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OWA Deleted Email and Deleted Email Recovery

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Overview

By default, every email deleted from your OWA mailbox goes through the following process:

  1. The email is moved to your Deleted Items folder.
  2. If you purge or remove items from your Deleted Items folder they will be moved to the Dumpster where they are still recoverable.
  3. The Dumpster only holds email message for 14 days once they've been removed from Deleted Items.

Deleted email can be recovered from the Deleted Items folder or the Dumpster. Once it has been permanently deleted from the dumpster it can not be recovered.

Note: Desktop clients (e.g., Outlook, Apple Mail) may be configured to use a local trash system or be configured to purge email from the Deleted Items folder more quickly than 14 days.

Deleted Email Recovery is only available in OWA or Outlook.

For more information, see OWA Help (login required). For OWA Deleted Items setup, go to Options > Deleted Items.

Delete Email

When you are ready to delete email from your Inbox, select the email by clicking on it once and then either:

  • select the Delete icon on the OWA Toolbar,
    OR
  • right-click and select Delete.
    Result: The email is moved to Deleted Items

Permanently Delete Email from Deleted Items

  1. Access your mailbox and navigate to Deleted Items.
    Folders

  2. Select the email you want to delete by clicking once on the email to highlight it.
    • To select a range of emails, single-click on the first email in the range, press down the Shift key, and single-click on the last email in the range.
    • To select random, multiple emails, press down the Ctrl key as you select emails.
  3. Choose the Delete icon on the OWA Toolbar, or right-click and select Delete.
  4. OWA asks you to confirm your action. Choose OK to continue, or Cancel to quit the Permanent Delete operation. When OK is selected, there is no chance for email recovery (unless a server backup was performed before the email was permanently deleted).
    Result: The Delete confirmation window displays.
    Confirm delete screen

Recover Deleted Email from the Dumpster

Microsoft has a page describing how to recover deleted items:

Permanently Delete Email from Options > Deleted Items

  1. Select Options > Deleted Items.
  2. On the Deleted Items page, select the email you wish to delete in the Recover Deleted Items scroll box. 
  3. Choose the Permanently Delete option above the scroll box.
  4. OWA asks you to confirm your action. Choose OK to continue, or Cancel to quit the Permanent Delete operation. When OK is selected, there is no chance for email recovery (unless a server backup was performed before the email was permanently deleted).

Automatically Empty Deleted Items on Log Off

OWA can be configured to empty Deleted Items when the user logs off of OWA. The items will be stored in the Recover Deleted Items scroll box for 14 days.

  1. Select Options > Deleted Items.
  2. Check the Empty Deleted Items folder on logoff checkbox.
  3. Click Save to save your changes.

Related Links

Outlook Web Access (OWA) at MIT
Email at MIT

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members


Last Modified:

March 03, 2016

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