Recover deleted items in Outlook 2013

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When you accidentally delete an item from your mailbox, you can often recover it—quickly and easily. The first place to look for a deleted item—like an email message, calendar appointment, contact, and 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.

Need to recover a deleted mail folder in Outlook   ? Unfortunately, you can't recover a deleted folder and all its messages. But you can use the steps in this topic to recover the messages that were in the folder when it was deleted.

How to recover deleted email messages, calendar appointments, contacts, and tasks in Outlook

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

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

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

When you delete an email message, a contact, a calendar appointment, or a task, it's moved to the Deleted Items folder in your mailbox. It's the first place to look if you're trying to find an item that was deleted. If the item is there, here's how to recover it:

  1. In Outlook, go to your email folder list, and then click Deleted Items.

    Click Deleted Items in folders list
  2. When you find the message, right-click it, and then click Move > Other Folder

    Click Move and then click Other folder
  3. To move the message to your inbox, click Inbox, and then click OK.

    Click Inbox to move the deleted item to your inbox
  4. To recover other types of items, do one of the following:

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

    • To recover a contact, right-click it, and then click Move > Other Folder > Contacts.

    • To recover a task, right-click it, and then click Move > Other Folder > Tasks.

      Select a folder to move other types of items

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Tips for recovering items in your Deleted Items folder

  • Use the Search Deleted Items box (CTRL + E) to find the item you want to recover.

  • To find other types of items, such as deleted appointments, contacts, or tasks, sort by the Icon column.

    Sort by icons to help find items in your Deleted Items folder
  • Use the Advanced Find tool. For details, see Find a message with Instant Search.

  • If you know the approximate date when you deleted an item, add the Modified column to the Deleted Items folder view. Here's how:

    1. On the View tab, in the Current View group, click View Settings.

    2. Click Columns.

    3. In the drop down list under Select available columns from, select Date/Time fields.

    4. Select Modified and then click Add. If you want, you can change the order that the columns appear.

    5. When you finished, click OK.

    Then you can sort by the Modified column to group items deleted on a specific date. This is a good way to find messages from a deleted folder because they would all have the same modified date.

    Sort by Modified column if you know when item was deleted
  • 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.

Watch the video or follow the steps listed below the video to recover items from the Recoverable Items folder.

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

  1. In Outlook, go to your email folder list, and then click Deleted Items.

  2. Make sure Home is selected, and then click Recover Deleted Items From Server.

    Select the Deleted Items folder and click Recover Items From Server

    Important   If Recover Deleted Items From Server is greyed out or isn't there:

  3. Select the item you want to recover, click Restore Selected Items, and then click OK.

    Select an item to restore and click OK

Where do recovered items go   ? When you recover items from the Recoverable Items folder, they are moved to their default location for the item type. That means email messages go to your Inbox, calendar items go to your Calendar, contacts go to your Contacts list, and tasks go to your Tasks folder.

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Tips for recovering items in your Recoverable Items folder

  • To help you find a specific item in the Recover Deleted Items window, click the Subject, Deleted On, or From column header to sort items by that column.

    Click a column header to sort recoverable items

    Note that the Deleted On date specifies when items were permanently deleted (by using Shift + Delete) or deleted from the Deleted Items folder.

  • Sort by the Deleted On column to help find messages from a deleted folder if the folder was permanently deleted by using (by using Shift + Delete) because they would all have the same date.

  • All items in the Recoverable Items folder—including contacts, calendar items, and tasks—are represented by the same icon, which looks like an envelope.

    All item types have the same icon in the Recoverable Items folder

    If you have a lot of items in this folder, it may be hard to find what you're looking for. Here are some tips:

    • If you're looking for a contact, sort by the Subject column and look for the name of the person. You can also sort by the From column and look for blank entries because contacts don't have a From field.

    • If you're looking for a calendar appointment, sort by the From column and look for your name.

  • To recover multiple items, click Restore Selected Items, and press Ctrl as you click each item. You can also recover multiple adjacent items by clicking the first item, holding down the Shift key, and then clicking the last item you want to recover.

  • 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.

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Applies To: Outlook 2016 Preview, Outlook 2013



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