How to recover permanently deleted emails from an Outlook PST file

Emptying your deleted items folder can be a costly mistake for any one not paying attention to what they’re doing. We’ve seen it happen so many times before.

Thankfully, there are several methods of recovering permanently deleted items from the deleted items folder in Outlook.

Please see below for a step by step procedure on recovering permanently deleted items from your Outlook pst file.

  1. First, MAKE A BACKUP OF YOUR OUTLOOK PST FILE. This file is usually in your “C:\documents and settings\user\local settings\application data\outlook” folder. This step is critical.
  2. Make the following changes to the PST file you just backed up ONLY.
  3. Open a Hexeditor or download HexEdit from
  4. Delete positions 7 through 13 with the space bar. Since you’re using hexadecimal numbering, this actually clears 13 characters in the following positions:  00007, 00008, 00009, 0000a, 0000b, 0000c, 0000d, 0000e, 0000f, 00010, 00011, 00012, 00013  (The editor displays the code “20” each time you clear a position with the space bar.)
  5. After clearing those positions in the file, save the edited PST file in the hex editor. Your PST file should now be corrupted.
  6. Run the Inbox Repair Tool, SCANPST.exe –  to recover the file.  ( On Windows XP, the file is located in C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Mapi\1033 ).  For additional information on the Inbox Repair Tool, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article KB287497.
  7. After creating a backup (which can be skipped because naturally you followed these instructions and made a backup and are now working from it), the Inbox Repair Tool repairs the damage and recreates the PST.
  8. Open the new PST in Outlook. The Deleted Items folder should contain all removed messages, so anything you’ve emptied will be restored.

You may have problems with very large PST’s. Either the Hexeditor will take an inordinately long amount of time because it’s scanning the file or will simply hang – you will need patience to find out.

Lastly, this is not a guaranteed fix, just one potential method of retrieving permanently deleted emails from an Outlook PST file.

If the above solution does not recover your deleted emails from Outlook then please feel free to call us on 014852222 to book a FREE data recovery assessment.

4 thoughts on “How to recover permanently deleted emails from an Outlook PST file

  1. Hi,
    Sometimes it may be possible that inbox repair tool is not working.Then you can choose a PST repair tool to get back your deleted emails.

    You can reply to me to know effective PST repair tool .

    Russell Smith

  2. I just finished ‘responding’ to an email (1 1/2 hr. response)
    For some reason a box popped up asking me if I wanted to ‘save it’ and I said ‘no’. This occured before I even sent the reply. It is not in the ‘delete box’ or Recycle Bin.
    Is there any way I can recover my ‘reply letter’? I still have the original email message but my reply message is gone.
    I hope you can answer my question.

  3. I also want to get back some of my mails…Hopefully your pst repair recovery tool will help me here so much.

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