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Our Microsoft Exchange server utilizes a "two stage" deletion process. A message that is deleted from your mailbox or any mailbox subfolder immediately goes to the "deleted items folder " within your email account. Any message that is contained within your mailbox deleted items folder can be retrieved at any time (you can move it back to any normal mailbox folder). You can manually remove items from your deleted items folder at any time (empty the trash). There is a daily process that removes items from your deleted items folder that have been deleted for 7 days or more. This process is called "the janitor".

After you manually empty your "deleted items folder" or allow the daily janitor process to empty that folder on your behalf, the items are moved to a server based holding folder. This holding folder is referred to as the "recover deleted items folder". This is the second stage of the deletion process and provides a safety net if you accidentally delete an important message or folder. Items are kept in this server based folder for approximately 60 days from when they were removed from your personal "deleted items folder".

Access to the "recover deleted items folder" is available through Outlook 2003/2007 and with Webmail. You can browse the items in the "recover deleted items folder" or sort them by sender or date. You must individually select items you want recovered and they will be restored to the "deleted items folder".


  1. Mailbox item is in your Inbox (or subfolder).
  2. A mailbox item is deleted and moved to your email account Deleted Items Folder
  3. Your Deleted Items Folder is emptied automatically on a daily basis or manually into the "dumpster."
  4. Items in the dumpster can be restored up to 60 days after deletion through the Recover Deleted Items Folder
How To:

Outlook 2003/2007:

  1. Go to the Tools menu.
  2. Select Recover Deleted Items.


  1. Open up Options.
  2. Select Recover Deleted Items from the menu.
Common Problems:

Items in your email account and also within your Deleted Items Folder count against your email disk quota. If you are getting warning messages about being over-quota, it's a good idea to manually empty the Deleted Items Folder.

Do not store important messages or attachments in your Deleted Items folder or in the Recover Deleted Items Folder.

Last Updated: 3/11/2010