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Thursday, 24 January 2013
1/24/2013 08:45:00 pm 0

How to recover hard deleted mails from Outlook?


While using Outlook, when we delete an item from mailbox, it goes to the 'Deleted Items' folder and if empty the ‘Deleted Items' folder where does it go? The answer is DUMPSTER.

But when you delete the items directly using “SHIFT+DEL” then, it bypasses 'Deleted Items' folder such type of mail deletion is termed as 'hard deletion'. When a mail is hard deleted then, it goes to ‘hidden dumpster’ and remains there till the retention period.  

'Hard deletion' occurs when:
  • A mail is directly deleted using “Shift+Delete” without going to 'Deleted Items' folder. . 
  • The user uses the Email client that doesn't move the deleted items to the Deleted Items folder. E.g. while using Internet Message Access Protocol 4 (IMAP4) & Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3), the mails are directly deleted as there is no ‘Deleted Items’ folder where deleted items can be moved.
  • When you are working with OST file(in offline mode i.e. its not synchronized with Exchange),delete an item from inbox or some other mailbox folder and then remove the deleted from 'Deleted Items folder' without synchronizing the OST file with Exchange, In that case the mail item is hard deleted. 
How to recover hard deleted mail from Outlook?
1.If you are running Outlook 2007, Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2002
Then, Go to the “Fix it for me” section to fix the problem automatically.

2.If you are running an earlier version of Outlook
Then, Go to the “Let me fix it myself” section to fix this problem.

1.Fix it for me :
  • Go to Microsoft Support "Fix It" page. 
  • Click "Fix this problem".
  • File download will begin after clicking “Fix this problem" link.
  • Once the download completes, save the downloaded file to your "Desktop" and then "Run" it.
  • After that "Fix It Wizard" opens, you need to follow the step by step procedure. 
  • Once you are done with the "Fix It Wizard" Restart Outlook application.
  • Then, check the "Deleted Items" folder, now the deleted mail items will appear there.
2. Let me fix it myself:
By default the ‘Recover Deleted Items’ functionality (from the tools menu) is only enabled on the ‘Deleted Items’ folder. To enable the ‘Recover Deleted Items’ functionality on mail folders other than the ‘Deleted Items’ folder you need to make some registry changes to set ‘DumpsterAlwaysOn’ Registry value to 1.
Value name: DumpsterAlwaysOn 
Value type: REG_DWORD 
Value: 1

The ‘DumpsterAlwaysOn’ Registry key location varies for different versions of Outlook.


By settings the “DumpsterAlwaysOn” Registry key value, you can access the hidden dumpster that makes you access the hard deleted mail items. In my next article, I am going to discuss the step by step process to make the required registry changes to set “DumpsterAlwaysOn” registry key value.

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