Office 365 Item Recovery: 4 Ways to Retrieve Lost Emails

Usually, important emails are deleted accidentally. Some users may just clean their mailboxes from spam and advertisements and mistakenly delete something important. Sometimes, you can notice that immediately and save your files right away, other times it may take some time to figure out that something important is missing.

Good news is that Office 365 has a few recovery solutions even if your deleted data was removed from the “Recovery folder”. Let’s go through all the Office 365 deleted files recovery methods from Spinbackup in order.

Deleted Items Folder

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The easiest and quite obvious first step to take is checking your folder with deleted items. Just open your Outlook account, go to the Deleted items, and right-click on messages that you would like to restore. Choose the Restore or Move option. After that, your previously deleted email will be moved back to Inbox.

You can restore Deleted items within 30 days after deletion. However, if a 30 days period has passed, or you emptied the Deleted items folder, you can try and look for your missing files in Recovery items.

Recoverable Items Folder

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There’s a special place where Outlook keeps permanently deleted files and emails. Open Deleted items>Recover items deleted from this folder. In a Recover deleted items window, right-click on a file that you would like to recover and choose the Restore option. Depending on your Outlook version, the recovered email will go straight to the Inbox folder or Deleted items.

Easy as that! You can find deleted emails in the Recoverable Items folder within 14 days since deletion by default. These two methods are usually enough to find the lost data. If not, you still can try to recover missing emails as an administrator.

Instruction for Administrators

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If the previous two options were not good for you, it’s time to try to recover deleted files as Office 365 administrator. In order to proceed, you should be a Global Admin in Office 365. Note that it won’t be possible to recover the items deleted from the Recoverable Items folder.

Now, let’s see how to get Global Admin rights with all needed permissions first.

Click Admin app in the app view. Then, open the Admin center and select Users, then Active users. Choose a user you want to make and admin from the list and select Manage roles. Select the Global Admin and check the corresponding box.

Let’s get eDiscovery manager permission now. Open Security tab in Admin center > Permissions and edit the eDiscovery Manager role group. After applying changes, sign out and sign back in for the new rights to take effect.

Time to search for your missing data. Once you sign in, go to your account and choose Search > Content search. Create New search and specify your search query via Add conditions. Also, you can choose users or groups for research by pressing the Modify button.

Press Save & run, then enter a name and description for your search, click on save, and it will be run immediately. Now, go to the Searches tab, refresh it and choose your search. Click on the Export report option, then — Generate report. In the Exports tab, look for the newly created report and download it.

Launch eDiscovery Export Tool and paste the export key from the previous tab (simply click Copy to clipboard). Choose a location to download the PST file and press Start.

Great, here are your deleted items! All we need to do is to open emails in the mailbox. We recommend you to use a desktop application for Outlook, because the web version won’t be able to open PST files. So, open your Outlook > File > Open & Export > Open Outlook Data File. In the opening window, select a PST file.

Now, there should be a new folder tree, named after your PST report. Expand it, find your recovered items, and then right-click on it. Press Move > Other Folder, select a folder you need, and press Ok. The recovered emails should appear in the selected folder.

Limitations

Although basic Office 365 recovery functions may seem to be useful in a short-term perspective, there are some limitations.

  • If deleted items were stored in Deleted items or Recoverable items more than 14 days (30 days if set so), it will be automatically deleted and not possible to recover at all.
  • In order to increase the recovery time limit, you need to pay for a more expensive subscription.
  • Your email storage is also limited, including data storage in the recycle bin. It is 50 GB for original Office365 users and 100 GB for users with an Enterprise E3 or E5 service. Once the limit is reached, recovery won’t be possible as well.
  • If you want to restore a big amount of emails via PST file, you may lose its folder structure and hierarchy. It means that you would need to sort it out manually.
  • The third (admin’s) way of recovering is time-consuming and not 100% reliable.

Backup solutions

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There’s a way to make sure your data can be restored and controlled in a proper way. Here comes third-party Microsoft 365 backup software, such as SpinOne. Such tools are designed to overcome default recovery features and set up a reliable and comfortable recovery process.

It allows users to create a schedule for automated backup, restore entire folders without any PST files, and helps migrate from one Office 365 account to another. It guarantees data safeness against malwares and human mistakes and helps to save money and time.

In a world where a piece of data can be crucial, it is good to know how to protect yourself from losing every important piece of information. The most common mistake for any troubles related to data is the human factor, so it will be wise to foresee any scenarios. Why not make your data recovery fast and accessible? So, choose the comfortable way of data recovery for you and go for it.

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