How to Recover Deleted Outlook Emails in Office 365? (With Screenshots)

How to Recover Deleted Outlook Emails in Office 365? (With Screenshots)

By Annu Palathingal
Published : 7 February, 2019 | Last Modified : 13 October, 2021 | Recover, Restore

Did you know that 67% of all data loss incidents happen due to system failure while 14% happen due to user error?

With the help of a good restore tool, you can easily recover deleted emails in Office 365.

This article covers all the methods by which you can retrieve lost Outlook emails.

Introduction to Outlook Recovery

Outlook had over 400 million active users and 155 million monthly active Office 365 business users by the end of 2018. With so many people using Outlook for their business needs, there is a large amount of data that is at risk of loss due to various reasons like user error or system malfunction. There are various methods in which users can recover deleted Office 365 emails.

Recovering deleted emails in Outlook depend on two factors:

1. If you have a backup

2. If you don’t have a backup

How Long Are Deleted Emails Stored in Office 365?

Deleted emails and email folders are stored in the “Deleted Items” folder for 30 days. After 30 days the emails will be permanently deleted from this folder.

How Do You Recover Deleted Emails in Office 365?

Recently deleted Outlook emails can be recovered from the “Deleted Items” folder.

The steps for recovering files from the “Deleted Items” folder slightly differs in the Outlook desktop app and Outlook online.

How Do You Retrieve Deleted Emails from Outlook Desktop App?

If an email is accidentally deleted from the Outlook inbox, it can be easily recovered from the Office 365 “Deleted items” folder within 30 days of deletion.

Follow these steps to recover your emails:

  • Step 1: Log in to your Outlook account.
  • Step 2: Navigate to the “Deleted Items” folder on the left pane.
  • Step 3: Select the email that you want to restore.
  • Step 4: Click on the “Recover” or “Recoverable” option on the menu bar.

Now the deleted email is recovered back to the inbox.

NoteStep 4 can also be carried out by right-clicking the desired email and selecting the “Restore” option.

How to Recover Deleted Outlook Email Folder?

Recovering a deleted email folder is very similar to recovering deleted emails from the “Deleted Items” folder.

The deleted folder will appear as a subfolder in the “Deleted Items” folder.

  • Step 1: Navigate to the left pane to the “Deleted Items” folder.
  • Step 2: Click on the drop-down menu next to the folder.

This will show all the folders that were deleted

  • Step 3: Right-click on the folder you want to recover and select the “move” option.
  • Step 4: Select a folder to which you want to restore or create a subfolder in an existing folder.
  • Step 5: Click on “Move”.

Can You Recover Permanently Deleted Outlook Emails?

Yes, you can recover permanently deleted Outlook emails. When an email is purged from the “Deleted Items” folder, it becomes permanently deleted. But it’s not gone forever yet.

The deleted email will be then stored in a “Recoverable Items” folder. This is a second-stage recycle bin from where you can easily restore the email back to its original position.

How Long Does Outlook Keep Permanently Deleted Emails?

The permanently deleted emails will be available in the “Recoverable Items” folder for 30 days, after which they will be irretrievably deleted.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Outlook Emails from Server

If an email is permanently deleted from the “Deleted Items” folder, it can be restored from the “Recoverable Items” folder. This second stage recycle bin retains permanently deleted emails in Outlook for 30 days from the day of deletion.

Follow these steps to restore an email that was deleted from the Outlook Office 365 “Deleted Items” folder:

  • Step 1: Navigate to the “Deleted Items” folder on the left pane of the screen.
  • Step 2: Click on the link “Recover items recently deleted from this folder” – for Outlook desktop – or Click on the button “Recover the deleted items” at the bottom of the screen – for Outlook online.

This will take you to the Recoverable Items folder.

Note: The “Recoverable Items” folder cannot be directly accessed. It can only be accessed through the “Deleted Items” folder.

  • Step 3: Select the email to be recovered, and click on the button “Recover” or “Restore”.

This will restore the email back to its original folder.

How Do You Recover Permanently Deleted Emails in Office 365 – When You Have Data Backup

Users can recover deleted Outlook emails long after losing them provided there is a backup of the emails.

Deleted emails can be recovered from:

1. Archive folder

2. eDiscovery tool

3. Third-party tools

To know about Outlook backup, click here.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Outlook Emails in Office 365 from the Archive Folder?

The Outlook desktop client has an “AutoArchive” feature that will retain the emails depending on the retention settings that was given. The deleted emails will then be available in the “Archive” folder even if it was deleted from the mailbox.

Follow these steps to recover deleted emails from the Outlook Archive folder:

  • Step 1: Open your Outlook desktop client and navigate to the “Archive” option on the left pane.
  • Step 2: Right-click on the desired email and select the “Move to” option from the drop-down menu and select the option “Other folder”.
  • Step 3: Choose a folder to which you want to restore the email and click “Ok”.

The emails will be restored to the specified folder.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Outlook Emails in Office 365 Using eDiscovery?

The eDiscovery tool is generally used to identify and collect electronically stored data to be produced as evidence during litigation or other government investigations.

This tool can also be indirectly used to recover deleted emails in Outlook that was previously held using the “litigation hold” feature. Using eDiscovery the administrator can search for the held Outlook data even after user deletions or modifications.

How to Search for Data Using eDiscovery?

Administrators, follow these steps to search for deleted emails in Outlook:

  • Step 1: Log in to Microsoft Office 365.
  • Step 2: Click on the Grid icon on the upper left side of the menu bar and select the “Admin” option.

You will now be taken to the admin center.

  • Step 3: Click on the option “Admin centers” on the left pane.
  • Step 4: Navigate to the “Security & Compliance” option from the drop-down menu.
  • Step 5: Click on the “Search & Investigation” menu on the left pane.
  • Step 6: Select the eDiscovery option from the drop-down menu.
  • Step 7: Open the required “case”.
  • Step 8: Navigate to the “Search” module on the menu bar and select the option “+ New search”.
  • Step 9: Type in the keywords to identify the desired emails and click on “+ Add conditions” option for a more filtered search.
  • Step 10: Choose the radio button “Locations on hold” and click on “Save & run” to start the search.
  • Step 11: Next, give the search a name and click on the Save button. (This will help you later access the same search results without the hassle of entering the filters all over again.)

Note: The search might take a few seconds to a few minutes depending on the size of the data held in the account.

After completion, the results retrieved will be given as a list →as shown below.

How to Export the Retrieved Data?

Once you have identified the email that you were looking for, you can export it as a pst file – Outlook data file – using the export module.

To export the retrieved emails right after the search, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Click on the “More” option on the toolbar and select the option “Export results” from the drop-down menu.
  • Step 2: Next, review all the settings and click on the “Export” button.
  • Step 3: Copy the Export key that appears on the screen to your clipboard and click on the “Download results” button at the top of the screen to export the retrieved data.

Note: To download these results, your internet browser must be either Microsoft edge or Internet Explorer. Clicking on the Download results button will download an application file to install the eDiscovery export tool.

  • Step 4: Install the eDiscovery export tool in your system.

Once the application is installed,

  • Step 5: Paste the export key in the tool.
  • Step 6: Next, specify the location where the downloaded data should be stored.
  • Step 7: Click on the Start button.

Note: The time taken to download the data will depend on its size. Caution: Users cannot restore emails using the eDiscovery module. Deleted or lost emails can only be exported and stored in an external drive.

How to Recover Deleted Office 365 Emails Using Third-Party Tools?

The native features discussed above are not programmed to exclusively backup your data or easily restore them. As a result, they are neither fully effective nor user-friendly for backup.

There are third-party tools designed solely for backup and restore. They are an easier and reliable option to back up your data and restore effortlessly.

SysCloud is a third-party tool that offers a fully automated cloud to cloud backup and restore service. It uses the top trusted cloud storage solutions like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform to store the backed up data.

Using SysCloud, IT administrators can back up and restore data in just a few clicks.

Follow these steps to restore your data using SysCloud.

  • Step 2: Navigate to the “Backup” option on the menu bar and select “Archive & Restore” option from the drop-down menu.

A list of users whose data have already been backed up and the daily backup progress will appear on the screen.

  • Step 3: Click on the user(s) whose data needs to be restored.

The page will list all the data of the user(s), including the emails that have been backed up. Tip: Using SysCloud you can either restore all the emails or a particular email.

  • Step 4: Select the email(s) to be restored.
  • Step 5: Click on the button “Restore” and choose the option “Selected Items” – to restore selected emails – or “Select All” option – to restore all emails.
  • Step 6: Verify the email address and click on the “Restore” button to restore the email(s) back to the specified inbox.

All the emails are now restored to its original folders.