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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Simplifying Exchange's “Recover Deleted Items” option simplified

Ever since Exchange 2000’s “dumpster,” the consequences of deleting important mail aren’t too much of an issue. Users can easily recover the deleted items without having to involve the administrator.

The “Recover Deleted Items” option allows you to ensure that items are available for user recovery and administrators can preserve the items for as long as they need.

“Recover Deleted Items” option is implemented in different ways in Outlook and Outlook Web App.
Recover deleted items in Outlook for Windows

In order to search for deleted items, open the Deleted Items folder in Outlook. There you will be able to see all your deleted items. If you can’t find the item you’re looking for, then you can access the “Recover Deleted Items” option. With this feature, you can recover items such as messages, appointments, contacts, tasks, and notes. You can even do this to recover hard deleted items. This feature works only with Microsoft Exchange Server account and not with POP3 or IMAP accounts.

To recover deleted items in Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. To search for the missing item, go to the Deleted Items folder.
  2. Choose Folder and then Recover Deleted Items.
  3. Then select the message that you want to recover and click on the Restore Selected Items option and then click ok.
This method will save the recovered items into the Junk Email folder.

Recover deleted items in Outlook on the web

With this method, you can recover your deleted email messages, contacts, calendar items, tasks through the browser. To recover deleted items in Outlook on the Web, follow these steps:
  1. Login to your account.
  2. In the email folder list, right-click on the Deleted Items and then Choose Recover Deleted Items option.
  3. Now, select the items that you want to recover and then click on the Recover tab.

The interface of Outlook and Outlook Web do differ in many ways. This includes:
  • In OWA, the Recover Deleted Items option is available when the Deleted Items folder is selected, whereas in Outlook you don’t have to select it.
  • Outlook Web Access sorts items by received date and doesn’t support any additional sort options whereas Outlook sorts items by using any of the available columns shown in the Recover Deleted Items dialog. .  
  • OWA doesn’t support the Recover Deleted Items option for all folders, it guesses where a recovered item should go based on the item type whereas Outlook restores all the selected items and sends them to the Junk Email folder..
Drawbacks to these approaches

One major drawback is that you cannot recover a deleted item to its original folder. Logically it would be helpful to return the item to a folder where it can be used. It’s fairly easy to move a recovered item from the Inbox to its original location but it would make more sense for Exchange to track the last folder in which the item was stored before deletion. This would give clients a more accurate way of knowing where the item should be recovered to i.e. to its original folder.

Overcoming these drawbacks

The native recovery approach is logical to use but it isn’t particularly intuitive when it comes to returning recovered items to their original location. To improve the functionality of “Recover Deleted Items” a third party solution like Lepide Exchange RecoveryManager is needed. The solution eliminates all the limitations associated with native options - allowing you to repair and restore all the aspects of your Exchange environment to their original folders.

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