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How to Recover Missing Emails in Outlook?

Eric Simson  | Updated on April 16, 2021 | Outlook PST File   | 48 Comments   | 6 min read

Summary: In this guide, we’ve discussed steps to recover missing emails in Outlook that are no longer available in the Deleted Items folder. It helps recover deleted email items in Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, and earlier versions. The guide is applicable for both Outlook online and Cached Exchange Mode.

How to Recover Missing Emails in Outlook?

Accidental data deletion is a common cause behind data loss situations. Deletion is categorized into two, Soft deletion (Delete key or Right-click>Delete) and Hard deletion (Shift+Delete). Based on how the user deleted the data, one can use the right tools and options to recover deleted data, such as Outlook emails.

In Outlook, when you soft delete emails or data from any of the mailbox folders, such as Inbox, Drafts, Sent Items, Contacts, Calendars, etc., the deleted mail items are moved into the Deleted Items folder.

However, if you use the Shift+Delete key (Hard Deletion), empty Deleted Items folder, or delete any items from Deleted Items folder, the email item is permanently removed from the mailbox.

In this guide, we will discuss steps to recover disappeared emails in Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, and earlier versions. However, the steps may vary based on the Outlook version. We’ll also mention about an effective tool, such as Stellar Repair for Outlook to recover deleted mails.

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How to Retrieve Missing Emails in Outlook 2019, 2016, and 2013?

To recover emails that are temporarily or soft deleted from Outlook 2019, 2016, or 2013, follow these steps:

  • Open Outlook and then click on the Deleted Items folder. The deleted items are displayed in the right pane of the application.
  • Right-click on the email or message that you want to recover or restore.
  • From the list of options, choose Move and then select Other Folder.
move emails
  • A Move Items window appears with a list of email folders. Choose a folder, preferably the one from where the email was deleted, and then click ‘OK’ to restore the selected email.

This recovers and restores the disappeared email in Outlook. Repeat the step to restore multiple deleted emails or use the CTRL key while selecting multiple deleted emails and then restore them at once to any desired folder.

To recover permanently deleted emails or emails that are not present in Deleted Items folderin Outlook 2019, 2016, or 2013,

  • Click the ‘Folder > Recover Deleted Items’ option under the ‘Home’ tab.
recover deleted emails
  • Then select the mails and click ‘OK.
deleted email recovery

Steps to Recover Disappeared Emails in Outlook 2010

For recovering deleted Outlook emails in MS Outlook 2010, follow these steps:

  • Open Outlook and click on the ‘Folder’ tab.
  • Click ‘Recover Deleted Items.’ A new Recover Deleted Items window appears.
  • Select the emails that you want to recover from the list of deleted emails.
restore selected items
  •  After selecting the emails, click ‘Recover Selected Items.’ This immediately restores the selected email items to their original location.

Steps to Recover Missing Emails in Outlook 2007

Below are the steps to recover deleted emails in MS Outlook 2007:

  • Highlight the folder (e.g., InboxDrafts, etc.) from where email items were accidentally deleted.
  • Then click on Tools in the main menu and click Recover Deleted Items. 
  • A new window will appear with the list of items recently deleted from the selected folder. Select the email message that needs to be restored and then click on the Recover Selected Items icon (being displayed as a message with an arrow on top).
  • To select multiple email messages from the window, press and hold the Ctrl key while selecting the email items for recovery.

Note: If the deleted or lost email folder is unknown, you will need to repeat the procedure mentioned above for every individual mailbox folder.

Normally, MS Outlook automatically deletes items from Deleted Items folder once you exit the application or post retention period (based on Outlook settings and rules defined by server administrator). To prevent automatic deletion of items from Deleted Items folder, follow these steps:

  • Click on the File tab, click on Options and then click on Advanced.
  • Under the Outlook start and exit section, make sure that the checkbox associated with Empty Deleted Items folders when exiting Outlook is unchecked.
  • Click OK to save the recent changes.

Is it Possible to Recover Deleted or Lost Email in Outlook using SCANPST.EXE?

Unfortunately, there is no way to recover hard deleted data from Outlook, mainly when the Stand-alone mode is used. Hence, the popularly held notion that Scanpst.exe can restore permanently deleted items to their respective folders is entirely incorrect.

However, if Microsoft Outlook is configured on the Exchange Server, permanently deleted data can be recovered and restored using the Dumpster feature that facilitates recovery of deleted data, provided such data is still within “Retention Period.”

The retention period is the time duration for which the Exchange Server retains a particular message. This can be modified by the Exchange administrator only. There may be a policy that allows the deleted items to be retained for 30 days in Deleted Items folder. There may also be a policy that allows the user to recover the deleted item(s) within 14 days of retention. To know more, contact your server administrator.

Recover Missing Outlook Email Items using Stellar Repair for Outlook

Stellar Repair for Outlook is a professional tool to repair corrupt and damaged Outlook data files without compromising mailbox folders’ integrity and security. The recovered data is restored in its original hierarchy and structure with 100% accuracy.

Besides fixing all forms of damages and corruption in PST files, the software also helps Outlook users recover deleted email items in a few clicks. You can scan your Outlook PST file using the software to recover both soft deleted and hard deleted email items with attachments, contacts, calendars, tasks, etc. It also displays a detailed preview of deleted items in RED with a delete icon that helps users quickly identify and recover the deleted email items.

Steps to Recover Missing Emails in Outlook by using the Software

Following are the steps to recover deleted email items in Outlook by using Stellar Repair for Outlook software, even if the Outlook data file is corrupt or inaccessible.

  • Download, install, and launch Stellar Repair for Outlook on your Windows PC.
  • Click ‘Browse’ to select the Outlook PST file or use the ‘Find’ button to locate the PST file automatically.
restore selected items
  • After choosing the PST file, click ‘Repair’ and then wait for the process to complete.
repair corrupt pst file
  • After the repair, the software displays the mail items, including the deleted emails, along with attachments. The deleted emails are highlighted with a delete icon and RED color.
deleted emails in red highlighted color
  • Select all deleted emails that you want to recover and then click on ‘Save Repaired File.
  • Choose ‘PST’ from the option and make sure the ‘Do not recover Deleted Items’ checkbox is unchecked.
save as pst
  • Click ‘Browse’ to choose a save location and then click ‘OK.’

The PST repair software saves all selected deleted email items at your desired location in a new PST file. You can import this PST file into any Outlook profile to restore the deleted emails.


Recovering disappeared Outlook emails from Microsoft Outlook is a crucial decision to make, most especially in a business environment. As discussed in this post, the manual process of “How to recover deleted emails in Outlook” is tedious and prone to human errors. Hence, it is recommended to use an automated solution, such as Stellar Repair for Outlook.

With Stellar Repair for Outlook, you can repair and recover all Outlook mailbox items, which are missing or erroneously deleted from Outlook.

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