Have you ever deleted an email accidentally? As an Exchange admin, do you want to recover the emails that were deleted by users accidentally or deliberately?
Well, you can do that with Exchange server, as the system stores deleted emails for a period of 14 days after it is deleted.
Here are some ways to recover emails from Exchange server.
Let’s say an employee has deleted an email, and your organization has asked you to recover that email. How can you do it?
One of the first things you should check is whether you use cached Exchange mode? If you do, then you’re in luck because the employee’s .OST file will still be on the user’s computer and you can recover it easily.
This is obviously the simplest way to recover deleted items. So, try this option first before moving on to the other ones.
In Exchange 2010, there are no Storage Groups and hence, no Recovery Storage Group. Instead, you have the Recovery Database. This is a good place to look for deleted items, but then it is not easy and is definitely not for novices and non-techies because this Recovery Database can be mounted on only one server at a time.
The steps to recover exchange Emails from Recovery Database are:
- Restore EDB and log files
- Create a Recovery Database from the EDB files
- Use ESEUtil to run through log files
- Finally, choose the required items and recover them.
As you can see, this is a complex process, so opt for this only if there is no other way.
Outlook Web App
Outlook we app is a great tool for managing email servers that run Exchange server 2013 or 2010. To recover emails from Exchange server through Outlook web app, do the following process.
- When you delete an entire folder, it is moved to Deleted Items folder and you can see it as a sub-folder. To recover the contents of this folder, simply right-click on it, choose “move” and select a folder to which this sub-folder should move.
- Exchange administrators can set a policy to delete emails from Deleted Items folder after a specified number of days. If the folder you want to recover has crossed the specified days, it will not be available in Deleted Items folder. But, you can find them in Recoverable Items folder. So, look for your content in both these folders.
- If there are many items in your Recoverable Items folder, it will be a time-consuming effort to find the content you want. In general, when you want to recover a contact, look for messages where the subject line is empty. On the other hand, if you want to recover a calendar appointment or a task, look for the associated text. for which no preview is available.
- You can also recover more than one item. To do that, hover over one item, select the checkbox located next to it, and click “recover.”
Recover deleted items in Outlook for Windows
If you have Outlook for Windows and want to recover deleted items, here is what you can do.
The first place to look is the Deleted Items folder or the Trash folder. Look through these folders, select the items you want to recover, right-click on them and choose “Move > any other folder of your choice.” You can even search for sub-folders inside this Deleted Items list and recover the entire sub-folder or a few selected contents from it.
If you can’t find the deleted items in this place, navigate to the Recoverable Items folder. This is a hidden folder and contains items that were deleted from the Deleted Items folder. When you delete items from this Recoverable Items folder, it is deleted forever and cannot be recovered.
Follow the steps below to identify this hidden folder and to recover contents from it.
- In Outlook, go to your Deleted Items folder.
- Then, select “home” from the top left-hand corner. You’ll be presented a set of options on the Quick Access Toolbar. From these options, look for “Recover deleted items from server” and click on it.
- This will bring up all the items in that folder. Select the items you want to recover from that folder. Select the radio button called “Restore Selected Items” located just below the list, and click OK.
- These items will be moved to your Deleted Items folder, so navigate to your Deleted Items folder, click on these items and move it to another folder.
There are a few things to keep in mind here. First off, if you can’t see the folder called Deleted Items, but have only a folder called Trash, that means your account does not support recovering an item that is not present in the Deleted Items folder. Likewise, if you can’t find the option called “Recover Deleted Items from Server” in the Quick Access Toolbar, it also means that your account doesn’t support the option of recovering items that are not present in your Deleted Items folder.
So, what can you do if you want to recover emails from Exchange when your account does not have access to Recovered Items folder?
Your best bet is to use a third-party tool like Stellar Repair for Exchange because it is simple to use, handles all complexities and you require no technical knowledge to run it. The installation is super easy and the intuitive interface masks the complex process of recovery. The best part, is there is no data loss whatsoever and all the content you want is safely recovered.