Summary: If deleted emails are not deleted permanently and come back in Outlook, it indicates a problem with the Outlook email client or the Offline Outlook data file (OST), preventing synchronization. To resolve this issue in Outlook 2010, 2013, 2016, or 2019, you can follow the methods discussed in this blog. However, if the problem isn’t resolved, we recommend you reinstall Outlook, reconfigure your profile, and use an OST converter tool to restore any missing mail items from your orphaned Offline Outlook data file (OST).
Did you know that deleting emails can also help save our planet? According to a study by McAfee, an average spam email causes emissions equivalent to 0.3 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2). In 2008, 62 trillion spam emails were sent. Can you imagine the numbers in 2022?
Deleting emails in Outlook that are not important or you don’t want to retain anymore helps free up the mailbox storage on a server, organize mail items, and reduce clutter. Besides, deleting unnecessary or spam emails from your mailbox also reduces the Offline Outlook data file size (.OST) and helps improve Outlook performance (learn more).
If some emails are important, you can backup or archive them and then delete them permanently from your Outlook email account to efficiently conserve the mailbox storage.
But what you may not know is that when you delete emails in Outlook, they aren’t deleted immediately but move to Deleted Items folder, where they may stay for up to 30 days before getting purged automatically.
Thus, if you want to permanently remove the deleted emails from your mailbox and shrink the OST file size, you must empty the Deleted Items folder.
However, if the deleted emails are coming back after deleting and emptying the Deleted Items folder, it could be due to synchronization issues caused by an incompatible or faulty plug-in or damaged Outlook OST data file that stores the mailbox items.
In this blog, you will learn methods to resolve the issue where deleted emails are coming back in Outlook.
Below are some simple methods that you can easily follow to resolve deleted emails coming back in Outlook.
To find out if a faulty or incompatible add-in causes the deleted emails issue in Outlook, follow these steps,
You need to disable the add-ins one at a time and then observe the Outlook client. If the deleted emails are coming back. Repeat the steps to disable another add-in and so on until you find out the faulty add-in. Follow the next method if the add-ins are not the culprit behind the issue.
If you are deleting emails from a particular email folder and coming back in Outlook, you may follow these steps to unsubscribe from the email folder to keep one-way synchronization.
After unsubscribing the IMAP folders, delete emails and check if they are coming back.
NOTE: This method applies to users who configured their IMAP account, such as Gmail, Hotmail, etc., in Outlook and accounting deleted emails coming back issue.
If you do not want to unsubscribe from the email folder and want two-way synchronization to work, you may delete the emails by logging into your email account via the web instead of deleting the emails from Outlook.
This may fix the issue and prevent deleted emails from coming back.
Damaged Microsoft Office program files may also prevent Outlook from functioning properly and lead to deleted emails coming back issue. To fix this, you may first check and update the Microsoft Office to the latest build or repair the Microsoft Office that will fix the damaged Outlook program files.
The steps are as follow,
Follow the wizard to repair the Office and then restart the system. Open Outlook and check if the issue is resolved.
Exchange, office 365, IMAP, or Outlook.com users may also recreate and rebuild their damaged or problematic Outlook OST files to fix the synchronization issue that causes deleted emails to come back.
The steps are as follow,
Now try deleting some emails you don’t need. This should fix the issue.
Hopefully, the methods discussed in this blog helped you fix the deleted email issue in Outlook and prevent them from coming back again. However, if the problem is resolved after recreating the OST file, there are significant chances of missing emails as synchronization is not working properly.
In such a case, copy the .bak OST file to a different location and remove the .bak extension. Then use an OST to PST Converter software, such as Stellar Converter for OST, to extract and restore the missing mail items to your new OST file. The software converts inaccessible or orphaned OST files to Outlook importable PST format and exports directly to Office 365 or Live Exchange Server.
Ravi Singh is a Senior Writer at Stellar®. He is an expert Tech Explainer, IoT enthusiast, and a passionate nerd with over 6 years of experience in technical writing. He writes about Data Recovery, File Repair, Email Migration, Linux, Windows, Mac, and DIY Tech. Ravi spends most of his weekends working with IoT devices and playing games on the Xbox. He is also a solo traveler who loves hiking and exploring new trails.