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OTooleAnne-5630 avatar image
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OTooleAnne-5630 asked ·

cleared offline items in outbox thinking it would send my emails but it deleted them

Hi, I had some emails that I was sending with delay delivery. When I logged back on this morning, they wouldn't send, I tried everything, send / receive, removed delay delivery, nothing. Then I clicked clear offline messages thinking it would send them but it didn't, it just deleted them. I can already see that I'm not the first person this happened to so find it strange that the issue hasn't been resolved / fixed with an error warning. Why not write delete offline messages instead of clear? Anyhow, is there any way to get these messages back?

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Hi @OTooleAnne-5630,

I am writing to check if you have had a chance to see the reply earlier. Feel free to post back if you have further questions or concerns on this.


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YukiSun-MSFT avatar image
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YukiSun-MSFT answered ·

Hi @OTooleAnne-5630,

According to your description, I am afraid it's not feasible to recover those messages back. Given this, it's suggested to check the Drafts folder to
see if you still have any drafts for these emails saved there, otherwise, you would have to recompose the emails from scratch.

The "Clear offline items" option is used to clear offline items in a specific folder, that is, clear the cached items from the OST files as indicated in the prompted dialogue box :
72244-clear-offline-items.png
For other folders, we can click the Update Folder button on the Send/Receive tab to recover the items. But items in your Outbox are not synchronized to Exchange server side, so we are not able to undo the "Clear Offline Items" in it.

Furthermore, based on my experience and test, normally messages in Outbox won't be affected by "Clear Offline Items", see the gif below:
72258-1.gif

However, if the sending message is turned into a "draft" for any reason, it won't be sent as expected and will be removed by "Clear Offline Items":
72341-2.gif

So next time if you would like to use the Delay delivery feature, aside from making sure Outlook is online and connected, please also confirm the message is not in a "draft" status, this can be determined by checking the icon and the font of a message:
72342-3.png

In case a message is already stuck in the Outbox folder, I'd recommend moving a copy to the Drafts folder first as a backup, then you can try removing the delay delivery and click the Send button after opening the message.


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OTooleAnne-5630 answered ·

Hi YukiSun-MSFT,
thanks for taking the time to answer, much appreciated. I do feel that there is a fault within MS to allow such a thing to happen. There were 7 messages in the outbox, fully sent according to outlook (even still when I click on the original message, it says replied at such and such a time, but no reply to be found), just sent with delay delivery. I was online and connected when I tried to resend. I was able to send normal emails no problem. This is a shared mailbox and it would seem it is not capable of delayed delivery, instead it made drafts out of the emails and refused to send them even when I removed the delay delivery.
"The "Clear offline items" option is used to clear offline items in a specific folder, that is, clear the cached items from the OST files as indicated in the prompted dialogue box:" Of course, it's easy to understand a process after it's been done, and indeed when I saw that dialogue box, I realised my emails had been deleted and not sent at all, however, I feel that this prompt after it's been done is too late; it should give you the dialogue box after you click clear offline items and before it actually goes ahead to delete them. And I see from my google search on how to undo it that I'm not the only person to have made this mistake so I don't understand why MS wouldn't fix the issue. A warning to advise that your data will be removed from the outlook data file would suffice. Even though, it's also unclear why it only says "clear offline items" and not "delete offline items". Clear is ambiguous, it could mean to send, to move into drafts, to move online & send. Delete is not ambiguous. Maybe that's a discussion for the next MS team meeting. Anyhow, thanks again, appreciate it.

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