Restore deleted email messages in Outlook.com or Outlook on the web

Note: Sign in to Outlook on the web using any Microsoft account, including email accounts ending in @outlook.com, @live.com, @hotmail.com or @msn.com — and Office 365 work or student accounts.

This article is for Outlook on the web. Using something else?

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When you accidentally delete an email message from your Outlook on the web email, you can recover those items if they're still in your Deleted Items folder, and in some cases, you can even recover items after the Deleted Items folder is emptied. You can also recover deleted contacts.

Need to recover a deleted mail folder in Outlook on the web?    You can recover a deleted folder (with all of its messages) if it's still in your Deleted Items folder. Unfortunately, you can't recover a folder that's been permanently deleted. But you can use the steps in this topic to recover messages from the Recoverable Items folder that were in a folder when it was permanently deleted.

How to recover email and contacts in Outlook on the web

Recover email that’s still in your Deleted Items folder

Recover email that’s no longer in your Deleted Items folder

Recover a deleted contact

Empty the Deleted Items folder when you sign out

Recover email 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 you're trying to find a message that was deleted, the Deleted Items folder is the first place to look. If the message is there, here's how to recover it:

  1. In your email folder list, select Deleted Items and do one of the following:

    • To restore a message to your Inbox, right-click the item and then select Move > Inbox.

      Recover and move an email to your inbox

    • To restore a message to a different folder, right-click the item, and select Move > Move to a different folder. Next specify a folder location, and then select Move.

Tip: 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.

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Recover email 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 your email folder list, select Deleted Items and then select Recover deleted items.

    Recover deleted items from Deleted Items folder

  2. Select the item you want, and then select Recover.

    Recover deleted items

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.

Note: You also can purge items that are shown in the Recover deleted items dialog box. Select the item, and then select Purge. If you purge an item, you can't use Recover deleted items to get it back.

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Recover a deleted contact

  1. Select People from the app launcher.

    People

  2. Select the Manage drop-down and then select Restore deleted contacts

  3. Select the contact(s) you want to restore and then select Recover.

    Recover deleted contacts

  4. Select OK on the confirmation message that appears.

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Empty the Deleted Items folder when you sign out

When you delete a message, it’s first moved to the Deleted Items folder. You can let messages stay there until you remove them or you can set Outlook on the web to automatically empty your Deleted Items folder each time you sign out.

To empty the Deleted Items folder when you sign out:

  1. Select Settings Settings icon > Options, which opens the Options panel on the left. Under Mail, select Message options.

  2. Select the Empty the Deleted Items folder when I sign out check box, and then select Save.

    Empty Deleted Items folder when you sign out

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What else do I need to know?

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