Where are my emails and how do I get them back?
There could be a logical reason for why you can’t see your emails. So don’t panic. Take a few moments to breathe and check whether these explanations help you find them.
Your email was tagged as Spam
Sometimes legitimate emails end up in your Spam folder. If so, just move them into your Inbox.
You accidentally deleted it
Check your Deleted Items folder; if the email is there, move it back to your Inbox. BUT if you’ve permanently deleted emails since you put it there, it may be gone for good.
Good to know
- Some web-based mail providers like Gmail and Yahoo keep permanently deleted emails for up to 24 hours. Contact them within 24 hours and you may be able to recover them.
- If you’re using Microsoft Outlook 2013 and 2016 with Microsoft Exchange, you can recover permanently deleted items yourself via the Recover Deleted Items from Server button. Follow the steps on the Microsoft support pages.
Your email has been archived
This usually happens if you have automatic archiving enabled. If you do:
- Find the folder where emails are archived – it’s is usually a .PST file
- Import the emails you want back into your email program.
You've created a new email profile
If you’ve created a new email address, or closed your email account and then re-opened it, a new .PST or data file/folder is usually created by the mail program. Your emails are probably still there in an old folder:
- Find the old folder and .PST file and open it
- Import the emails across to your new/re-opened email address.
Your server settings are wrong
Your email program has to talk to a server to send and receive your emails. If the server settings are wrong, your emails simply won't get through. Generally this only happens if you've recently moved to a new email server.
You have sync issues
If you've recently set up your email again, or made changes to the server settings, your email program is probably using newer email protocols like IMAP, MAPI, or EAS. These automatically synchronise messages across different devices. As a side effect, some of your emails may disappear.
For example, you may move an email to another folder, but the server may be experiencing sync issues and not repeat that action. So your email won’t show up in the other folder.
With sync issues, you generally can't recover lost emails. The best thing to do is contact your email provider and ask them to fix it so you don't lose any more.
Your account has been suspended
Generally you'll get an error message saying your account is suspended. But not always.
With some email programs, you only get a message saying it's unable to send and receive, when it’s actually been suspended. Check with your email provider to clear this up.