Recovering Deleted Items in Outlook 2010 – A Typical Day in the Life of an Exchange Server Administrator

Exchange 2010 Distribution Group Not Receiving External Email2

Recovering deleted items in Outlook 2010 is easy, as long as you the Administrator previously activated the retention policy on your back-end server, prior to your employees attempting to recover emails that they had deleted. Whether the emails were occidentally deleted, or intentionally deleted, once retention has been activated, recovery is possible.

Every Exchange Administrator already knows the challenges and difficulties associated with trying to restore an entire system, just to recover an individual email. At least this was the case in previous versions of Exchange Server, especially exchange server 5.5.  In newer versions of Exchange Server a term called Single Item Recovery is now possible.

A typical day in an Exchange Administrators life may include calls from users who accidental deleted one or more of their important emails.

Outlook 2010 deleted items recovery involves more than just the outlook client itself.  Exchange server on the back end plays an integral part in the recovery process.

Every trained Exchange Administrator knows that the retention policy for Exchange Server has to be activated on the back end, in order to be able to recover deleted items from outlook 2010 successfully.

To eliminate the problem associated with your users not being able to recover deleted emails, you should ensure that the retention policy on your Exchange Server is activated.

How to Ensure Retention Is Setup on Back End Exchange Server

  1. Open your Exchange Management Console, and then navigate to your Organization Configuration container. Click on “Mailbox” location in the displayed tree just below the Organization Configuration container.
  2. In the Right pane ensure that the “Database Management” tab is selected.

recovering deleted items in outlook 2010

In Exchange 2010 Server, the retention is setup on individual databases in the organization.  Each database can have its own retention policy setup.

  1. Double click any database from the display pane to setup and activate the deleted items retention settings, for the selected database.  This will bring up a screen like the one below.

recovering deleted items in outlook 2010_4


The configuration tabs above shows my deletion item retention to be seven days, and my mailbox retention policy to be fourteen days.  You can set you retention to be whatever amount of days you prefer, as long as the build in policy allows you to.

When I receive calls from uses enquiring about how to recover outlook deleted items all I normally do is take them through the steps below on how to retrieve deleted emails from outlook 2010.

Steps to Recover Deleted Emails in Outlook 2010

To recover you deleted item in Outlook all you have to do is open your Outlook Client and navigate to the “delete items” folder, in the left pane. See screenshot below.

recovering deleted items in outlook 2010_2


Next, click the “folder” tab from the menu bar, at the top of the outlook client to bring up the next set of menu items.

recovering deleted items in outlook 2010_3

Select “recover deleted items” folder from the sub menu and this will open a dialog box with all items that you have permanently deleted within the last seven days, or whatever amount of days the retention is set to.

Next, you will need to highlight the items that you want to recover and then “click the email icon at the top of the dialog box, to return the permanently deleted items back into your deleted items folder.

So, as you can see. Recovering deleted items in outlook 2010 is possible, once retention policies are setup on the backend of the Exchange Server.




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