How To Delete Contents In Recoverable Items Folder

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I got an email request to help with deleting the emails in the recoverable items folder. Let’s find out how to delete the contents in the dumpster.

You may come across situations in which you want to delete the contents of the recoverable items folder and it will come in handy to know the cmdlet to use to make the process easier. Let me explain with my mailbox as an example.

Running Get-MailboxFolderStatistics will bring you the number of items you have in your mailbox. I have 11942 items in the deletions folder, which is part of the recoverable items folder structure in Exchange 2010.

Mailbox Folder Statistics

Run the following command to delete the contents of the dumpster.

Search-Mailbox –identity alias –SearchDumpsterOnly –DeleteContent

Delete dumpster content from mailbox

Running Get-MailboxFolderStatistics again reflects the deletion.

Mailbox Dumpster deleted

Nice and easy!

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About the author: Exchange Architect, Blogger, Husband & Dad. I have been in IT for the last 11 years, with Exchange Server becoming the prime area in the last few years. I am active on TechNet forums & Experts Exchange.

4 comments… add one

  1. The command “Search-Mailbox –identity alias –SearchDumpsterOnly –DeleteContent” only work on Exchange 2010 SP1. On Exchange 2010 SP2 the command than work for me was:
    Get-mailbox “User Name”| search-mailbox –searchquery “Subject:’*’” –DeleteContent -SearchDumpsterOnly


    1. Hi Ricardo,

      What happens when you run the first command? Any errors?

  2. Christopher

    The commands

    “Search-Mailbox –identity alias –SearchDumpsterOnly –DeleteContent”


    Get-mailbox “User Name”| search-mailbox –searchquery “Subject:’*’” –DeleteContent -SearchDumpsterOnly

    do not work for me , i get always the message “NamedParameterNoFound,Search-Mailbox” but my user is in the Discovery Managment Group

    1. Hi Christopher,

      In Exchange Shell, if you type in search- and “tab through”, does it fill in as search-mailbox?

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