Learn About Deleted Items


Applies to: Office 365 for professionals and small businesses, Office 365 for enterprises, Microsoft Exchange, Live@edu

Topic Last Modified: 2011-03-19

By default, every item that you delete from your mailbox goes to the Deleted Items folder and stays there until you delete it individually from that folder or you empty the Deleted Items folder.

This topic applies to the standard version of Outlook Web App. To read about this feature for the light version of Outlook Web App, see Mail > Deleted Items Folder and Options > Messaging.
How do I empty the Deleted Items folder?

  1. In the Navigation Pane, right-click Empty folderDeleted Items.

  2. Click Empty folderEmpty Deleted Items.

  3. Click OK to verify that you want to remove all items in the Deleted Items folder or click Cancel to cancel the deletion without emptying the folder.

How do I set up the Deleted Items folder so it's emptied automatically?

  1. Click Options > See All Options > Settings > Mail.

  2. Go to Message Options.

  3. Select Empty the Deleted Items folder when I sign out.

  4. Click Save to save your changes.

How do I recover a deleted item?

  1. Right-click the Deleted Items folder in the Navigation Pane.

  2. Click Recover Deleted Items.

  3. Select the item you want to recover by clicking it in the Recover Deleted Items list.

  4. Click Recover deleted items to recover the item or Delete to purge it.

What else do I need to know?

  • If you right-click a mail folder, you can delete the entire contents of that folder by selecting Empty folderEmpty Folder. Using the Empty Folder command won't delete the contents of any sub-folders within the folder that was emptied.

  • By default, items you delete are sent to the Deleted Items folder. If you want to delete an item without first sending it to the Deleted Items folder, select it in the item list, and then press SHIFT+DELETE on the keyboard.

  • To select several adjacent items, click the first and last items in the list while you hold down the SHIFT key. To select items that aren't adjacent, hold down the CTRL key as you click each item you want to select.

  • Purging an item doesn't remove it from backups made before the item was purged.

  • There may be a policy on your Deleted Items folder that causes items in it to be permanently deleted after they've been in the folder for a certain period of time. To determine whether your Deleted Items folder has such a policy, right-click the Deleted Items folder and move the pointer over Retention Policy.

  • The length of time during which you can recover an item after the Deleted Items folder has been emptied is set by your system administrator.

What if I want to know more?

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