Have you ever been unable to find a contact in your smart phone address book that you know was there the week before? How about in your Outlook Address Book? Accidental deletion of contact records can happen even to fairly experienced Outlook users – read on for little known causes of accidental contact deletion along with some helpful tricks for recovering deleted contacts.
One of the most common causes of accidental deletion of contacts is trying to reorganize your categories. Be advised that if you select a contact record in the By Categories view and click the delete key – you did not just delete that category, you deleted the selected contact record instead (see thumbnail below).
To remove a category from a given contact record (or even a set of contact records), you need to remove it from the contact’s Categories field. To remove a category from the Available Categories list box in the Categories window (see thumbnail below), you need to remove it from the Master Categories list.
The Contact Activities is another common culprit for accidental deletion of contact records. If you select an item listed in your contact Activities Tab and click the delete button on the contact toolbar (see thumbnail below), the entire contact record is deleted as opposed to just that item.
The good news is that you can often recover accidentally deleted contact records. Once an item is deleted, it is sent to the Deleted Items folder (this includes appointments, tasks, contact records, journal entries and emails). You can recover an item from the Deleted Items folder by one of the following 2 methods:
Be careful about your Deleted Items settings – if you have have set your Deleted Items to empty every time you exit Outlook, you will not be able to recover accidentally deleted items once you have exited.
Now that I’ve put terror in your trigger finger (the one you use to click the Delete key), let me leave you with a final thought – The Delete key is still your friend. You should use the Delete key and use it often to keep your Outlook database cleaned out and operating at peak performance. Just be careful to make sure you are deleting the item you think you are deleting.
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