I often tell people that deleting email, especially large emails, is the best way to keep their mailbox under its size limit. But occasionally, people (myself included) delete an email or other Outlook item, then realize it was important. If you haven’t emptied your Deleted Items folder yet, then getting the item back is a breeze– just find it in the Deleted Items folder and drag it to the folder it belongs in. But if you’ve already emptied the Deleted Items folder, things get a bit trickier.

Some items can be recovered even after the Deleted Items folder has been emptied, depending on the kind of item and how long it has been since you emptied the folder. The amount of time you have to recover an item depends on your Exchange Administrator.

Recover Deleted Items in Outlook 2010

  1. Select your Deleted Items folder.
  2. Go to the File tab on the ribbon.
  3. In the Clean Up group click Recover Deleted Items.
  4. Select the item(s) you would like to recover.
  5. Click Recover Selected Items.

Recover Deleted Items in Outlook 2007 

  1. Select your Deleted Items folder.
  2. Go to Tools > Recover Deleted Items…
  3. Select the item(s) you would like to recover.
  4. Click the Recover selected items button.

Please note: These instructions only apply to items sent to the Deleted Items folder and then emptied from it. If you deleted an item using the Shift + Delete shortcut (not recommended), or if you deleted an attachment but not the email, you cannot recover them through this method.

Related Items

Outlook 2010′s Clean Up Feature

Reduce Inbox Spam in Outlook

Keep Under Your Mailbox Limit by Deleting Attachments

Keeping Track of Where You Save Outlook Attachments

Send Email Without Saving It in Outlook 2007 & 2010