How to Recover Deleted Contact Group in Outlook 2016: A Technical Guide

admin | March 4th, 2019 | outlook

Contacts make sending and receiving of emails easier as users just need to click on a name instead of remembering the phone number or email address. MS Outlook allows to create a Contact Group from Contacts List and store this distribution list in the Contacts folder. However, Outlook users often encounter deletion of contact group issue while managing their Address Book. There might be several factors that can results deletion of Outlook 2016 contact group such as PST file exceeds its maximum size limit, accidental deletion of contact group/ distribution list, and deadly virus/ malware attacks.

How to Recover Deleted Contact Group in Outlook?

Losing crucial contact information from Outlook 2016 is a very common situation that is encountered by several users. In this section, we are going to disclose the solutions to retrieve lost Outlook PST data items. It is highly recommended to follow the guidelines carefully and sequentially.

Option 1. Recover Deleted Contact Group from Outlook Deleted Items folder

Just like a deleted email, a deleted contact also gets moved to the Deleted Items folder. Hence, the Trash/ Deleted Items folder is the first place to check for the deleted contact. Below are the guidelines to recover a contact group / distribution list from the Deleted Items folder:

  1. Open MS Outlook program and go to the email folders list. Select Deleted Items Folder
  2. In case if there are various deleted items and you need to find out a particular contact then, enter the contact name in Search Deleted Items box
  3. Now, select all the desired contacts or contact group and click Move >> Other Folder
  4. Move Items window will prompt and click on Contacts folder and select OK
  5. After all this, the contact group or contact will be moved to My Contacts from the Deleted Items folder

Option 2. Recover Deleted Contact Group Not in Deleted Items folder

There come some circumstances when users lose their whole contact list and after inspection, they found that it is not even available in the Deleted Items folder. Well, the retention of deleted items depends upon the Outlook account settings. In a personal or home account, the contact list gets deleted permanently after emptying the Recycle Bin folder. All the users who are using Exchange Server 2000, 2003 or 2007 can recover permanently deleted contact group in Outlook. It is so because the Exchange admin defines retention period on the server running Exchange to recover permanently deleted items. However, after a defined retention period, one cannot recover deleted items. Below are the instructions to recover deleted contact group in Outlook that is not present in the Deleted Items folder:

  • Launch Outlook application and navigate to email folder list. Select Deleted Items
  • Here, make sure that the Home option is selected and click on Recover Deleted Items from Server
Note: If ‘Recover Deleted Items from Server’ option if light grayed or disabled then, probably you are working in offline mode. So, enable the online mode.
  • Eventually, select all the contacts you want to recover and click Restore Selected Items >> OK
  • Once after retrieving contacts or contact group from the Recoverable Items folder, it will be moved to Deleted Items folder and you can recover them easily from this folder.

Option 3. Professional Solution to Recover Deleted Contact Group in Outlook

The Total PST Fix Tool to repair PST file is one of the best and reliable ways to resolve most of the problems related to Outlook. It allows to recover normal as well as permanently deleted Outlook contacts or contact group (distribution list for the older version of MS Outlook) even without losing a single bit of information. The software allows to recover deleted contacts in PST file format. In order to avoid user inconvenience, it highlights the permanently deleted items in Red color after performing recovery. Using this, one can recover lost contacts and other data items from UNICODE or ANSI formatted PST file. The software provides Date filter option to retrieve data of a selected time period from Outlook PST. All tech and non-tech users can operate it without any hassle as the tool comprises a simple and highly responsive interface. In addition, the tool support Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010, and below versions in all Windows OS.


Users always spend their so much time in maintaining and assembling their Outlook contact list. But, accidental deletion of this list with an unplanned keystroke feels like a major disaster. Considering such an issue, we have come up with this article. Here, we have talked about all the possible manual solutions to recover deleted contact group in Outlook 2016. If users found manual solutions quite complicated and lengthy then, a trusted third-party tool is also recommended here to retrieve all lost Outlook contacts and distribution list data in less time.