Do Outlook folders/emails still remain on the disk even if they've been deleted/sent to trash?

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Dan Calic

I have Win 7 64 bit OS and Outlook 2010.

When Outlook folders or emails get deleted/sent to trash are they totally gone or are they still lurking around somewhere on the computer? If they are still recoverable or able to be viewed by someone with that level of skill set, is there a way to prevent them from being recovered or viewed?

Second question: If I export my emails and folders are they gone from my computer?

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange

When do Delete items, they go into the deleted items folder. Once you empty the deleted items folder, they are gone UNLESS you use Exchange server, then they going into the 'deleted items dumpster' for the period of time set by your administrator.

To permanently delete stuff, hold Shift as you delete. This bypasses the deleted items folder.

Brian Tillman

By following Diane's advice, you'd make it very difficult for someone to recover your deleted items, but with the proper forensic tools, they could still be recovered in part or in full. A complete full format (not a quick format) that writes every sector of a hard drive is the best way to ensure your data won't be available to someone who gets your computer, but there are forensic tools that may be able to recover data from remapped sectors. Another good way to protect your PC is with a tool like TrueCrypt. Someone stealing your hard drive would see only random bits if they were to read the hard drive.

In answer to your second question: exporting doesn't delete anything. It makes copies.
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