How to Find Old Emails in Office 365?

Himanshu Goyal
Himanshu Goyal linkedin | Updated On - December 14, 2022 |

Read time 9 minutes

Office 365 is known worldwide for providing communication at ease with individuals inside and outside the organization. It is a feasible way to store all your emails and other essential documents, which are readily available since the platform is accessible from any device. Due to the large size of mailboxes, developed as a result of constant email communication, there is a need to move the older emails from the primary mailbox by taking a free Office 365 backup. But what if you need to find an old email that you deleted? Or, what if you can’t remember the name of the person or company you were corresponded to? Don’t worry – it’s easy to find old emails in Office 365. In this article, we’ll show you how.

What is the need to find old emails in Office 365?

  1. Information requirement-
    Any ongoing or future projects could need an old piece of information. This creates a need to find older emails in Office 365.
  2. Organize emails-
    Also, having a larger chunk of older emails creates a lot of chaos and confusion. When the emails become older than three months, then it becomes challenging for the administrator to keep them well organized in the mailbox.
  3. Backup emails-
    When all the older and important emails have reached a certain limit, the organization must take proper backup of them and clear their inbox. Since PST is a secure format, you can export Office 365 mailboxes to PST to keep a backup of all your data, including emails. This ensures that all your data is safely kept and can be used anytime in the future.
Find Old Emails/Messages in Outlook App

Finding older messages in the Outlook application is very simple since it creates a separate folder for all your old emails. Even if you delete this folder after viewing the messages, only the folder will be removed, not the messages. This approach is helpful, provided those emails were not deleted. Following the steps below, you can create a search folder and group all older messages-

  1. Open Outlook 2016/2013/2010 and click the Folder tab, and then select New Search Folder
    Find Old Emails
  2. Now, scroll to Organizing Mail in the opened tab and select Old Mail. You can choose any period from which you want to group messages. By default, it will display all one-week older Outlook group messages. Also, if there is more than one account in your Outlook, you can select that specific email account and click “OK.
    select Old Mail
  3. On clicking Ok, you’ll see that a new folder has been created and added to the Navigation Pane. The folder name will be based on the time you chose while creating a search folder

This is one of the simplest methods to find older messages in MS Outlook. Even if you delete this folder after viewing the messages, only the folder will be removed, not the messages. With this method, you can find all old emails provided they were not deleted.

Finding Old Messages in Outlook Web App

Outlook web app is the most comfortable way to access Office 365 mailboxes if you have the required admin permission. First, you can perform a quick check in the Archive and Deleted. Further, these steps will help you to find deleted messages via Outlook Web App –

  1. Contact the admin to ask for Outlook web app credentials and login in using those.
  2. You will see the Folders option on the left. Click the arrow to expand the folder.
  3. The folder list will be visible to you, click More to check the old messages.
  4. You will find a folder that is named with your email address. Expand the folder to see all its subfolders
  5. In the subfolders, you can find all the older emails within the specific folder name, such as the Inbox items that will be available in the INBOX folder.

Even this method seemed easy to perform. But, Office 365 users often delete older messages, and then the need to recover deleted messages arises.

Other aspects to check immediately-
  1. Inspect the Cache Exchange Mode-
    Cache Exchange Mode is a setting that uses Microsoft Exchange email services to choose the required time period for which Outlook application will store all the emails in its local storage. By default, it is 12 months, but you can change it to “All” to keep a copy of all the emails you have ever received by using these steps-

    1. Open Outlook and click on the Files tab.
    2. Select Account Settings under the Account Settings option.
    3. On the Account Settings window, select the account and select Change.
    4. Check the “Use Cache Exchange Mode to download email to an Outlook data file”. Move the slider to set the range. Click on Next.
  2. Change Retention policies-

    The administrators have many responsibilities to be taken care of as and when it comes. They can set certain Office 365 retention policies for emails, allowing them to decide when emails go for deletion or archiving. Certain retention tabs can be used to determine the future of all old emails.

    You can conduct all these by opening the Exchange admin center. Select compliance management and move to the retention policies tab. Click on the pencil option to start making the new policy.

Recover emails from backup in no time-

Deleted items can be recovered quickly if they are available within Office 365 mailboxes. However, sometimes they might not be. That is the reason why experts suggest that it is a good practice to backup Office 365 mailboxes. For this, users need a secure and powerful tool to backup Office 365 mailboxes.

Backup Older and Deleted Messages using a professional approach-

Recovering old emails that are deleted from the mailboxes is a bit difficult. But, if you take a backup of mailboxes using Kernel Export Office 365 to PST, it is easier for users to recover data.

  1. Download and install the tool on your system.
  2. Once you launch the tool, click Add. You’ll see two options. Select the Basic Authentication option to proceed further.Start the software
  3. Click the Add button to add your office 365 account. Choose List all the mailboxes to display all available mailboxes in the Office 365 account.Add your office 365 account
  4. Select the type of mailbox that you want to back up from the primary mailbox, archive mailbox, or public folder, and then click Migrate.Select the type of mailbox
  5. Select specific emails/items using the smart filters of the tool for backup based on item type, folders, date, etc., and click I am ok, Start Migration.Select specific emails/items
  6. Select the desired file format to backup Office 365 hidden mailboxes and click OK.backup Office 365 hidden mailboxes
  7. Select the location on your system where you want to save the backup file and click Ok.Select the location on your system
  8. The process will take some time to backup depending on the size of the mailboxes. Once it is complete, you’ll receive a notification on your window screen.Process completed

Now, you can access the backup PST file with Outlook, and the deleted items will be available in Deleted Folder. It is an effortless and uncomplicated method to find all the items of an Office 365 account.

Moreover, this Kernel tool offers a number of features that make it an ideal tool for backing up your Office 365 data.

  • Incremental Backups: Backup only the changed data since the last backup; it helps to save time and storage space.
  • Support for Multiple Accounts: Backup data from multiple Office 365 accounts, making it easy to keep all your data in one place.

These features make Kernel Office 365 Backup an ideal tool for backing up your Office 365 data. Whether you need to secure your Microsoft 365 data from accidental deletion or corruption, or you simply want to have a backup in case you need to switch to a different Office 365 account, this tool can surely help.


We have the solution for you if you are looking for ways to find old emails in Office 365. In this article, we have walked you through how to find old emails in Office 365. We also showed you how to restore old emails that have been deleted from your inbox. Following these simple steps, you can quickly locate and restore any old email missing from your account.

The manual methods have limitations; you might need to contact the admin to access deleted emails. So, it’s necessary to use an effective solution that can backup every mailbox item. Export Office 365 to PST is one of the bests professional software that can quickly backup Office 365 mailboxes within a few minutes.