Outlook Automatically Deleting Emails? Apply These Fixes

Published by John on Last Updated On :

Outlook Automatically Deleting Emails


Among all the email applications in the market, Microsoft Outlook is one that has gained much importance. It’s because of its feature-rich and intuitive interface, which facilitates seamless email exchange. However, sometimes, problems in the settings can lead to it misplacing or losing your emails. We are talking about when users find their Outlook automatically deleting emails. There is not a single definite cause of this issue. It can happen due to numerous reasons. However, finding your important emails getting deleted on their own is certainly not something you would look forward to. If you’ve been facing this issue and desire some effective solutions, this article is for you. Let’s find out the different ways to fix this problem.

Related Post:- How to Recover Permanently Deleted Emails in Outlook


Why is Outlook Automatically Deleting Emails?

Outlook comes with various features. One of them is the functionality of auto-deleting. Sometimes, it may be set up in a way that makes Outlook automatically delete your emails. Here are the different reasons for this problem.

  • You have configured the Move Conversation feature in Outlook in a manner that shifts the email from one to the other folder. Thus, it may seem to you that your email has been deleted.
  • Mistakenly applying wrong rules and configuring Outlook to auto-delete your emails is another common reason for Outlook deleting emails automatically from your inbox. 
  • The Ignore Conversation feature is enabled. Due to it, emails from a specific conversation sent to you are deleted by Outlook.
  • Antivirus software is interfering with the working of Outlook. 
  • You have synced Outlook on more than a single device.

Related Post:- Fix Outlook Sync Issues


How to Stop When Outlook Automatically Deleting Emails?

Depending on the causes above, there are numerous methods you can use to stop Outlook from deleting your emails. Keep reading to know how to implement them.


Stop Auto Delete from a Particular Folder

If you find your Outlook deleting emails automatically you can start by stopping the program to automatically delete from a particular folder. Here are the points to follow.

  1. Launch Outlook.
  2. Now, right-tap the particular folder you wish to stop auto delete from.
  3. Choose the ‘Properties‘ option from the menu.
  4. You will now see a dialog box opening. In this box, navigate to the ‘AutoArchive‘ category. 
  5. Now place a tick on the ‘Do not archive items in this folder option.
  6. To apply the changes you have just made, tap ‘OK.’

When you complete this process, you will see that all your earlier emails are kept in the specified folder. If you want Outlook to stop automatically deleting the messages from another folder, follow all the steps here again. 


Stop Outlook from Deleting Messages in the Deleted Items Folder

The deleted items folder contains all messages you have removed. You can stop Outlook from deleting items in this folder by going through the steps given below.

  • Launch Outlook and tap the ‘File‘ option.
  • Tap the ‘Empty Deleted Items Folder when exiting Outlook‘ option. It is present in the ‘Advanced‘ tab.
  • To apply the changes you have made, tap ‘OK.’
  • That’s it. Now Outlook won’t delete items from the deleted items folder.


Deactivate Outlook from Other Devices

As mentioned in the causes section, you may find Outlook automatically deleting emails if you are using the program on more than a single device. If you use Outlook on your phone, tablet, computer, or any other device, the emails will get deleted or shifted to another device. 

Another reason why this problem arises is because of POP3 and IMAP settings. If some of your devices are using the IMAP and some are using POP3, it may lead to confusion. The best fix in such a situation is to deactivate Outlook from all other devices except one that you frequently use for accessing the emails. Another option is to make modifications to the settings. You can turn the option of ‘Leave a copy on the server‘ in the POP3 protocol.

Related Post:- Outlook IMAP Settings


Retrieve the Emails that are Deleted Automatically

Now that you know how to stop Outlook from deleting emails, it’s also useful to know how to retrieve the deleted emails. Outlook will shift your prior emails to the archive.pst file. It is present in the following location: C:\Users\Username\Documents\Outlook Files

If you want to retrieve the deleted items in Outlook, go to the path where archive.pst is created. Import it to your Microsoft Outlook profile. By doing this, all the items that were deleted will be retrieved from your mailbox. However, keep in mind that you will not be able to restore some items which are deleted from Outlook via archive.pst if they are completed damaged. In such a case, you can utilize the Inbox Repair Tool in Outlook to repair the archive.pst file. After that, you can retrieve all the deleted items.


Set a Reminder to Prompt for User Permission before Emptying Deleted Items Folder

It’s possible for you to configure Outlook in a manner that it asks for your permission before emptying the folder of deleted items. Here’s how you can configure it in this manner and prevent the automatic deletion of items.

  1. Launch Outlook and head over to the ‘Tools‘ menu.
  2. Now, tap ‘Options‘ and choose the ‘Other‘ tab.
  3. After that, tap the ‘Advanced option.
  4. Now, place a tick on the box that says ‘Warn before permanently deleting items.’
  5. Then tap ‘OK.’

Now, whenever the folder of deleted items gets emptied, you will see a confirmation message popping up. It will ask you if you wish to delete the items you have selected permanently or not. You can retrieve the relevant items if they are present in the deleted items folder before it gets emptied. 


Final Thoughts

Emails contain some of our most crucial data. In such a scenario, finding them getting removed without any notice can turn out to be very frustrating. Hopefully, now you know just what to do when you find Outlook automatically deleting emails. All the techniques listed here are pretty straightforward. They’ll not take up much of your time. But in the rare case that you find yourself still unable to stop Outlook from deleting your emails, it’s best to report this matter to an Outlook support service technician. 

Written By


John is a Technical Writer at Email Support, has 10 years of experience, and is an expert in Email and Cloud Computing. His specialty is writing about the Email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo, Verizon, SBCGlobal, Gmail, Apple Mail, AOL, WildBlue, and others.

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John is a Technical Writer at Email Support, has 10 years of experience, and is an expert in Email and Cloud Computing. His specialty is writing about the Email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo, Verizon, SBCGlobal, Gmail, Apple Mail, AOL, WildBlue, and others.

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