How to recover deleted emails

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It’s possible that the messages you want are still in your mailbox but not in the location you are expecting. So your first step is a complete mailbox search.


  • Try searching in both Outlook and Outlook on the web. If you normally use a different email client, then use Outlook on the web to perform the search
  • Ensure you select Entire Mailbox in the search criteria
  • Use Advanced Search options, such as From, To, Subject as keywords

When you delete a message, it is moved to the Deleted Items folder. If you do nothing, the deleted item will stay there for 90 days. After that, it is automatically removed.

In some cases, deleted items may not be kept for 90 days, for example if you manually delete them before that, and configure Outlook to delete them each time you log off.

Assuming the message you want is still in your Deleted Items folder, you can easily restore it:

  1. Click on the Deleted Items folder
  2. Select the messages you want to recover and click Restore
  3. The message is restored to the folder from where it was deleted

If the lost item is not in your Deleted Items folder, you might still be able to recover it. When items are removed from the Deleted Items folder, they are kept in the Recover Deleted Items store for a further 30 days and you can still access them.

Note: To access the Recoverable Items folder you must use a Windows or macOS computer.

  1. Click on the Deleted Items folder
  2. Select Recover Deleted Items from Server from the ribbon (in web versions of Outlook select Recover items deleted from this folder at the top of the message list)
  3. Select the messages you want to recover and click Restore
  4. The message is restored to the folder from where it was deleted


  • If you have deleted entire folders and are trying to recover them from the Deleted Items folder you must ensure that you are in Folder List view  or you won’t be able to see them in the Deleted Items folder
  • If you delete an entire folder, you will be able to see it in  the Deleted Items folder, but the Recover Deleted Items container is not aware of the folder structure. This means you won’t see the deleted folder listed but there will be lots of items deleted at the time you deleted the folder

If the files are not present in the Deleted Items folder or in the Recoverable Items store then it may be possible to recover the Purges folder. The Purges folder is a hidden folder in a user’s mailbox that contains items for 30 days from the point that they passed through the Recoverable Items store into the Purges folder. The Purges folder can only be recovered by the Nexus Team and this service requires you to complete a Data Recovery Service Request.There is a cost for this service.

Note: The Nexus team will supply you with a PST file

The Nexus team can only export the Purges the folder in the format of a .PST file. This will be passed to the requestor to open with an email client and the requestor will need to search through the purges folder to locate the missing items themselves and then add these back into their own mailbox, if the file exists. The Nexus Team cannot search the Purges folder prior to carrying out the export to confirm that the files are present.


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