Soft Delete Vs Hard Delete in Outlook

Deletion of data is the only task that makes every user a bit cautious about crucial items. When data from Outlook mailbox is deleted by user intentionally or unintentionally it appears to be a hectic task to regain lost data. Deletion can be categorized in two categories i.e. SOFT and HARD deletion.

Soft Deletion

When users delete any mailbox item like email, contact, calendar, and notes from Outlook account by pressing "Delete" key then the process is called soft deletion. The items that are deleted goes to Deleted items folder in Outlook can be recovered simply by following the under mentioned process.

How to Restore Soft Deleted Emails From Outlook

  • Step 1: Go to "Deleted items" folder and Open it.
  • Step 2: After deleted items folder opens, then click on the files that are needed to restore.
  • Step 3: Once all the items are selected, just right click the messages and click on "Move to Folder" option.
  • Step 4: Outlook will ask for the destination location to restore the messages and then just provide the location to save messages.
  • Step 5: The messages will be stored at the location of user's choice and can be accessed.

Note: By default the above discussed process will only helps in recovering soft deleted items from Outlook account. It does not work for hard deleted items.

Hard Deletion

When users delete any item from Outlook mailbox account by pressing "Shift + Delete" the process is called hard deletion. When users delete any item from PST file, it hardly effects the size of PST file have you ever wonder why?? Let us explain you when any item from PST gets removed from it, it appears to be deleted but still exists in PST file in the form of white space. Yes, the space used by deleted file is still exists as it is in PST file. In order to capture this white space in PST file Outlook performs the process of "Compact Now" automatically after certain period of time. When compression of PST files is done it overwrites that white space which is been created by deleting PST file items.

Note: If the process of compact now is executed in PST files then the deleted data is overwritten and the scope of data recovery is totally eliminated until some third party tool are used.

Situations Where Items Are Hard Deleted From Outlook Account

  • Sometimes users delete an item from the deleted item folder or empty the whole deleted items folder and after recognize that the data is needed.
  • Press "Shift + delete" instead of pressing "Delete" key to delete a message or folder
  • In Outlook account when users perform the process of "Compressing" PST files, in such cases the white space in between PST files is totally removed and the chances of recovering deleted items are eliminated. This is also an example of hard deletion.

How to Restore Hard Deleted Outlook Items

As discussed earlier if the PST file is compacted or compressed the chances of restoring Outlook items are almost eliminated until Outlook PST file recovery tool are used. So if you are also one who has suffered PST file data hard deletion then we have solution for you.