Retrieve A Deleted Distribution List In Outlook

If you've spent time assembling a distribution list in Outlook, then accidentally deleting it with an unplanned keystroke can seem like a major catastrophe. However, fixing the problem is easier than you might think.

The Microsoft Crabby Office Lady blog points out that provided you go immediately to the Deleted Items folder within your Inbox after losing a distribution list, you can drag the just-deleted list back onto the Contacts folder to retrieve it.

In fact, this logic works with any item in Outlook; while the Deleted Items folder is normally dominated by email and accessed through the Mail view, it will also contain anything else deleted within Outlook itself. To control how often the folder is emptied, head to the Other tab on the Tools —> Options dialog, where you can set your system to automatically empty deleted items whenever you exit Outlook.

Recover a mistakenly deleted distribution list [Crabby Office Lady]


    Sorry, but I've tried this before and it doesn't work. Sure, you can drag it back into your contacts, but when you go to use it to send an email a message comes up that says "An unexpected error has occurred". I'll stand corrected if there's something I'm missing though.

    Myrna, that error means you have to create a new profile, then you'll be able to drag & drop the deleted item no prob's.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE HELP! It worked great and saved me from becomming the Crabby Lady!

    Thanks everyone - you just about saved my life over a critical distribution list. Seems to me, though, that the accidental deletion was far to easy to do - I wasn't even asked if I was sure.

      Gail, I hear ya! Surely Microsoft can fix up these pesky bugs that has their customers shedding blood over these pesky things that could surely be fixed rather easily.

    I tried this suggestion but it wasn't in the deleted items folder after I deleted the distribution list. I also looked in the recycled items folder and nothing there either. Desperately trying to think of something to do I tried doing a search in the deleted items folder; so I entered the name of the lost distribution list in the search box and voila! I could hardly believe it but it popped up right away!

    Thank you!!! This worked I am breathing much easier!

    I found my deleted distribution list but I can't figure out how to get in back as a distribution list. I printed it out but I don't want to do this all over again. Any ideas?

    none of these options worked for me. I can't seem to search only the deleted items folder - goes to all items and unfortunately for me, the name of the group was included in an email footer that I had last year (advertising a conference) so searching everything isn't helping either!

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