Deleted items on Exchange Server systems

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Some Outlook users have the option to recover deleted items even after they have disappeared.

If your copy of Outlook is connected to Microsoft Exchange Server then the Deleted Items folder is a little different in two respects.

When items are deleted from the ‘Deleted Items’ folder they are not removed completely – you can recover items that have been otherwise ‘permanently’ deleted and not visible in any Outlook folder.

The Exchange Server administrator can configure a retention time for all Outlook items – this is the age that all items are stored on the server regardless of what the user has done. The retention age set is at the discretion of the administrator and can vary according to each user or class of user.

 

Server Administrators for Exchange Server 2003 set the overall retention age at the Mailbox Store | Properties | Limits | Deletion settings with options to keep deleted items or entire mailboxes for n days.

The global setting can be changed by network administrators for individual user mailboxes in the user Properties | Exchange General | Storage Limits.

 

For Outlook users you can recall ‘deleted’ messages when connected to the server. Choose the folder where the message was deleted from (which may be the Deleted Items folder) and select Tools | Recover Deleted Items. It may take some time to populate the dialog box from the server. Keep in mind that the ability to recover deleted items and what is available is under the control of your network administrators.

The other issue for Exchange Server users is their quota. Administrators can set a maximum amount of space each user can use to store messages – this includes items stored in the Deleted Items folder but NOT items retained after user deletion (mentioned above).

Many staff members have to spend frustrating and ineffectual time re-organising their Outlook folders to keep below their quota. This might help network administrators but sometimes the quotas are not realistic.

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