What happens to my deleted email

Recover Deleted Email Messages in Outlook.com

If you accidentally delete an email message from your Outlook.com emails, you can restore those items if they are still in your Deleted Items or Junk E-Mail folder. In some cases, you can even restore items after the Deleted Items folder has been emptied.

Hints:

  • Emails are automatically deleted from your Deleted Items folder after 30 days.

  • Items removed from the Deleted Items folder can be restored for 30 days.

  • Emails are automatically deleted from the Junk Email folder after 10 days.

  • If you don't see the deleted messages that you want to recover, it is likely that they were permanently deleted from the Deleted Items folder or the Junk E-mail folder. You shouldn't use any of these folders to store messages. If you'd like to save your messages in folders other than Inbox, see Working with Message Folders.

  • It is not possible to recover messages deleted from children's accounts. This way, parents can be confident that messages deleted from their children's accounts will remain deleted.

  • You'll need to use your Outlook.com account to keep it active. This means that you need to sign in to your Outlook.com inbox at least once every year, otherwise we'll close your Outlook.com inbox for you and all email will be deleted. You must sign up at least once in a five-year period for your Microsoft account and related services to remain active. If you don't sign in during this time, we'll assume your Microsoft account is inactive and will be closed for you. Additional Information.

Recover an email that is still in the Deleted Items or Junk E-mail folder

When you delete a message (email message, email folder, contact, calendar item, or task), it is moved to the Deleted Items folder.

  1. In the left pane, select the Deleted Items folder or the Junk E-mail folder.

    Note: The contents of deleted folders are only displayed when you open the folder Deleted elements expand:

  2. Do one of the following:

    • "Deleted Items" folder: Select the message that you want to recover. To recover all messages, select the circle after Deleted Items and then Recover out.

      Hints:

      • You can only select all when all messages are visible. This is to prevent accidental actions from being displayed on messages that are not displayed.

      • Ctrl + clickselects individual messages, SHIFT + click selects everything between two clicks.

      • Messages that were in a deleted folder can only be recovered by Move in then select a folder that has not been deleted.

    • Junk Email Folder: Choose the message you want to recover, and then choose No junk email out.

Recovering an email that was removed from the Deleted Items folder

If you can't find the item you want in the Deleted Items folder, the next step is to look in the Recoverable Items folder.

Note: If you are using a mobile browser, you cannot access the Recoverable Items folder. To access the Recoverable Items folder, please use a PC or Mac.

  1. In the left pane, select the Deleted Items folder.

  2. At the top of the message list, select Recover items deleted from this folder out.

  3. Choose the message you want to recover, and then choose Restore out.

    Hints:

    • You can only select all when all messages are visible. This is to prevent accidental actions from being displayed on messages that are not displayed.

    • CTRL + click selects individual messages, SHIFT + click selects everything between two clicks.

Where will the recovered items be saved? The items you want to restore will be restored to their original folders whenever possible. If an original folder no longer exists, items are restored as follows:

  • The messages are placed in the inbox.

  • Calendar items are placed on your calendar.

  • Contacts are placed in your contacts folder.

  • Tasks are placed in your tasks folder.

Prevent your Deleted Items folder from being emptied every time you log out of Outlook.com

Outlook.com can empty your Deleted Items folder every time you log out. How to change this setting

  1. At the top of the page, select> View full settingsSettings > Show all Outlook settings out.

  2. Choose Message handling off.

  3. Deactivate under When logging out the check box next to Empty the "Deleted Items" folder.

Do you need more help?

Note: You need to sign up first to get assistance. If you can't sign in, go to Account Support.

See also

Organize your inbox with Archive, Cleanup, and other tools in Outlook.com

Search email and contacts in Outlook.com

Delete email in Outlook.com