You cleaned out your email folders days ago to recover space, prevent your Outlook .pst file from corrupting, or maybe recover some disk space. Days later, you realize there was an old email or two that you need to refer to that is now gone. If your email server is using Microsoft Exchange, you may be able to restore an email that has been deleted from your Deleted Items folder.

The first step is to select the Deleted Items folder on the left navigation pane. Then, select the Folder tab from the top navigation bar. On the Folder toolbar, click Recover Deleted Items. From there, select the message you want to recover. You can select multiple items by holding down the Ctrl key as you select the emails. Press Recover Selected Items, and the emails will be restored to the folder you’re working in. Please note this does not work if your email is using POP3, IMAP or other protocol. If this is the case, the Recover Deleted Items button is greyed out. However, if you’re sure that your email is going through an Exchange Server, you may need to enable this feature by doing the following:

  1. Open the Windows Registry Editor by clicking Start > Run. From there, type “Regedit” in the dialog box.
  2. Backup the registry by selecting My Computer, then open the “File” menu and select “Export…”. Choose a location for the backup file.
  3. Browse to My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\Client\Options
  4. Create a new DWord Value named “Dumpster Always On”. Go to the Edit menu, select New, right click on DWORD Value. Set the value to “1”.

If your service provider is not using Exchange to deliver mail, your next step should be to contact them and see if they can restore your email from a backup. The chances for this are probably not very good since no ISP has the space to retain all of their emails indefinitely, but it is worth a try.


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