Restore data (OneDrive) after deleting Email or user

Copper Contributor

after deleting the email,

how can we recover the data and the folders in OneDrive?

1 Reply

Hello @u_almatar 


It is probably a bit too late to recover this data for you but thought it would be idea to share some knowledge about this subject.


When you remove or delete a license, the user's old email, contacts, and calendar are retained for 30 days, then permanently deleted. If you remove or delete a license but don't delete the account, the content in the user's OneDrive will remain accessible to you even after 30 days.


You could forward a former employee's email to another employee or convert to a shared mailbox. This lets you keep the former employee's email address active. If you have customers or partners still sending email to the former employee's address, this gets them to the person taking over the work.


  • Creating a shared mailbox is the less expensive way to go because you won't have to pay for a license as long as the mailbox is smaller than 50GB. Over 50GB and you'll need to assign a license to it.
  • If you convert the mailbox to a shared mailbox, all the old email will be available, too. This can take up a lot of space.
  • If you set up email forwarding, only new emails sent to the former employee will now be sent to the current employee.
  • Email forwarding requires that the former employee's account has a license.


If you're setting up email forwarding or a shared mailbox, at the end, don't delete the former employee's account. The account needs to be there to anchor the email forwarding or shared mailbox.


Relevant documentation: 


Remove a former employee - Overview - Microsoft 365 admin | Microsoft Docs


Credits to: jaycekakay