If you decide that you need to recover a deleted message from Outlook, you have a few options at your disposal. When you initially delete a message in Outlook, it is moved to the Deleted items folder. This is similar to the way that a file is moved to the recycle bin in Windows. Once this folder is emptied, the messages are considered deleted and no longer available to Outlook. However, that doesn’t mean they are lost forever. The first method to recover deleted messages uses a recovery tool built right into Outlook. However, this method is only available to users who are on a Microsoft Exchange Server.
1. Open Outlook and click “Tools” and then click “Recover Deleted Items”
2. A new window will pop up displaying all the messages that Outlook can recover. Click “Recover Selected Items”
This will return the messages back to their original folders. If a message was deleted from your Inbox folder, then it will be returned to the same place. This method usually works quite well in most circumstances for users who are on an Exchange Server.
If you are on a different type of server, this option will be grayed out for you. There are, however, some alternative options that you can try. There are a lot of programs out there that promise to recover all of your deleted email messages for you. But, unfortunately this comes with a price tag and there is no guarantee that they will be able to recover anything at all. Fortunately though, there is a free alternative that provides the same functionality:
1. Download MailCure at http://www.derescue.com/mailcure.htm
2. There is no installation process; all you will need to do is double click the downloaded file to open
3. Choose the disk drive that the messages would be stored on. Scanning will automatically begin.
This can take quite some time to complete. It will scan every sector on your hard drive and attempt to recover any emails that were deleted. After the scan is completed, any messages that were recovered will appear. You can preview them by highlighting a message. Additionally, you also have the option to save them to a folder. After the messages are saved, you can import them directly into Outlook by dragging them to a folder of your choosing.
MailCure usually does a pretty solid job at recovering emails that were recently deleted. It is important to note that the longer that the message has been deleted, the more difficult it will be to recover it. Generally, when you delete something the data is usually still there. But, the longer you wait, the greater the chances are that this data will be overwritten by other information.