Email etiquette – so you think you have deleted it. Guest Post by Keith Quinn, Essential Computing

Monday October 31st, 2011, 2:35 pm

trash can

Email overload often seduces us into replying in haste and then trying to delete the said email from ours and the recipients inbox.

Whether an email is deleted – inadvertently or intentionally – the good (or perhaps bad) news is that it can almost always be recovered.

For example, you’ll know that if you delete an email in Outlook, it will go into the Deleted Items folder, but even deleting an item from this folder does not actually delete it.  You can still recover it (albeit within a more limited time-frame) using the Outlook Recover Deleted Items option.

The deletion of items held in this service (termed the Dumpster) is managed as a central function.  For example, a permanent deletion may be configured to take effect after say 28 days or longer, giving you a window for retrieval.

But, the fact is, even if an email is permanently deleted from Exchange it will still exist in many different places, including:

Exchange backups
  • An email archive service
  • A journal archive.
  • The sender/recipient’s inbox.

Just like your Facebook profile, once an email has been sent, it is forever somewhere in the ether.
Some IT teams might choose not to expend effort in retrieving an email confirming your extra day’s holiday for you.  However you can bet that a LOT of effort will be spent on recovering email that shouldn’t have been sent in the first place.

For more information about how we can help you see our website at

Keith Quinn, CEO, Essential Computing

For more time saving tips and hints why not buy a copy of one of our books or let us run a Smart Email Management workshop for you and your colleagues.
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