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Recover Deleted Items in Outlook Web App (OWA)

I’ve accidentally permanently deleted an email when using Outlook Web App (OWA). When this happens in Outlook, I can select the Folder tab and then choose: Recover Deleted Items. In OWA, there is no such tab and I can’t find the “Recover Deleted Items” button anywhere.

How can I recover deleted items in OWA?

Recover Deleted Items buttonThe Recover Deleted Items option in Outlook Web App (OWA) is indeed not directly visible but still “hidden” in a convenient and easy to remember location.

Recent improvements to Outlook on the Web (the new name for OWA in Exchange 2016 and Office 365) have made it more discoverable as well.

Outlook on the Web – Office 365 Exchange Online and Outlook.com

Select your Deleted Items folder and at the top of the message list you’ll find a link called; Need to recover email? Retrieve messages that were recently deleted or emptied from this folder.

Office 365 Exchange Online - Deleted Items - Need to recover email? Retrieve messages that were recently deleted or emptied from this folder.

Click on it and you’ll be taken to the “Recover deleted items” page via a pop-up where you can search for the deleted item. By default, nothing is shown; You’ll need to perform a search.

An alternative way to get to the same page is to right click on the Deleted Items folder and choose: Recover deleted items…

Recovered emails will be moved to the Inbox folder.

Note: For Outlook.com accounts which haven’t been migrated yet, the link to recover deleted items can be found at the bottom of the message list in the Deleted Items folder instead of at the top.

Outlook on the Web 2016 – Exchange 2016

Right click on the Deleted Items folder and choose: Recover deleted items…

Recover deleted items - Right click Delete Items folder - Outlook on the Web - Exchange 2016

After you click the command, you’ll be taken to the “Recover deleted items” page via a pop-up where you can search for the deleted item. It could be that nothing is shown directly; In that case, you’ll need to perform a search.

Recovered emails will be moved to the Inbox folder.

OWA 2013 – Exchange 2013

Right click on the Deleted Items folder and choose: Recover deleted items…

After you click the command, you’ll be taken to the “Recover deleted items” page via a pop-up where you can search for the deleted item. It could be that nothing is shown directly; In that case, you’ll need to perform a search.

Recovered emails will be moved to the Inbox folder.

Recover Deleted Items Search dialog - OWA Exchange 2013

OWA 2010 – Exchange 2010

Right click on the Deleted Items folder and choose: Recover deleted items…

After you click the command, you’ll be taken to the “Recover deleted items” page via a pop-up where you can search for the deleted item. In most cases, all your recoverable items will be shown.

You can select which folder to move the recovered message to.

Recover To Folder dialog - OWA Exchange 2010

OWA 2007 – Exchange 2007

Click on the Options button in the op right corner. In the left pane select: Deleted Items. A list of recoverable items is displayed in the “Recover Deleted Items” section.

Recovered emails will be moved to the Deleted Items folder.

Recovery tips and other things to note

When using the Recover Deleted Items feature in OWA, be aware of the following;

  • The “Recover deleted items” page opens via a pop-up so make sure you don’t block pop-ups from your Outlook on the Web page.
  • When you have the Deleted Items folder added to your Favorites list, right clicking it in the Favorites list will not show the Recover Deleted Items… command. You need to right click the Deleted Items folder in your actual Folder List of your mailbox.
  • In OWA 2013 and Outlook on the Web 2016, you may not directly see all your deleted items that you can recover. In that case, simply type your own name or the letter “a” in the Search field and execute the search; This will result in pretty much all recoverable items being shown.
  • To select multiple or all messages, you can’t use the CTRL+A shortcut but you can use the CTRL and SHIFT methods to select multiple messages with your mouse or keyboard. In OWA 2010 and later, you should also see a checkbox which you can select when you hover on a message to select multiple messages.

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