How to recover permanently deleted messages in Microsoft hosted exchange Office 365.

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Let’s face it, it happens to the best of us. We have an email message in our inbox for a long time, then we decide to delete because we’re sure we’ll no longer need it. Even though we deleted the message we still have peace of mind knowing that in the event we’ll ever need it we can always go to the Deleted folder to recover, after sometime we decide to empty the Deleted items folder and as soon as we select the Empty Folder option we’re prompted with what seems to be a scary warning: Everything in the “Deleted Items” folder will be permanently deleted. Continue?

Perhaps you have clicked on No many times but after months of never needing anything from it the Deleted items folder you’re confident this time so with no hesitation you click Yes this time. So far so good, that’s until you need a message that was permanently deleted! Luckily email services such as Microsoft Office 365 and Gmail have provided a life line in situations such as this.

When using Microsoft Office 365 you should be able to recover permanently deleted messages by logging in to your online portal, once you have your outlook web access portal open select Deleted Items from the folders menu (make sure you select Deleted Items and not Deleted Messages).

Once you have selected the Deleted Items folder a new menu will pop at the bottom of the window with the option to recover deleted emails, select Recover deleted items.

Your recoverable messages will be visible, select that message or messages you’d like to recover and click on the Recover option.

Read the pop up message and understand where the message will be restored to, if you deleted form the Deleted Items folder it will be restored there, your message will be restored and you’ll be able to breathe again.

If everything went successful you can consider yourself lucky, please understand the default deleted items retain policy as message won’t be able be recover after 30 days of being permanently deleted. This are the notes from Microsoft:


  • Items removed from your Deleted Items folder are recoverable for 30 days.
  • Email is automatically removed from the Junk Email folder after 30 days and is not recoverable.
  • If you don’t see the deleted messages you want to recover, they have probably been permanently removed from the Deleted Items folder or Junk Email folder. We don’t recommend that you use either of these folders to store your messages. If you want to store your messages in folders other than your Inbox, see Working with message folders.
  • It’s not possible to recover messages deleted from child accounts. This way, parents can be confident that when they delete messages from their children’s accounts, they stay deleted.

You must use your account to keep it active. This means you must sign in to your inbox at least once in a one-year period, otherwise we will close your inbox for you and all email will be deleted. You must sign in at least once in a five-year period to keep your Microsoft account and associated Services active. If you don’t sign in during this time, we will assume your Microsoft account is inactive and will close it for you


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