Restore Deleted Email in Office 365 with In-Place Hold & eDiscovery

By Heather LaVere

In an increasingly digital world, keeping a comprehensive record of communications is highly important for businesses contending with tight industry regulations, such as law practices and financial firms. As a result, a misplaced or deleted email message can become an enormous headache for users and administrators alike.

Fortunately, Office 365 can provide unlimited archiving of email messages in the cloud, as well as be used to retrieve deleted messages that can be searched by eDiscovery.

Businesses gain access to Office 365 in-place hold and eDiscovery at the Enterprise E3 tier, which is activated at the user level. This means the feature can be utilized for the users it is most relevant to, and allows businesses to mix and match with to lower tiers of the service if desired.

By activating in-place hold for a user, you can take comfort in knowing that their inbox will be preserved indefinitely (or until he feature is disabled). Should any message be deleted by its recipient, administrators have the power to restore it when necessary. But how do you do it? In this short video guide, we’ll go through the steps to retreive Office 365 email with in-place hold and eDiscovery.

  1. In the Office 365 admin portal, select the Exchange tab on the left
  2. In the Exchange tab, select In-Place & eDiscovery, followed by Compliance Management
  3. Select the “+” icon to begin a new search
  4. Choose a detailed name for the search (and resulting file) that will help identify it later
    • Ex) John Doe Message Recovery 21st January, 2016
  5. Select the mailbox to be searched
  6. Choose to either Search All within the mailbox or by Specific Details
  7. Select the message type
  8. Choose the amount of time you wish to retain the search results
  9. Select Finish

You now have the option to preview your recovered message(s) before exporting as a .PST file. We recommend taking this extra step to ensure that all the email content you were searching for is present.

The .PST file can then be brought into Outlook by going to the desktop client and selecting the File tab. From there, choose the Open & Export option and select Data Import. Email will slowly begin to populate within Outlook, which can then be forwarded to the proper recipients.

Congratulations! You have just saved the day by restoring a deleted email in Office 365!

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