How to recover deleted e-mail messages

Updated: 04/01/2018 by Computer Hope

After deleting an e-mail message, you may wish you had not deleted it and want to retrieve or recover it. Below is some information on how you can recover those deleted e-mail messages, if possible.

E-mail trash bin has not been emptied

E-mail Trash bin

After an e-mail message is deleted, it will be moved to the trash bin in your e-mail account or e-mail program.

  1. Click on the Trash or Deleted Items link or icon to open the e-mail trash bin.
  2. Find the message you want to recover and click on that e-mail message.
  3. In the e-mail message, under e-mail options, look for an option to move the e-mail message. Click that move option and select the Inbox as the destination to move the e-mail message.

Some e-mail programs and online accounts allow you to check the box next to an e-mail message from the Trash bin. Instead of opening the e-mail message, you can check the box next to the e-mail, then select the Move option from the e-mail options menu.

E-mail trash bin is emptied

In most cases, once the e-mail trash bin is emptied, the deleted e-mails are gone and cannot be recovered. However, if you are using a Microsoft Exchange mailbox, you can still recover deleted e-mails if you use Microsoft Outlook.

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Click on the Deleted Items folder.
  3. In the Ribbon at the top, click on the Folder tab.
  4. Click on the Recover Deleted Items option on the Folder tab.

Recover Deleted E-mails in Exchange mailbox

  1. The Recover Deleted Items window will open, allowing you to look for deleted e-mail messages. When you have found the e-mail message you want to recover, select that message and click the Recover Selected Items option at the top of the window.
  2. The deleted e-mail will be recovered from the Exchange server and placed back into the Deleted Items folder. From there, you can move the message to another folder, if desired.

Additional information