How to Recover Permanently Deleted Emails from Outlook

admin | June 6th, 2017 | MS Outlook

Microsoft Outlook

Outlook is an email client software which enables users to send and receive messages on their systems. It is a personal information manager which includes calendar, contact manager, task manager, and journal etc. Outlook can be used as a standalone utility or can be work with Microsoft Exchange Server.

It is common to accidentally delete a group of emails while cleaning mailbox. But the worst thing happens with anyone is while managing mailbox they accidentally perform Shift+Delete on important mails. One question arises in every user’s mind is how to recover permanently deleted emails from Outlook. Is is not an easy task for the users if they don’t have deep knowledge of Microsoft Outlook and Exchange. So in this article, we will describe is it possible to recover hard deleted emails? If yes, then how to recover permanently deleted emails in an absolute manner.

Restore Hard Deleted Emails in Outlook

Retrieving permanently deleted emails in Outlook is possible. To make it possible your organization Exchange Server Administrator must have Turned on Deleted Items Recovery on the server side. This is because of the data items that are deleted using shift+delete are kept in Recoverable Item Folder for 14 days.

How Long the Hard Deleted Emails Kept in Exchange

The retention period to recover permanently deleted emails is 30 days for Exchange Online Mailboxes.

Compact Option in Outlook

Outlook has a helpful Compact tool which helps you to reduce the size of your Outlook data files.

Why you need to Compact Outlook Files

In Outlook when you delete an item it will move to your Deleted Items folder. This folder can be very useful if you delete an item accidentally. Simply go to Deleted Items folder and move it back to where it came from. These deleted items remain in this folder until you Empty your Deleted Items.

Do this by selecting to Empty Deleted Items or it performed automatically if you have set the option to empty deleted items upon exit from Outlook.

But there is an important thing i.e. when you finally empty your deleted items folder, those items are no longer visible. Once the space of those items occupied are still actually taking the same amount of space in your data file.

It is commonly referred as “White Space” in the data file. It is a place-holder for a previous entry that is still taking up space but does not contain any actual data. To resolve this problem there is a Compact utility which reduces the number of spaces which data files are occupied.

Steps to Compact MS Outlook 2013 Files

  1.  Open Microsoft Outlook and go to File menu.
  2.  With this “File Menu” move to Info and select the “Account Setting”.
  3.  Now, from the appearing window Go to Data Files and click Settings.
  4.  Here you can see the numerous information about the selected data file such as File name, Name, etc. Then go to compact now option and begin the process.

Case 1: Recover Deleted Items from the Outlook Deleted Item Folder

To recover from Deleted item folder follow the steps given below:

  1.  Open MS Outlook.
  2.  Navigate to the folder list of emails and select the deleted folder.
  3.  Now look for the message if there is a message so right-click on the message and select the move option and then choose another folder.
  4.  To move the message back to Inbox so click on Inbox option and click OK.
  5.  Using the same process you can also restore the other data items like Calendar, Contacts, etc of Microsoft Outlook.


It is an inbox tool provided by Microsoft Outlook. It is used to identify the problems in the PST file and fix it. It looks only at the personal folder files to check whether data has been corrupted or other errors require repair. ScanPST runs automatically to fix the problem and one of the best thing about ScanPST is it runs repeatedly until it says there is no more error in the PST file. The inbox repair tool will not show the progress bar but it will be working in the background. It depends on the size of PST file and once the process complete you will get a message for the repair completion.

Case 2: Recover Permanently Deleted Emails Using Hex Editor and Scanpst.exe Tool

Microsoft provides the free tool to help the Outlook users namely “scanpst.exe” which helps to resolve normal corruption from the .pst file. You can also use scanpst to recover hard deleted emails from MS Outlook. It searches the items flagged as deleted and rebuilds the connection after scanning. When you use this tool it checks every item folder such as Sub Folder, Message etc.

But keep in mind that if you are using this tool to recover permanently deleted emails so you must use Hex Editor before using scanpst.exe.”

Steps to Recover Hard Deleted Emails

  1. Create a duplicate copy of Outlook PST.
  2.  Download and Open Hex Editor.
  3.  Open the PST file which you want to recover emails with Hex Editor.
  4.  Select the value which started from 07 to next 13 to go Edit and then File selection and click OK.
  5.  This will replace all value by 00.
  6.  Save PST file after clearing the positions, now you have a corrupted PST file.
  7.  Run the scanpst.exe utility.
  8.  Browse and scan corrupt PST.
  9.  Repair PST
  10. Open the PST file and check the deleted items.


Retrieving permanently deleted emails from outlook in not an easy task. There are two ways of recovering. First is to recover soft deleted items from the “Outlook Deleted Item folder” and the other one is to recover permanently deleted items by using Hex Editor and Scanpst.