Most of our important communication today happens over email. While email accounts are mostly safe to store your critical information, you can sometimes lose your emails. If you’ve accidentally deleted some emails, or they’ve gotten lost while you were sorting through your Inbox, don’t worry. There’s a good chance you’ll get back your emails without much trouble.

Common Situations Why Emails Can be Lost

While email accounts are mainly secure, you can lose your emails for various reasons. Often, the emails on your account or device can get deleted by mistake or become inaccessible and lost. However, in most cases, if the email is temporarily lost, you should be able to retrieve them. 

Some of the common situations where you could end up losing your emails are:

  • 🗑️ Accidental Deletion – Sometimes, you can accidentally delete essential emails while moving folders or due to the account filter settings while deleting spam messages.
  • 🔍 Email Account Filters – Most accounts have email filtering systems to filter spam and unwanted messages. But in some cases, this security system can cause legitimate emails to be sent to junk or even deleted.
  • 🆘 The account is Compromised – Your emails can be deleted or lost if your account becomes compromised or if a hacker has gained access to your emails and deleted them.
  • 🌐 Using an Unreliable Network to Access Emails – It can be dangerous to access your email account via an unreliable network or internet connection. Doing so can make your account vulnerable to malware attacks that can delete your emails.
  • 💤 Inactive Account – Most accounts become inactive if you don’t sign in for a certain period of time, say, 365 days or two years. The data in these accounts, such as photos, drive storage, emails, etc., are automatically purged after this long-term inactivity, and you won’t be able to retrieve it. 

Can You Restore Deleted Emails?

Yes, you can restore deleted emails. 

As you already know, there are multiple situations where your emails can be deleted or lost. However, in most cases, it is possible to retrieve these messages using a straightforward method. The most convenient way to recover deleted emails is to get them back from the trash. No matter what email service you use, most have a trash folder that stores temporarily deleted mails:

Here’s how you can recover deleted emails from the Trash:

  1. Go to your account Inbox.
  2. Open the Trash folder.
  3. Select the deleted emails you wish to restore. 
  4. Click the Move button to move the emails to your Inbox or another folder.  
  5. Check your Inbox for the restored emails.

How to Retrieve Deleted Emails

Most popular email providers give their users specific instructions in case their emails get deleted. Listed below are all the primary email services and the steps you can follow to recover deleted emails from their accounts. 

Recover Deleted Gmail Messages

If you delete an email from your Gmail account, it is sent to the trash folder instead of deleted immediately. According to Gmail policy, this email remains in the Trash for 30 days before getting permanently deleted. 

Here’s how you can recover deleted Gmail messages:

  1. Log in to your Gmail account.
  2. To the left of the screen, there is a list of folders. Choose the Trash option from this menu.trash option on gmail
  3. Once you’ve opened the folder, you can start to recover deleted emails. Select the messages you wish to recover by clicking on the box to the far left of the email row.
  4. Now, click on the Move button. You can select where to put the deleted email from the drop-down menu. You can simply select the Inbox option if you don’t want to organize the email into another folder.
  5. Check your Inbox to see if the email has been restored. 

But you can also contact Google’s support team to help recover your emails through the Gmail Message Recovery Tool. This tool is designed to assist users with recovering emails that were deleted due to technical issues. 

Here’s how you can attempt to retrieve emails through the Gmail Message Recovery Tool:

  1. Log in to your Gmail account.
  2. Navigate to the missing emails support page.
    gmail message recovery tool
  3. Confirm your details; then Google will scan your account for deleted emails and provide a scan result. 

How to Recover Deleted Emails from Outlook

Outlook makes it quite convenient for users to recover deleted emails. All emails that end up in the Deleted Items and Junk Email folders can be retrieved for 30 days. Sometimes, you can even recover items after emptying the Deleted Items folder. 

Here’s how you can recover deleted emails from Outlook:

  1. Log in to your Outlook email account.
    logging into outlook
  2. From the left pane, select the Deleted Items folder or the Junk Email folder.restoring email from outlook
  3. Select the message you want to recover and choose Restore. If you are in the Junk Email folder, select the emails you want to recover, and select Not junk.
  4. Go back to your Inbox to see the recovered message.

If you’re still not able to recover your emails, it might be worth a try to contact Outlook’s customer support and ask for their assistance to recover the permanently deleted emails. 

How to Recover Deleted Emails from Yahoo

Like other email services, when you delete an email on Yahoo, it isn’t permanently gone. Your deleted emails go to the trash folder, where you can recover them. However, the default setting for Yahoo’s trash is seven days.

While you can change this by going to the Security tab and choosing a different time frame, your deleted emails are gone forever if you miss the deadline.

Here’s how you can recover deleted emails from Yahoo:

  1. Log in to your Yahoo! Mail account.
    logging into yahoo mail
  2. Go to the Trash folder on the left. 
    accessing the trash folder in yahoo
  3. Select the deleted emails you want to retrieve.
    restoring emails from yahoo
  4. Click the Move icon and choose the folder to which you want to restore your emails.
    Note – If this method doesn’t work, you must go to Yahoo MailRestore Help Form and select “Send a Restore Request.” Here, you must describe your issue and submit the form to retrieve deleted emails. 

Recover Deleted Emails from Hotmail

Microsoft relaunched Hotmail as in 2012, and users who still have a Hotmail account sign in via Outlook. Thus, deleted emails from Hotmail follow a similar logic to the latter. They end up in the Deleted folder for 30 days instead of being permanently erased. 

Here’s how you can restore deleted emails from Hotmail:

  1. Open Outlook and sign in using your Hotmail email address.
    logging into outlook
  2. On the left pane of the screen, go to Deleted Items.restoring email from outlook
  3. Now, select the Recover Deleted option.
  4. Choose the emails you want to recover, then click Restore.  

Recover Emails in Mail on iPhone

The Mail app on iPhone stores all your mailboxes in one place. The app offers a convenient way to organize, archive, or delete emails. But sometimes, you can end up deleting your emails by accident. If you do this, there are easy methods to help get your emails back. 

Here’s how you can recover emails on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Mail app, then tap Mailboxes.
  2. Now, tap Trash and open the email you want to recover.recovering emails on iPhone
  3. Tap the arrow symbol in the bottom right-hand corner.
  4. Tap Move Message and select the mailbox in which you want to restore the email.
  5. The email will appear in your Inbox again. 
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Recover Deleted Emails on Android

If your email service has an Android app or works on the browser, you can recover deleted emails in the same way you do on the PC. In this case, we can take the example of the Gmail Android application. If you delete an email on your phone, you can easily recover it via the trash folder. 

Here’s how you can recover deleted emails on Android:

  1. Open the Gmail app on your Android device. 
  2. At the top left, tap Menu
  3. Tap Trash, then long-press and select the emails you want to email recovery
  4. Press the three dots and select Move to.
  5. Finally, choose where you want to move the messages, like the Inbox

How to Protect Your Emails?

While email accounts are often pretty secure, accidental deletion may be the primary reason for lost emails. Since most of our daily communication takes place through email, users often end up with overloaded inboxes.

Sometimes, while attempting to sort out important emails from spam or irrelevant messages, users can delete critical emails or send them to the trash folder.


It isn’t challenging to recover deleted emails. This article provides a list of solutions for retrieving your critical emails in cases of accidental deletion or lost messages. No matter who your email provider is, you can follow the methods mentioned above to attempt and retrieve your temporarily or permanently deleted emails in a few simple steps. 


Joshua Solomon

Technology, SaaS, and digital marketing are Joshua's go-to niches. He understands the need for simple and easy-to-read articles on the internet. As technologies grow in complexity, guides and how-to pieces must remain com...

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Approved by
Brett Johnson

This article has been approved by Brett Johnson, Data Recovery Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Brett has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Systems and Network, 12 years of experience.