When a user deletes emails in their Outlook or Web client, these items typically go into their Deleted Items folder – however, if the user hard deletes (Shift-Delete) these items, or empties their trash, these emails can still be recovered out of the Dumpster. The Dumpster is basically a retention setting in Exchange that keeps deleted emails for a certain number of days.
This folder is usually accessed by going into the user’s webmail, clicking on Options, and then clicking on Deleted Items. You can select the items you need to recover, and then click on the Recover to Deleted Items Folder.
Now, this is fall fine and dandy, but what do you do when you need to recover thousands of emails that a user has deleted (usually hastily covering their tracks as they are escorted out of the building by burly security guards)? You are only able to select 50 items at a time in the Recover Deleted Items window – are you going to sit there and select items 1 page at a time for the rest of your life? Not you!
The easiest way to recover thousands of emails out of the Dumpster is to use the Recover Deleted Items option in Outlook – however, this option is not (usually) turned on by default. Here’s how you turn this little magical option on:
- On the client computer used to perform the deleted items recovery operation, click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
Locate, and then click the following registry subkey:
(If you’re on a 64 bit OS, the path is under the Wow6432Node key:
- You might need to add the Options subkey – I didn’t have it on my machine
- On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
- Type DumpsterAlwaysOn, and then press ENTER.
- Double-click DumpsterAlwaysOn.
- Type 1 in the Value data area, click Decimal in the Base area, and then click OK.
- Close Registry Editor.
- Restart Outlook.
Note that depending on what version of Windows and Outlook you are using, this key might be in one of the following locations:
32-bit Outlook on a 32-bit version of Windows:
32-bit Outlook on a 64-bit version of Windows:
64-bit Outlook on a 64-bit version of Windows:
Now close and re-open Outlook – click on Folder then Recover Deleted Items:
You should now see all your deleted items showing up (Dumpster for the win!)
Click the little folder tree icon (Select All):
Then click the envelope icon (Recover Selected Items):
Sit back and watch the magic:
You can now log back into OWA and verify that your dumpster is now empty, and all those files will be sitting in your Deleted Items folder:
Who’s your daddy now?
You are DumpsterAlwaysOn… you are!