Microsoft 365 - Recover deleted items

The following article explains some of the restrictions and limits when a data object/file is deleted from your Microsoft 365 account or SharePoint site.


  • Microsoft 365 accounts/domains/Sharepoint sites are not backed up. Microsoft 365 - Email Backup Strategies.
    • Contact your departmental IT staff to discuss backup options.
  • Items can only be recovered within 30 days of when they were emptied from within the "Deleted Items" folder. After this time elapses, items cannot be restored. If items are purged from the "Recover items deleted from this folder", they can no longer be recovered. The UW-Madison Microsoft 365 team has no additional way to recover deleted items. If the steps below don't work, the deleted item(s) cannot be retrieved
  • Where do recovered items go? When you recover items from the "Recover items deleted from this folder", they are moved to the Deleted Items folder. After you recover an item, you can find it in your "Deleted Items/Trash" folder and then you can move it to another folder.
  • The UW-Madison Microsoft 365 team does not have any way to tell what caused the deletion of the messages.
  • Often a "missing message" was not deleted at all but was accidentally moved to another folder. Make sure to check all of your folders for missing messages, including your "top-level account folder" ( by following the instructions in Microsoft 365 (Outlook on the web | Outlook for Windows) - How to find messages that have been moved to your top-level folder.
  • If a message is deleted from a folder and that folder still exists, when you do a restore it will be put back into the folder it was originally deleted from.
  • If a mail folder is deleted, the "Recover Deleted Items" process will only restore the message within the folder (the folder structure cannot be restored). The messages will be restored to your inbox.
  • If a calendar is deleted, it can only be recovered using Outlook desktop client - you cannot use Outlook on the web. Look below for steps to recover a deleted calendar.
  • Items within the recover utility will only show the message headers. The full message will be available after the message has been recovered.
  • In some cases, it may not be possible to recover items that were deleted via a client which is configured via IMAP.
  • It is not possible to recover deleted items with clients configured for POP3.
  • Microsoft does NOT have the ability to restore message(s) that you were unable to restore using the processes below.

Recover message, calendar, or contact via deleted items

Outlook on the web

Use Microsoft instructions to recover a deleted item.

Outlook for Windows

Use Microsoft instructions to recover a deleted item.

Outlook for Mac

At this time, Outlook for Mac does not have the ability to restore a deleted item from Recover Deleted Items folder - use Outlook on the web instructions instead.

Note: If you need to recover a contact, user these instructions.

Deleted item(s) from Microsoft 365 account

Important: In addition to having permissions to the folder(s) of the account you are attempting to access, the account must be searchable in the GAL.

  •  Access Emails, calendar events, contacts, tasks, etc

    When you delete an item (email, calendar event, task, etc.), it is moved to your Deleted Items folder. Depending on your settings, these messages may be periodically emptied from your Deleted Items folder. Once this folder has been empty, some Microsoft clients, including Outlook on the web and some desktop versions of Outlook, allow you to recover deleted items that are no longer available in your Deleted Items folder.

      1. Log into Office 365 account via Outlook on the web.
      2. Click on your name in the top right corner of Outlook on the web and select "Open another mailbox..." from the drop-down menu.
      3. Within the "Open another mailbox" window, enter the email address of the account you have full mailbox permissions over:

        open another mailbox screen

      4. Click open. A new tab/window will be opened showing you the mailbox of the account you entered.

Recover deleted item from Sharepoint site or Team

Keywordsmicrosoft office o365 m365 microsoft 365 windows mac web app owa client outlook exchange help emails calendaring events tasks contacts messages instant searching tasks filtering deleted items recovery trash missing restore retention sharepoint online team sites collection recycle bin   Doc ID31947
OwnerO365 S.GroupMicrosoft 365
Created2013-07-31 08:13:13Updated2023-05-30 13:55:28
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Microsoft 365, UW Platteville
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