Outlook Deleted Files Missing

Copper Contributor

My desktop was recently updated to Windows 10.  After the update, I noticed that any files I delete in Outlook (Office 365 version) are not moving to the "Deleted Items" folder.  They are just disappearing.  I delete the files by clicking on the trash can symbol.  I didn't see this problem before updating to Windows 10, so wondering if the update changed some settings that I'm just not seeing. 

17 Replies

Hitting the button should move them to the Deleted items folder, but I'd suggest you also check the Recover Deleted items functionality (use the button on the ribbon after you select  Deleted items).

  @Vasil Michev Yes, hitting the button should put them in the Deleted Items folder, but it does not.  I have looked at the Recover Deleted Items functionality and see some of the deleted files.  My problem is that any files I delete should be going to the Deleted Items folder and they are not.  I'm trying to figure out if a setting somehow got switched when I updated to Windows 10 as everything worked fine until I updated.

I cannot think of any W10 option that would affect this. Well, sticky keys maybe or something similar, as holding the Shift key while doing the deletion will "hard" delete the item, placing it in the Recover deleted items container. You can prevent that by enabling the "prompt for confirmation before deleting" option under Options -> Advanced.


I've been having this issue for months and have tried everything.

Using Office 2016 and even tried upgrading to 2019.

Outlook set up as MS Exchange used with outlook.com account.

Problem: Everything seems to work fine with the exception that when selecting the Deleted Items folder nothing is there. If you click on "Recover items recently removed from this folder" you get a long list of emails that were probably emails that have been automatically deleted due to the 30 day automatic removal of emails from the deleted items folder but no emails that were recently deleted that you might want to move back to your inbox cause you deleted by accident say. When using a browser or the Mail app in Win 10 the deleted items folder is full of the emails you had recently deleted.

    I had tried everything, deleting mail profiles, accounts, uninstall / reinstall. Revo uninstaller and cleaning any reg keys left behind and nothing fixed it. Just a few minutes ago I right clicked on the deleted items folder like I've done a million times by now trying to figure this out but this time I noticed at the bottom of the Outlook window it showed there were 360 items in the folder although the window was empty showing no emails, just prior to that I had just added my MS account for the 50th time and it showed it was updating the deleted items offline folder. So for the heck of it I figured I'd click on the "Clear Offline Items" button on the General tab of the deleted items property window. Closed the property window and clicked on the refresh folder button in the quick access toolbar and items began to appear in the deleted items pane. WTH. If anyone still has this problem please try this and reply here if that fixed the issue for you.



I have a user that is having this exact same issue.  Did you have any luck finding a solution?

I already had this kind of problem. It can be caused by a synchronization problem with the .ost cache file.

Close outlook, delete the .ost file, open Outlook and retry.

If not resolved, you can disable the caching to ost file and setup your Outlook in “live” mode

If that not resolved the problem, delete the profile and recreate it I’m almost certain it will resolve your problem.



Yes, I did finally get it figured out. Right click on the deleted items folder, select properties. Then on the general tab click on Clear Offline Items, close the properties window and click on the refresh folder icon at the top of the outlook window. That did the trick instantly. I've tried all of the things listed in StevenRPF post but oddly none of those things worked. I had even deleted the profile, uninstalled outlook, deleted every reg entry and folder associated with outlook including the ones under app data and none of that fixed it. Then I noticed the Clear Offline items button and figured WTF and clicked on it. One thing I'd never done or noticed and all of my deleted emails started to appear once I clicked the refresh icon. Hope that helps you.

Really!! I’m surprised that my suggestions didn’t resolved them problem. That was a little bit drastic but often that’s the solution!!! I’m happy to learn that “clear offline” button can resolve these kinds of problems!


I guess I should share more information, not sure if I gave a clear picture of the issue as I've learned a bit since resolving the problem from all the different things I've tried and all the forums I've visited for answers. It is as I described earlier but I have an outlook.com email account, a gmail account, and a local ISP provider account that I don't really use but use Outlook to check it in case something is sent to it and to keep it from deletion by the ISP. This issue only was with my outlook.com account, the other 2 accounts never had the problem. Also, I have a convertible tablet, a laptop, and a Tower for gaming, I own Office 2013, 2016, and 2019. This was an issue across all 3 devices and all 3 versions of Office with outlook.com. I thought if I could fix one then I could fix the other 2. I have actually installed all 3 versions of Office I own at different times in trying to fix this thinking initially it was a problem that started with Office 2019 or possibly 2016, but nothing worked. It seems like it was a corruption of something that was on the server side (on the outlook.com profile) and no matter what I did on the workstation when it synced to outlook.com what ever was corrupted was just synced back to my outlook profile on the PC. Once clearing the offline items on my PC it actually fixed the issue on all 3 of my devices. I can't explain it but all 3 devices have been fine ever since and the deleted items folder on all 3 match exactly what's shown when I use a browser to check email on outlook.com, where as before the only thing ever shown in the deleted items folder was the link for "recover items recently removed from this folder" and nothing else. Which was annoying if there was something I deleted accidentally it never showed up when clicking on that link and I always had to log into outlook.com with a web browser to recover it. I hope this helps anyone else having this issue as it was driving me crazy trying to figure this out and Microsoft was of no help.

@GaryG1020 I read all of what fixed yours but mine does not even give that option in the properties folder?  I have Windows 10 online and in Office 365 in General tab it says literally nothing just location and size of folder...WTH are they all different versions?  My emails are deleting after 30 days on their own!  I have looked everywhere....



I'm using Office 365 and the Properties tab does not offer "Clear Offline Items" as an option.  Office connects thru GSuite and the deleted folder doesn't show any items either.  Any ideas?

I have the same issue with Outlook Office 365


If you're using Office 365 installed on your computer, right click on the deleted items folder in the left pane and select properties.


If you're using outlook.com I'm not sure what would cause this there. 

Thanks for connecting, Gary. Unfortunately, the deleted items folder is gone.
OMG! I've been having this issue for over a year. I can see all Deleted Items emails in the online/web version but on the Desktop Outlook I can see that there are thousands of emails listed in the [brackets] but zero show up in one email and only ones more than 2 years old show up in another. It made NO sense. I've spent HOURS Googling this. Hours on with Microsoft support. I've created new profiles. Deleted OST files. Reinstalled. NOTHING worked until I tried your solution to right click and select "Clear Offline Items", then I synchronized the folder (which took a few minutes) and POOF - there they are!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm having the same issue with other sub folders. Any idea how to do the "Clear Offline Items" for the parent and ALL subfolders?

@LC_CCMC , I just looked at my Inbox, Sent Items, and Archived folders and all of them have the Clear Offline Items button in their properties. You could try and see if it fixes those too. I've only had the problem with my Deleted Items folder.

Those aren't the ones I'm having issues with. It's Sub folders with Sub/Sub folders. It's an arduous task to do each one that has this glitch. I also discovered a secondary issue: That when I clicked on a folder with this issue the Clear Offline only addresses PART of the problem. The other part affecting me not seeing emails in a folder was discovered by clicking on the Folder - Going to "Filter" on the bottom of the Home tab bar - going to the Advanced tab - and I discovered that under "find items that match these criteria" there is something that says "Owner Contains L". which is so random. But it's on every folder and once I removed them (after the Clear Offline) I could see everything!!!