Recovering Hard Deleted Items in Outlook

This isn’t new information, but it’s something that comes up from time to time – recovering hard deleted (SHIFT+DEL) items from Outlook. Hard deleted items skip over the “Deleted Items” bin, so they can’t be recovered using the regular “recover deleted items” tool within the Outlook client.

Exchange 2003 OWA can be used to recover items that were hard deleted using the Outlook client. To get back those items, log into the OWA web page. Then edit the URL to be: “https://server_name/exchange/user_name/inbox/?cmd=showdeleted“. The “dumpster” for the inbox will appear and you can recover your deleted email. If you want to recover items from other folders, just change the word “inbox” in the URL to the folder you need, like “calendar” or “drafts”.

If you are using Outlook 2003 as your mail client there is a registry setting that you can add to turn the dumpster on for all the folders. Outlook 2007 has the registry setting already enabled by default. Of course, recovering any deleted items assumes that the deleted items retention settings have been configured on your Exchange server.

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