How to Recover Deleted Emails on Mac

Apple Mail and many other email clients store data locally on your Mac. This is a handy feature but when something goes wrong you may find yourself missing hundreds or even thousands of valuable emails. Disk Drill can help recover those valuable personal or work emails in a few simple steps. MacOS Catalina Ready!
Email data loss can occur for many reasons including damaged hardware and accidental deletion. Regardless of the cause of the data loss Disk Drill can help recover email databases or storage containers used by common email clients such as Apple Mail, Outlook for Mac, Mailbird and many more. Disk Drill can help recover email when the data is stored locally, this means that if you only use email online (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook or through your browser Disk Drill, unfortunately, would not be able to help.

If you are reading this article you are likely wondering how to recover deleted email from Gmail or how to recover deleted Yahoo email. The good news is that these files can still be recovered if you had your Gmail or Yahoo account linked to Apple Mail, Outlook, Mailbird or another desktop email client on your Mac.

This is a quick start guide to help you recover deleted email. Check out other in-depth instructions on how to use Disk Drill and the different methods of data recovery.

#1 Getting Started

To recover deleted email you will need to download Disk Drill first. Install Disk Drill by dragging it to the Applications folder. Pro Tip: You can also add Disk Drill to your Dock for quicker access to recover email in the future.
  • 1Download Disk Drill
  • 2Drag to Applications Folder
  • 3Launch the app

#2 Select the Drive

Pick the drive you wish to recover email from, if you want to recover Yahoo email or recover deleted email from Gmail you will select the drive where the email was originally stored. This is likely your primary Mac OS X drive.
Pro Tip: If you are trying to recover email from the hard drive of another computer connected to your Mac then you would need to select that hard drive and not your system Mac OS X partition.

#3 Run a Quick Scan

Most file systems such as HFS+, FAT and NTFS can be recovered much faster with a Quick Scan, if your hard drive was formatted to any of these file systems you can click "Recover" to recover deleted email faster. The unified "Recover" button in Disk Drill will ensure it's running the most effective recovery algorithms exactly for the drive you selected, this helps optimize recovery time, as well as maximize the amount of recovered data.

Pro Tip: You can still customize the recovery sequence by selecting the specific recovery method from the Gear icon by the main "Recover" button next to the target drive or partition.

#4 Deep Scan for More Results

Even if your computer's drive was corrupted or missing a file system (formatted) you can still try to recover Yahoo email, Gmail and many other types of locally stored email in Apple Mail if their database formats are supported. For instance, Outlook for Mac will store all message contents in OLK14MSGSOURCE files which are perfectly supported by Disk Drill's Deep Scan. Find out more details about running a deep scan.

You Could Avoid Losing Your Emails!

Disk Drill is famous for its free data protection algorithms Guaranteed Recovery and Recovery Vault. They might be of great help when you get your local email database accidentally deleted. Recovering your data from Disk Drill's protected data storage is reliable and included in the free Disk Drill Basic edition.

#5 Importing Recovered Email

Let's use Apple's Mail app and Disk Drill's Quick Scan as an example here. Once the email recovery is completed you will need to locate the "Apple Mail" folder within the "Mail" folder, when attempting to recover deleted email from other mail clients the location of the files may change slightly. Once you have located the "Apple Mail" folder you will likely notice both "EML / EMLX" and "MBOX" files inside.

To import recovered email into Apple Mail:

  1. Open Apple Mail
  2. Click File -> Import Mailboxes
  3. Select "Apple Mail" as the data type
  4. Navigate to the folder where Disk Drill has recovered your deleted email and press "Choose"
  5. Click the "Continue" button to begin to import the recovered email
  6. Click "Done" when prompted, take note of the name of the Mailbox where your recovered emails are now located
For the Mac version of Microsoft's Outlook, you would be looking out for .OLK14 files upon recovery. Usually when these emails are recovered by Disk Drill you just need to double-click them to open and import back into Outlook. If that doesn't work for any reason, try renaming them into *.EML.
For those of you using Mailbird app, look for the recovered "Store" folder, which will contain one or several files like "Store.db". You might also be able to recover "MessageIndex" files, they are not that important and will be re-created by Mailbird on next launch, but you may want to make a copy of these ones as well. Once these email containers are recovered with Disk Drill, copy them to your live Mailbird's installation folder.

Disk Drill is a great way to recover deleted emails

Rather for Business or Personal use Disk Drill can help to recover deleted email. Disk Drill can help recover Yahoo email, recover deleted email from Gmail and many more email providers. If your email was stored locally with Apple Mail, Mailbird or other popular clients on your Mac OS X at anytime then Disk Drill can try and recover lost emails.

Recover lost or deleted emails

Disk Drill 3
Email recovery app for Apple Mail, Outlook and more
  • 10+ Million
  • 500,000+
    in 150+ countries

Have a say!

  • Raymond Jude Kaider
    Raymond Jude Kaider
    I had two hard drives that were no longer recognizable by any of my Apple computers (or PC's, for that matter). The volume IDs simply did not appear in Finder. I bought Disk Drill only to recover accidentally deleted files and hoped I never had to use it. As a lark, I plugged in one of my unrecognizable hard drives into my MBP. Again, Finder showed nothing BUT when I started Disk Drill, after a few seconds, the drive's volume ID appeared within the app! I reopened Finder and amazingly the volume ID was there, too! I was able navigate the directory tree and recover any files I needed. I repeated the above procedure with the second hard drive and lo and behold, I had the same result! The drive ID appeared in the app and in Finder. I was able to see and save any of the files I wanted to to a more stable hard drive! You performed a miracle! You've won a fan for life!
  • mikesel
    Disk Drill is capable of scanning and recovering files from its vault in seconds.. Yes – that’s right … SECONDS! Making this the perfect utility for all heavy Mac users and novices alike. Mike Hudson
Used by world famous companies