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Recovering deleted Hotmail/Outlook.com messages

It seems that the Deleted Items folder and the Junk E-mail folder of Hotmail and Outlook.com accounts get emptied automatically after some time.

Unfortunately, a message got delivered to one of these folders and since I wasn’t able to check my mail for some time, I never got a chance to move it back to my Inbox.

Is there any way to recover these automatically deleted emails somehow?

The Deleted Items and Junk E-mail folders are indeed emptied on a regular basis by the Hotmail / Outlook.com servers but each item is kept at least for 10 days in these folders before it gets deleted automatically.

However, similar to the Recover Deleted Items feature for Exchange accounts, you can also recover the items that got deleted from your Deleted Items and Junk E-mail folder (and any other folder) from your Hotmail or Outlook.com account.

You can also use this method in case you (inadvertently) configured your Hotmail or Outlook.com account as a POP3 account, forgot to set the leave a copy on the server option and now have an empty Inbox folder.

Use the web interface

To recover the deleted items, you’ll need to use the web interface to access your Hotmail or Outlook.com mailbox. You cannot do this from within Outlook itself.

Once logged on, select your Deleted Items folder. At the bottom of this folder, you’ll find the following links to recover deleted items:

Lost a message? When you recover deleted messages, we bring back as many as wel can. Learn more

When you click on the “recover deleted messages” link, all messages which can be recovered will be placed in your Deleted Items folder.

We brought back every message we could. Please move anything you want to keep since the Deleted folder is emptied periodically. How'd we do? It worked | It didn't work

When there is nothing to recover, you’ll get the following message instead:

Sorry, we've tried our best, but unfortunately there are no mails to recover. Learn more

Extra tip: Tweaking your Junk E-mail settings

If proper messages get delivered to your Junk E-mail folder on a regular basis, you might want to review your Junk E-mail settings in the web interface of your Hotmail or Outlook.com account as well.

To do this, click on the gear icon in the top right corner (on the left side of your name). From the menu that opens, select “More mail settings”. In the section “Prevent junk email”, there options to set how strict the filter is and to maintain safe and blocked senders lists.



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