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That gives you a month to change your mind and recover anything you didn’t mean to delete.

Desktop email programs often have a setting that controls what happens to the trash: either it’s left alone until you explicitly empty it, or it’s emptied automatically when you exit the program.

Desktop email programs store email on your computer in a variety of different ways.

Some use a fairly complex database all kept in a single file, some use a slightly less complex separate database file for each folder, and others actually use your operating system’s disk structure, mapping email folders to disk folders and storing individual email messages as individual files.

In addition to email, PST files contain calendar, contacts, notes, journal and other information that is used and manipulated by Outlook.

The advantage of the PST is that it is a single file; all information can be copied to another machine or backed up simply by operating on that single file.

While “up there” is so exceptionally vague as to be meaningless, it does at least imply a difference in altitude: the device in front of you sits, conceptually, lower than remote servers or services on the internet.

Where the email program keeps individual messages as individual files, it’s pretty safe to assume that these behave exactly like deleted files, because they PST is an acronym for Personal STore, and is the file format used by the Microsoft Office Outlook email and personal information management program.It is said that “deleted files” are never completely erased unless you actually do so with the proper software. Once I erase an email (incoming or outgoing copy), does that stick around somewhere also? In almost all email programs and web interfaces, deleting an email message doesn’t actually delete it.In order to make the operation fast, when you delete a file, the operating system typically just sets a flag or removes an entry from a directory – the actual data within the file is left on disk until that space is needed, when it gets overwritten. Instead, the message is simply moved to a special folder – typically called “trash” or “deleted items”.Using a “compact” operation, when the email program provides it, typically removes the unused space, so the resulting database no longer has the message.The complication is that the compact function may itself operate by the old one.

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