Missing some emails or accidentally deleted a folder in Outlook?

This page can help you find and recover your emails if:

  • You're missing some emails, such as ones before a certain date...
  • Your inbox is empty and all your emails have disappeared
  • One (or more?) of your folders has disappeared

First, try these common fixes

We recommend follow these steps on a computer because many of them can't be done through the mobile app.

Emails might skip your inbox if they were accidentally archived. Microsoft Outlook may have archived your emails. This means it has moved older messages in a separate location. If you have opened the archived .pst file already in Microsoft Outlook, go to your email folder list, and then click to open the Archives folder or its subfolders. If you have not opened the archived .pst file in Microsoft Outlook, you need to open the archive folder before accessing archived emails. Then you can see the archived emails.

Archived Items Folder

  • If you couldn't find your email after following the steps above, the email might have been deleted.

Emails might skip your inbox if they were accidentally deleted. Follow these steps to search all your emails, including those that aren't in your inbox:

1. In Outlook, go to the Navigation pane, and then click Deleted Items folder or Trash folder.

2. Search for the item you want to recover, then right-click it and select Move > Other Folder.

Deleted Items folder Trash folder

If you have more than one device accessing your emails, one of those devices may have downloaded the messages and deleted them. In this case, check all devices you have (or have had) your email account set up on and check if they`re there.

  • If you can't find an item in the Deleted Items folder, the next step is Recover Deleted Items From Server.

Are you using IMAP or POP3? This will determine if you can retrieve the emails off of the mail server or not.

1. In Outlook, go to your email folder list, and then click Deleted Items.

  • If you don't see the Deleted Items folder, but instead see the Trash folder, then your account doesn't support recovering an item that's no longer in your Deleted Items folder.

2. Make sure Home is selected, and then click Recover Deleted Items From Server.

  • If Recover Deleted Items From Server isn't there, your account doesn't support recovering an item that's no longer in your Deleted Items folder.

Recover Deleted Items from Server

3. Select the item you want to recover, click Restore Selected Items, and then click OK. After you recover an item, you can find it in your Deleted Items folder and then move it to another folder.

  • If you couldn't recover your emails after following the steps above, the email might have been permanently deleted.

The steps above didn't help

If you followed the steps above and you still can't find your emails, select the problem you're having below.

ScanIt - Automate Inbox Repair tool (Scanpst) can resolve normal corruption from PST file. But, you can also use this utility to recover hard deleted emails from Microsoft Outlook. The recovery method used in this tutorial is based on corrupting the .pst file header and then have it corrects by ScanIt - Automate Inbox Repair tool (Scanpst).

1. Close Microsoft Outlook and all other mail-enabled applications that may use your Outlook mailbox.

2. Locate the PST file. Make a backup of it. (never mess around with original files!)

3. Open the PST with a Hex Editor. Delete the position 7 through 13 with the space bar (hex value "20") or "00".

Recover Deleted Hex

4. Save the PST file and close the Hex Editor. Now, you have a corrupted PST file.

5. Scan the corrupted file with ScanIt - Automate Inbox Repair tool (Scanpst). Allow it to be repaired 1 to 3 times.

6. Open the repaired PST (do not import), and copy the items from one inbox to the other. Allow time for it to sync.

  • If you don’t see any of your items restored, it might be impossible for scanpst.exe to retrieve missing emails since it was not designed for this trick. In that case, you could use PST Viewer(pstwalker.exe) recovery tool.

Firstly, please read through the above to see if that helps resolve your issue. Check any backups you have to see if you have a backup of the messages or folders you can`t find. You may be able recover the purged items from your current mailbox or backup files. You can do this by using the PST Viewer (pstwalker.exe) to search for emails, folder or other items (such as contacts, calendar appointments, and tasks) in your .pst and .ost files. If you find the deleted items, you can retrieve them to files, which you can then use to restore them back to your mailbox.

Follow these steps to recover all your emails, including those that are missing in your inbox:

1. Close Microsoft Outlook and all other mail-enabled applications that may use your Outlook mailbox.

2. Download PST Viewer (pstwalker.exe). Install or run portable version, open it, select File->Open menu to browse .pst or .ost file to open.


3. Check Find “hard deleted” and “orphaned” items checkbox

PST Walker Options

4. After the recover process, select All Hard Deleted Items folder in the All Folders pane

All Hard Deleted Emails

*Please note when you delete a folder in the Outlook, it's first move the emails from this folder to the Deleted Items folder, and then delete the folder and the moved emails in the Deleted Items folder.

5. Click File->Export to save recovered deleted emails and folders to files, which you can then use to restore the items back to your mailbox.

PST Walker

  • When you permanently delete an item it's marked as deleted and the space it occupies is marked as 'reusable'. You can retrieve a permanently deleted item as long as the space it occupied on disk isn't reused for a new item. If you have received a new email message or perform some actions with your mailbox, the loss of permanently deleted items in your Outlook mailbox may be permanent.

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