How to Undelete a Message Quickly in Outlook

Regret deleting that email? Get it back quickly

A delete button close up picture of a keyboard
Filograph / Getty Images

It happens all the time: People click Del in Outlook Email and the message is gone. In the same nanosecond, they spot something in the email that sparks their interest. Too late.

Too late? No, because it is really easy to recover an Outlook message you just deleted. It works just like undoing something in Word or lots of other programs.

Undelete a Message Quickly in Outlook

To undelete a message fast from the keyboard in Outlook:

  • If you just deleted the email and haven't taken any other action, press the familiar keyboard combination Ctrl-Z, and the email you just deleted returns to your inbox.
  • If you have taken other actions in Outlook email, pressing Ctrl-Z multiple times undoes a series of actions in the reverse order they were made.

Undelete Deleted Messages in Outlook 

Deleted Outlook emails are typically found in the Deleted Items folder in Outlook. If you mistakenly delete a message and don't use Ctrl-Z to recover it right away, you can move it from the Deleted Items folder to any other folder to restore it. In Exchange and Office 365 accounts, deleted email is moved to Recoverable Items.

If time has passed, you may still be able to recover a deleted Outlook email, but the process is more involved and isn't quick. Emails deleted from the Deleted Items folder or Recoverable Items or IMAP emails marked for deletion are more difficult to recover. If you make regular backups on your computer, a backup may be the quickest path to recovery.