selecting it and pressing Shift+Delete.

Here's how to recover items from the Recoverable Items folder:

  1. In a web browser, sign in to Outlook Web App using the URL provided by the person who manages email for your organization. Enter your user name and password, and then click Sign in.

  2. In your email folder list, right-click Deleted Items, and then click Recover deleted items.

    Menu path to to access Recover deleted items dialog box in Outlook Web App

  3. If necessary, use the search box to find the item you want to recover.

  4. When you find the item, select it, and then click Recover.

    Outlook Web App Recover deleted items dialog box

Tip: You can recover email messages, contacts, calendar items, and tasks from the Recoverable Items folder.

Where do recovered items go?    The item is moved to its default location for the item type. This means:

  • Messages go to your Inbox.

  • Calendar items go to your Calendar.

  • Contacts go to your Contacts folder.

  • Tasks go to your Tasks folder.

  • The deleted date for an item in the Recoverable Items folder specifies when the item was originally deleted and moved to the Deleted Items folder. It's not the date the item was permanently deleted and moved to the Recoverable Items folder.

  • If you have a lot of items in the Recoverable Items folder, it may be hard to find what you're looking for because items don't have icons, and they all look very similar. Here are some tips:

    • If you're looking for a contact, look for the name of the person. Contacts also don't have a subject field.

    • If you're looking for a calendar appointment, look for an item that doesn't have a person's name or a subject line.

    • If you're looking for a contact, calendar appointment, or a task look for the text, No preview is available.

  • To recover multiple items, click the checkbox next to each item and then click Recover. The checkbox doesn't appear until you hover over it.

    Hover over a checkbox to display it; then click it to select the item

    You can also recover multiple adjacent items by clicking the checkbox for first item, holding down the Shift key, and then clicking the checkbox for the last item. When all items are selected, click Recover.

  • You also can purge items that are shown in the Recover deleted items window. Just select the item and then click Purge. But be careful, if you purge an item, you can't use the Recover Deleted Items tool to get it back. You'll have to ask your admin if they can still recover a purged item.

  • If you work for an organization, your admin may have specified how long items in the Recoverable Items folder are available for recovery. For example, there may be a policy that deletes anything that’s been in your Deleted Items folder for 30 days and another policy that lets you recover items in the Recoverable Items folder for up to another 14 days. Even after this 14 days, your admin may still be able to recover an item. If you can't find an item in the Recoverable Items folder, ask your admin if they can recover it for you.

Do you need instructions for another version of Outlook?

This article is for Outlook Web App. Using something else?

Try Outlook.com | Outlook on the web | Outlook 2016, 2013, or 2010

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