One Outlook user claims to have not seen one mail message. It is not in any of his mail folders, not in the deleted folder, not in the list of recoverable deleted items (items held by exchange after deletion).

It is really not in his mailbox. Checked on OWA, (and on another workstation using Outlook 2003 with a different login).

Exchange message tracking tells me that the message was delivered to his mailbox.

His mailbox is not full or even very large, he deletes his completed mail.

It was delivered yesterday, well within the Exchange recovery interval, and there are older items in his recoverable email list.

There aren't any relevent rules shown, (looking through Outlook Web Access).

Outlook 2007, Exchange 2003 SP2 (6.5.7638)

What can you do in Outlook 2007 that has the effect of removing a message from your mailbox, without leaving it in the recoverable deleted items? Where has it gone?

  • 1
    Start Outlook from the Run command like this: outlook.exe /cleanviews, then check for the message. If the Message Tracking Tool shows it as being delivered to his mailbox then it was delivered to his mailbox.
    – joeqwerty
    Dec 19, 2012 at 2:34
  • "deletes his completed mail." makes me think he did it himself... Or does he have an assistant who might have moved it to an obscure folder? Dec 19, 2012 at 3:56
  • I'll try cleanviews, but -- I've tried OWA. It's not an outlook view.
    – user165568
    Dec 19, 2012 at 4:53
  • I've checked all the Exchange folders. It's not deleted or it would be in the recoverable mail list. He's checked archive folders, I'm going to do that again. Would moving a message to an archive folder make it unrecoverable on exchange?
    – user165568
    Dec 19, 2012 at 4:56
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    Has it been moved to a non-mail folder (ie. Calendar, I think that's possible). Maybe it was just accidentally dragged and dropped somewhere?
    – john
    Jul 1, 2013 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


The "Deleted Items" folder and the "Junk E-mail" folder have seperate recoverable items lists.

You can see a recoverable items list for the "Mailbox" in Outlook when using an Exchange connection, but not in Outlook Web Access, and not when using a IMAP connection.

So, to answer the question: One way to remove a message from your mailbox, without leaving it in the recoverable deleted items, is to move it to Junk E-mail, then delete it. It will be in recoverable junk items, not recoverable deleteted items.

Another way is to do "Shift Del" (also known as hard delete) from your inbox. This leave the item in recoverable inbox items.

To see recoverable inbox items in OWA, use the url to go directly to [the inbox folder]:
http://[myserver]/exchange/[my user]/inbox
then add the command "showdeleted"
http://[myserver]/exchange/[my user]/inbox/?cmd=showdeleted
This also works for other folders:
http://[myserver]/exchange/[my user]/deleted#20items/?cmd=showdeleted
But not for subfolders:
http://[myserver]/exchange/[my user]/?cmd=showdeleted does not show anthing, even though inbox and deleted#20items do.

To see recoverable items in any mail folder in Outlook 2000+ (using an Exchange connection while logged in as the actual user), enable the "DumpsterAlwaysOn" registry connection: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/178630

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