It can happen to anyone. We accidentally delete an email that we really need. And it just happened to be important work file, attachment or picture. So now what? How can I recover that email? Is it at all possible? Surely, it can be permanently deleted?
Well, there is good news and bad news.
Let’s start with the good news.
Restoring Deleted Emails
If you delete an email, it hasn’t really gone anywhere. Even if you’ve emptied your recycle bin or the “Trash” folder in your Inbox – the email still isn’t deleted. It’s just that your computer system now has no way to figure out where it is. But it’s there, still on your hard drive.
By using special email recovery tools you can recover deleted emails because these programs identify these ‘missing’ files and can bring them back to life.
Now the bad news.
Act Quickly and Increase Your Chances
The bad news is you have to act quickly. You only have a small time-frame in which to try to attempt to recover your lost email.
Every minute that you waste and continue to use the drive for anything that isn’t related to recovering your emails, you severely decrease your chances of successful email recovery. Why?
Well, because your hard drive is constantly overwriting files to make space for new information you put into it. If your hard drive is full and there is not much space or memory available – it is highly probable that the email has already been overwritten and deleted – permanently.
Other Problems with Recovering Deleted Emails
Not all deleted or lost emails go to “Trash” folder. If you have suffered a computer crash or hardware failure or your operating system is corrupted in some way, then it is unlikely that emails you have deleted can be recovered.
Also, if you haven’t opened the email at all or it hasn’t been deleted the usual way due to file corruption, you probably will have less of a chance to recover and restore the email in its entirety.
Nothing to Lose
Recover deleted email programs search and locate the emails that you have deleted. You can search by entering a specific keyword for example. Then, you can choose to preview the email to see it’s contents and if it’s been recovered in its original state by the program.
You can also select to scan for whatever email program you are using (and need to recover) – either web-based emails such as Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail or Outlook Express.
The best bit is this. Most of these email recovery programs are free to download. When they start scanning your hard drive looking for the deleted email and then manage to find it and when you are completely satisfied that that’s your missing email – then you can then proceed to purchase the software.
In essence, you have nothing to lose (if the email is not there – it’s not there) and everything to gain. Well, at least you can get your deleted email back.