“Deleted Items” Is Not a Good Place to Store Things

Several times in my career I have come across users who delete things in MS Outlook (or another email or file system) and keep said messages or documents in the Trash or Deleted Items folder. This is a Bad Idea™ for the following reasons. 

Storing files or messages in your trash/deleted items is akin to storing real documents in the waste basket. I don’t know about you, but that is not the first place I go when I want to keep something safe! The reasons are simple.

  • You may, accidentally or purposefully, clean out the trash, and when it’s gone, so are all the files that were in it.
  • Your system administrator (think “janitor” in this case) may clean out your deleted items for you.
  • Your backup solution may not automatically back up the contents of deleted items folders. After all, you deleted them, so how important could they be?

If you want to keep files or emails around, fine – just don’t keep them in the trash.

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