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How to Recover Deleted or Missing Emails from Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010 or 2007?

This tutorial outlines guidelines for recovering deleted or missing emails. It explains the different methods that can be used to recover missing / lost / disappeared / deleted items when Microsoft Outlook is in standalone mode and when Outlook is configured on the Exchange Server.

This article also teaches you how to repair the PST file in case it becomes inaccessible while performing a manual workaround. Read on to learn how to recover missing or deleted emails from MS Outlook.

Microsoft Outlook uses PST as its proprietary file format to store the vast amount of business and personal data like email, contacts, calendar entries, drafts, magazines, etc. However, a PST file could be lost or deleted from Outlook, either accidentally, mistakenly, or on purpose. In the event of accidental deletion, restoration is mandatory.

Basically, deletion is divided into two categories: soft deletion and hard deletion. When data is deleted from any of the Mailbox folders such as Inbox, Drafts, Sent Items, Contacts, Calendar, etc., it is moved to the Deleted Items folder. In this case, the process is called soft delete, and such files can easily be restored to the original folder. With hard deletion, on the other hand, an element is deleted with the key combination Tast Shift + Delete ’. In this case, this file will be permanently deleted.

So the question is, are there any potential means to recover permanently deleted files from Outlook mailbox folders? The answer is YES. However, the recovery process will vary depending on the version of Outlook you are using.

How to Recover Missing or Lost Emails in Outlook 2016

Emails temporarily deleted from Outlook 2016 can be easily recovered with a simple set of procedures.

To recover missing / lost email messages in Outlook 2016, please follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the email folder list in Outlook 2016 and highlight the folder Deleted elements
  2. The recently deleted items are displayed in the right pane of the application.
  3. Highlight the message that needs to be restored to its respective folder and right click on it
  4. From the list of options that appears, click Move and then select Another folder
  5. A list of folders appears under Move the selected items to the Folders section: select a folder, e.g. Inbox, to restore the selected email to, then click OK

Your lost or missing email will be restored automatically. The selected email message is restored to the Inbox folder. However, since manual methods do not guarantee data security, it is likely that MS Outlook PST will become inaccessible. So it is recommended to use Microsoft Outlook PST repair software to recover missing emails from damaged Outlook 2016 data file.

Note: The procedure described here applies to Microsoft Outlook 2016 and may vary in other versions of the application.

How to Recover Missing or Lost Emails in Outlook 2007

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

  1. Select the folder (e.g. Inbox, drafts etc.) from which data is accidentally deleted and in which it must be restored
  2. Click Tools on the menu bar, then select Recover deleted items... from the list of options displayed
  3. A window will appear with the list of recently deleted items from the selected folder
  4. Then select the email message that needs to be recovered and click the icon Selected elements restore (shown as a message with an arrow at the top)
  5. To several Email messages from the window, hold the CtrlKey while clicking the items to be restored

Note: If the folder of the deleted or missing email is unknown, you will need to repeat the above procedure for each individual mailbox folder.

Normally, MS Outlook will automatically delete items from the Deleted Items folder as soon as you exit the application. How to prevent the automatic deletion of items from the Deleted Items folder:

  1. Click the tab file, click on Options and then on Extended
  2. Under the Outlook Startup and Exit section, make sure that the check box that appears at the Exiting Outlook with the "Empty Deleted Items" folder is linked, is not checked
  3. click on OKto save the last changes.

Can ScanPST.exe recover missing or lost emails when Outlook is working on Microsoft Exchange environment?

Unfortunately, there is no way to recover hard-deleted data from Outlook, especially if one StandaloneMode is used. Hence, the popular notion that ScanPST.exe can restore permanently deleted items in their respective folders is completely wrong.

If Microsoft Outlook is on the Exchange Server is configured, however, there is the option of permanently deleted data using a Dumpster-Feature that facilitates the recovery of deleted data, provided that this data is still within the “retention period”.

The retention period, which is the length of time that a particular message is retained by the Exchange server, can be changed by the Exchange administrator. There may be a policy that allows the deleted items to be kept in the "Deleted Items" folder for a period of 30 days. There may also be a policy that allows the user to recover deleted items within 14 days of saving them.

In fewer words, ScanPST.exe can prevent data loss to a certain extent. However, there are other issues that can crop up along the way. This feature also helps in recovering damaged Outlook 2016 emails and ensures that they can be easily restored to their original state (and folder).

How is Microsoft Outlook PST affected?

Sometimes Outlook email messages are accidentally deleted, or the PST file gets corrupted or corrupted due to various known or unknown reasons. Although the above procedures can restore missing e-mail messages from the Deleted Items folder, once the items have been restored and placed back in the folder of your choice, data security is not guaranteed.

In this case the question is:What if Outlook is not configured in the Exchange Server environment? Would it be possible to recover permanently deleted email using any other method? The answer is yes ’.

As mentioned above, there are certain applications and software that can gain access to deleted emails and recover them. However, these free applications are not safe and can lead to further data loss.

Aside from unsafe applications, there are other issues that can make a PST file unreadable or corrupt. These include virus attacks, improper handling, software conflicts, sudden shutdown of the MS Outlook mail application and much more. In either case, should the PST file become inaccessible, the final solution is to adopt a reliable mailbox repair tool to fix the error once and for all.

Retrieve missing Outlook mailbox items with ‘Stellar Repair for Outlook’.

The software helps to repair corrupt and damaged Outlook data files without compromising the integrity and security of mailbox folders. The restored data is restored to its original hierarchy and structure in a user-defined location.

Ultimately, Stellar Repair for Outlook is the prime solution to fix all kinds of damage and corruption in PST files. As such, it is the ideal repair tool for recovering deleted emails from Outlook. The preview window shows the deleted items in RED, which allows you to easily identify the deleted mailbox components.


Recovering deleted or missing emails from Microsoft Outlook is an important decision that must be made especially in a business environment. As discussed in this post, the manual process of recovering the deleted email items is tedious and prone to human error; therefore it is recommended to use an automated solution like Stellar Repair for Outlook. Stellar Repair for Outlook enables you to repair and restore any Outlook mailbox items that are missing or mistakenly deleted from Outlook

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