Restore deleted messages when using an IMAP account

The first time you delete an item in an IMAP (IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol): Unlike Internet e-mail protocols such as POP3, IMAP creates folders on a server to store/organize messages for retrieval by other computers. You can read message headers only and select which messages to download.) account in Microsoft Outlook 2010, you are prompted to choose one of two ways to handle the deleted items:

  • Messages are marked for deletion      Messages marked for deletion are displayed in strikethrough text and are not moved from their original folder.
  • Deleted messages are moved to a folder that you specify     This is consistent with other account types in Outlook and with deleted items behavior in other common software. It also helps give better results when you access your e-mail account using other e-mail programs.

 Notes 

  • If you use Google Gmail as an IMAP account, messages marked for deletion are permanently deleted from their original folder but may still appear there in strikethrough text. These messages are still recoverable because a copy is kept in the Gmail Trash folder.
  • You may still see strikethrough messages even if you have chosen to move deleted messages to another folder. This can happen because the IMAP server might recognize only messages marked for deletion, while the message is moved to the specified folder only within Outlook.
  • If you don't want to see messages marked for deletion, on the View tab, in the Current View group, click Change View and then click Hide messages marked for deletion.

To restore messages that are marked for deletion but not moved:

  1. Select the deleted message.
    • To select more than one item, press CTRL while clicking the items that you want.
    • To select all the items in the folder, click one item in the folder and then press CTRL+A.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Delete group, click Undelete.

To quickly see all messages that are marked for deletion, on the View tab, in the Current View group, click Change View and then click Group messages marked for deletion.

 Note    Purging messages resembles emptying the Recycle Bin on the Microsoft Windows desktop. When you purge the deleted messages, they no longer appear in Microsoft Outlook. They are deleted from the IMAP mail server and cannot be restored.

To recover items that have been moved to a specified folder when they are deleted:

  1. In the folder to which deleted items are moved, click the items that you want to recover.
    • To select more than one item, press CTRL while clicking the items that you want.
    • To select all the items in the folder, click one item in the folder and then press CTRL+A.
  2. Do one of the following:

Change what happens to deleted IMAP items

To change what happens to deleted items in your IMAP folders:

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Account Settings, and then click Account Settings.
  3. On the E-mail tab, click the IMAP account that you want to change, then click Change and then click More Settings.
  4. On the Deleted Items tab, do one of the following:
    • To have deleted items moved to another folder, select Move deleted items to the following folder on the server and then click the folder that you want the items moved to.
    • To mark deleted items but not move them, select Mark items for deletion but do not move them automatically.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2010