How to Recover a Deleted Folder in Outlook Express

By Josh Baum

Outlook Express is one of the most popular email software titles on the market, but it isn't completely foolproof. It is entirely possible to accidentally delete a folder containing important emails and contacts. If this happens to you, there are two ways to recover the folder. The first will work in most cases, and if it fails, the second solution will allow you to recover any Outlook data that was not permanently lost as the result of a serious system failure.

Step 1

Do not close Outlook Express if you have just deleted the folder. Outlook Express can be customized so that all deleted items are deleted permanently upon shutdown of the application, and you should not take this risk. If you have already closed Outlook Express, open it again, but know that there is a possibility that the data has been permanently deleted.

Step 2

Look at the Folders panel in the top-left corner of the window. Click the plus-sign icon next to the Deleted Items folder and scan the contents. If you see your deleted folder, right-click on the folder, select "Restore" and you're all finished. If you do not see your deleted folder, proceed to the next step.

Step 3

Click the "Tools" button on the main window and select "Options." Click the "Maintenance" tab in the Options window, and then click the "Store Folder" button. This will open a new window with a file path at the top.

Step 4

Right-click on the "Start" button at the bottom-left corner of your screen and select "Explore." Within the Explore window, browse through the folders in the left panel to follow the file path you found in the previous step.

Step 5

Look at the contents of this folder, which is where all of your Outlook Express data is stored. Scan for a file with the same name as the one you deleted. If you do not see this file, unfortunately, it means that it has been permanently deleted. If you do see this file, drag and drop it onto the desktop, minimize the Explorer window and proceed to the next step.

Step 6

Close Outlook Express. Once the application has completely shut down, open it again.

Step 7

Right-click within the Folders panel and select "Create New Folder." When the folder appears, give it the same name as the one you deleted. Once this is done, close Outlook Express again.

Step 8

Go back to your Explorer window, which should still be showing the folder where Outlook Express stores its data. Drag the file that you moved to your desktop back into this folder. A window will pop up asking you if you would like to replace the existing file of the same name with the new file; confirm that you would.

Step 9

Launch Outlook Express once more. The deleted folder should be restored.