Mail in Sent Items Gone

dossier

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
Environment: Outlook 2016, Exchange Server 2016

This has happened to one user: She had thousands of messages in her Sent Items folder until approximately 1 week ago. Every message in that folder prior to December 2019 is now gone. She did not delete the messages.

Auto Archiving is disabled by Group Policy for the company.

The mail is not in the Deleted Items folder nor in Recover Deleted Items from the Server. The mail is no longer on the Exchange server as queries I have run show the message count the same as Outlook shows. There are no pst files associated with her account.

I ran a program found online: mfcmapi. This shows that since the creation of her mailbox, almost 11,000 items have been deleted from the Sent Items folder. This tells me that the messages were indeed deleted. But how? I'm very concerned this could happen to others, or to this user again, if an explanation cannot be found.
 

Sanjeev9910

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2019 32-bit
Email Account
Exchange Server 2013
The sent items are auto-deleted in outlook after a time. You might not able to see your sent items. Keep a copy of the sent items. elect File > Options > Mail . Check the mailbox for save copies of messages
 

dossier

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
Thank you for your reply. File > Options > Mail > Save Messages > Save copies of messages in the Sent Items folder is selected and sent mail is going into that folder. I don't think that's the problem.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
So the messages are missing from the server... which means its not due to the sync settings.

You aren't using online archiving or policies to delete messages as they age?

Office 365 has an option for auditing - this could give you an idea of what happened, but it needs enabled before the deletion.


Are they in the deleted items folder? In the Recovery folder? In purges?

If you are using an Office 365 business mailbox, you can try a Office addin called Email Recovery. It can recover mail that is out of the recovery folder and waiting for Exchange to purge it. I don't think it will work with on-prem, but there is a powershell.

You want to choose Purges - it will create a new folder and put all of the recovered mail into it. After you are done, delete the folder then delete it from the deleted folder.
 

Diane Poremsky

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

if you don't use a search query, all will be recovered - create a folder for them so not to pollute the mailbox.
Search-Mailbox <Source Mailbox> -SearchDumpsterOnly -SearchQuery "Kind:meetings" -TargetMailbox <Destination mailbox> -TargetFolder <Folder> -LogLevel Full
 

dossier

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
Thank you for the helpful response. Archiving is disabled by Group Policy. There are no policies for deleting messages as they age.

I've tried many queries to locate the messages on the Exchange server (it is on-prem) but I don't know if I've run the one you suggested. I'll try that shortly. If there's no luck with that, I'll see if the Email Recovery add-in can be tried.

Thank you again.
 

dossier

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
I ran the Search-Mailbox query using "Kind:email". The 27 messages returned were recent ones deleted manually by the user.

There does not appear to be a way to use the Email Recovery add-in with on-premise Outlook 2016. I see no way to install it in Outlook even though I added it in Office 365. I logged into OWA as the user (even though we don't use OWA) but there doesn't seem to be a way to add it there either. Is it just for Exchange Online? Or perhaps I'm doing something wrong.
 
Outlook version
Outlook on the web
Email Account
Exchange Server
You can follow these steps to recover your mails.
  1. Sign in to your account.
  2. Click the gear icon on the upper right of the page, select More mail settings.
  3. Under Writing email, choose Saving sent messages.
  4. Tick the radio for Save all sent messages in the Sent items folder then Save.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
There does not appear to be a way to use the Email Recovery add-in with on-premise Outlook 2016.
There is a way to use addins, but you need the source code and need to install it. It does the same as the powershell, just easier for the end user.

Try it without the kind - this will find everything.
Search-Mailbox <Source Mailbox> -SearchDumpsterOnly -TargetMailbox <Destination mailbox> -TargetFolder <Folder>

Does the user sync with a new iphone or ipad, using the apple mail app? There is a bug where deleting all mail in a folder empties the wrong folder. I thought it emptied all, not just older ones though. I was not affected by it (i have an old iPhone, on its last legs), so i could be mistaken.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
You can follow these steps to recover your mails.
  1. Sign in to your account.
  2. Click the gear icon on the upper right of the page, select More mail settings.
  3. Under Writing email, choose Saving sent messages.
  4. Tick the radio for Save all sent messages in the Sent items folder then Save.
please read the question - twice - and address it specifically. This is not the OPs problem.
 

dossier

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
There is a way to use addins, but you need the source code and need to install it. It does the same as the powershell, just easier for the end user.

Try it without the kind - this will find everything.
Search-Mailbox <Source Mailbox> -SearchDumpsterOnly -TargetMailbox <Destination mailbox> -TargetFolder <Folder>

Does the user sync with a new iphone or ipad, using the apple mail app? There is a bug where deleting all mail in a folder empties the wrong folder. I thought it emptied all, not just older ones though. I was not affected by it (i have an old iPhone, on its last legs), so i could be mistaken.
Thank you for the suggestion. I ran the query without "kind" and it returned only 25 Deletions (all recently deleted manually by the user) and 13 Calendar Logging items.

The user does indeed sync with an iPhone, as does most of the company's users. She has an iPhone 7 but the IOS version is current (or near current) - 13.4.1. I was not aware of the bug you mentioned. I'll need to find out about this. I'll ask the user if she's recently deleted all mail in a folder.
 

dossier

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
Thank you for the suggestion. I ran the query without "kind" and it returned only 25 Deletions (all recently deleted manually by the user) and 13 Calendar Logging items.

The user does indeed sync with an iPhone, as does most of the company's users. She has an iPhone 7 but the IOS version is current (or near current) - 13.4.1. I was not aware of the bug you mentioned. I'll need to find out about this. I'll ask the user if she's recently deleted all mail in a folder.
I cannot find any information on the iPhone bug. Do you have something that would point me in the right direction?
 

dossier

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
The user reported back that around the time the messages in the Sent Items folder disappeared, she had deleted a lot of messages from the Deleted Items folder. She said she used both Outlook on her computer and the iPhone to do this.
 

dossier

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
Has no one else ever experienced this? As I mentioned, I am very concerned that this could happen to others. I found nothing about an IOS bug that would delete all the mail in a folder going back to a certain date.
 
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