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Recover Deleted Items from Exchange Dumpster

I was having a conversation at lunch with a friend who needed to recover some items for a user from the Exchange Dumpster. So I came up with a one-liner to help you do just that but BEFORE i can really give you the one-liner I need to give you some background.

First there is a Deleted Items folder in your Exchange Mailbox. When you delete an email it goes here first (for many people that is as far as it goes but that’s another blog post…).
A user can simply look here in the their deleted Items folder and find something they have deleted if that folder has not yet been emptied.

If the Deleted Items folder has been emptied it will remain in the Deletions folder (Dumpster) for the next 14 days by default. During this time the user can use Outlook and or OWA to Recover Items that are now in the Dumpster.  I love this feature but it’s not very much fun for the user if they have deleted a lot of items lately. 

So to make things a little easier on the user you can recover all the items in PowerShell and then export them so the user can sort them to their hearts content.  The tricky part here is that you can’t drop them directly back into the mailbox you’re searching.  You can use the DiscoverySearchMailbox but I keep an admin mailbox around that I use for just such occasions. I call this mailbox SearchAdmin and it will become the Target mailbox.

The PowerShell command looks like this:

Search-Mailbox -identity ebuford -SearchDumpsterOnly -TargetMailbox SearchAdmin –TargetFolder ebufordDumpster

Search-Mailbox -identity ebuford -SearchDumpsterOnly -TargetMailbox SearchAdmin –TargetFolder ebufordDumpster

The three items in red are user mailbox you’re searching (ebuford) the target mailbox your dropping the files in (SearchAdmin) and the name of the Folder you want to dump them in (ebufordDumpster).

Once you’ve got them in the new folder you can export to a PST and then Import them back into the users mailbox. Now this isn’t the most straightforward admin task you’re going to do, but if you really want to please a user (or maybe your boss) this will make you some brownie points!

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2 Responses to “ Recover Deleted Items from Exchange Dumpster ”

  1. Ben D says:

    Hello, so I have a user that left the company on 12/1. She happened to permanently deleted all his messages from the deleted items. It’s not over a month and past the 14 day retention. I read that even after the 14 days, its still store on Exchange (up to 30GB) and they its possible to retrieve. Your powershell works great on my account but when i try on hers, it come back with zero result. Any idea why?

  2. Irshad Ahmed says:

    if mails not found in recoverable item in outlook.then how many last days mail can b recover through this command???

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