How to Recover Accidentally Deleted Emails

How to Recover Accidentally Deleted Emails
Yurii Bitko Yurii Bitko 12 february 2024, 07:36 79
For beginners

Once in a while, you accidentally delete an email and want to recover it. Many people have been in such situations, so don’t fret. Maybe you deleted the mail because you first thought it wasn’t important and later discovered it contained essential information. Fortunately, there are ways to get it back, and this article will show you how to recover deleted emails with ease.

Common Reasons for Losing Emails

People lose important emails quite often. The most common reasons include:

  • Spam filters: Email apps use filtering algorithms to prevent spam and unwanted messages. However, these algorithms can sometimes generate false positives and send legitimate emails to the junk folder.
  • Accidental deletion: Many people delete emails by mistake while scrolling through their inbox.
  • Compromised accounts: Hackers can compromise an email account and delete messages without the owner’s knowledge.
  • Inactivity: If you haven’t logged into your email account for a long time, your email provider might delete your data.

Can You Recover Deleted Emails?

Yes, it's often possible to recover deleted emails. In many cases, deleted emails are recoverable, and only in a few instances might you be unable to restore them. In the above scenarios, you’ll probably be unable to recover your data without contacting your email administrator if the entire mailbox has been deleted due to inactivity or as a result of a hacker attack. In most other cases, deleted messages can still be recovered.

The easiest way of recovering deleted emails is by restoring them from the junk or trash folder. When you send an email to trash or mark it as spam, email clients don’t delete it right away. Instead, they keep it in the trash folder for a specified period (usually 30 days), recognizing that users may want to recover them. Hence, you can check the trash folder and restore messages that haven’t reached the deadline for permanent deletion. It usually goes like this:

1. Log into your email account.

2. Open the Trash or Junk folder.

3. Select the emails you want to restore.

4. Click the Move button and move the emails to your inbox or another desired folder.

5. Check your inbox to confirm the recovery.

How to Recover Deleted Emails

Above, we’ve outlined the generic routine to recover deleted emails in your account. However, we also want to provide specific details for the most popular email clients. These instructions will tell you exactly what to do to avoid any mistakes. We’ll dive deeper into them below.

How to Recover Deleted Gmail Messages

When you delete an email from your Gmail inbox, it gets sent to the Trash folder. Gmail keeps the email in the Trash folder for 30 days before permanent deletion. Until then, you can easily recover your messages. But even if the message was deleted permanently and does not show up in your Trash, it can often be recovered using a special tool provided by Google.

Here’s how to recover deleted emails from Trash on Gmail:

1. Sign into your Gmail account.

2. Choose the Trash folder from the folder list on the left side of your screen.

3. Once you open the folder, select the emails you want to recover by clicking the checkbox beside each email.

4. Click the Move To icon (an arrow within a folder) in the top menu and select Inbox or any other folder.

5. Check the target folder to make sure the emails were restored successfully.

If the emails you want to recover were permanently deleted, you may still be able to recover them using the Gmail Message Recovery Tool.

1. Sign into your Gmail account.

2. Open the Gmail Message Recovery Tool and follow the steps the tool suggests (the steps are unique depending on your issue).

3. Gmail will scan your account for deleted messages and provide a result.

However, this option does not always guarantee successful recovery.

How to Recover Deleted Outlook Emails

Outlook is a popular mailbox provider operated by Microsoft. Like Gmail, it keeps deleted emails in the trash folder for 30 days, allowing account owners to recover them during this period. Sometimes, you can even recover emails you permanently deleted from the trash folder.

Here’s how to recover deleted emails on Outlook:

1. Sign into your Outlook account.

2. Select Deleted Items or Junk Email folder on the left menu.

3. Select the email you want to recover and click Restore. If they're in the Junk Email folder, choose the emails you want to restore and click Not junk.

If your emails have been permanently deleted from the Deleted Items folder, there’s still a chance of recovering them by visiting the Recoverable Items folder. This recovery is only possible if your Outlook email account is linked to a Microsoft Exchange mail server.

1. Ensure you are online and connected to the mail server.

2. Selected the Deleted Items folder on the left menu.

3. Click Home > Recover Deleted Items From Server.

Source: Microsoft

4. Choose the emails you want to recover and select Restore Selected Items, then OK.

Source: Microsoft

How to Recover Deleted Hotmail Emails

Hotmail was a popular email provider acquired by Microsoft in 1997, and Microsoft operated it as an independent email platform alongside Outlook. However, in 2013, Microsoft began phasing out the Hotmail brand and switched all users to Outlook.

Hence, recovering emails on a Hotmail account follows the process described in the Outlook section of this article.

How to Recover Deleted Yahoo Mail Emails

When you delete an email from your Yahoo account, it goes to the Trash folder, where it remains for a specified period before deletion. The default time is 7 days, but you can extend it in your account’s security settings.

Note that with Yahoo Mail, you cannot recover emails once they’re removed from the Trash folder.

Here’s how to recover deleted emails from Yahoo Mail Trash:

1. Sign into your Yahoo Mail account.

2. Select the Trash folder on the left menu.

3. Choose the deleted emails you want to restore.

4. Click on the Move icon and choose the folder you want to recover the messages to.

5. Enter the folder you chose in the preceding step to confirm the recovery.

An alternative method is to fill out the Yahoo MailRestore Help Form and send a restore request to Yahoo’s support team. However, this method only works if the emails have been deleted no more than 7 days ago.

How to Recover Deleted Emails on an iPhone

iPhones come with the default Apple Mail app. This app is not a standalone email client for a particular mail provider. Instead, it allows you to log into existing email accounts on Gmail, Yahoo Mail, etc. and operate them via the Apple Mail interface.

Apple Mail is a wrapper over your existing email platform; the appeal is that you can manage multiple addresses from one app instead of having many different email apps on your phone.

Here’s how to recover deleted emails from Apple Mail on an iPhone:

1. Launch the Mail app and tap Mailboxes.

2. Tap the Trash folder and open the email you want to recover.

3. Click on the arrow symbol in the bottom-right menu.

4. Tap Move Message and choose the mailbox you want to move the message to.

5. Check your inbox to confirm the recovery.

How to Recover Deleted Android Emails

Android devices don’t have a default mail app like iPhones. Instead, you can download one of the many available Android email apps like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, etc. The process of recovering your email on an Android app is similar to how you’ll do it on a PC.

Let’s use Gmail as an example.

1. Open the Gmail app on your device and log into your account.

2. Tap the menu button (three bars) at the top left corner.

3. Tap the Trash folder on the menu.

4. Long-press to select the emails you want to restore.

5. Click the three-dotted menu at the top-right corner and click Move, then choose the folder you want to restore the emails to.

6. Open the folder you selected in the previous step to visually confirm the recovery.

Recovering Deleted Emails in ProtonMail

ProtonMail is a popular email solution with a focus on privacy and security. It has sophisticated encryption features that most email providers don’t offer by default. For example, ProtonMail users can enable end-to-end encryption for their emails.

The downside of the advanced security is that ProtonMail has no way to recover deleted emails. Once an email is deleted, it's gone forever. However, you can use ProtonMail's Import-Export tool to export existing emails and back them up externally.

Protecting Your Emails from Accidental Deletion

“Prevention is better than cure” is a popular quote that rings true in many situations, including deleted emails. It’s better to take steps against losing precious data than to suffer from being unable to recover an email.

You can protect your email assets in different ways, including:

Backups

You can pay for an email backup solution and link it to your account. The software will automatically back up your emails and retain your data for a specific time. This way, even if an email is permanently removed from your mailbox, you can still restore it from the backup medium.

Email backup services will not cost you a fortune. In fact, backup solutions are now as cheap as ever, and prices continue to decrease as digital storage becomes more accessible.

Examples of email backup tools include EaseUS Todo Backup, Backupify, SysTools Gmail Backup, etc.

Extra Email Address

A trick to avoid accidental deletion is to create another email address and forward every important message there. You’ll still use the original email address as primary; the second one will act as a vault to keep valuable emails. Whenever you receive an important email, you’ll send it to the second one, either manually or automatically by creating filters for incoming messages. You open the second mailbox only if you want to access the vital information.

This method is not 100% foolproof, as you can still accidentally delete a message in the second mailbox. However, it vastly reduces the chances of losing an essential email from your main address. Just keep in mind that you need to log into your backup mailbox every few months, or it might be deleted for inactivity.

Archiving

Most email providers allow you to archive specific emails. Every archived email is sent to a separate folder designated for such emails. Archived emails don’t appear in your inbox but remain in your account inside a separate folder. You can simply open the Archived folder whenever you want to access these important emails. This habit will reduce the chances of accidental deletion.

Conclusion

Accidentally deleting an email can be a disaster, but don’t be worried. In many cases you can easily recover deleted email messages. We have explained how to recover deleted emails on different platforms and apps, and now you shouldn’t have difficulties restoring them.

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