How to Recover Emails Deleted Out of the Trash Bin

By Bethany Smith

Accidentally deleting an important email can be frustrating. When you delete an email from your inbox in most email systems, the email is moved to the "Trash" folder. These emails are still accessible and can be returned to the inbox. When you empty the "Trash" folder, however, you permanently delete everything within the folder. If you mistakenly delete an email permanently, it is unrecoverable in many email systems. However, Yahoo! Mail, Microsoft Outlook Express and Mozilla Thunderbird Email allow you to recover your lost emails.

Yahoo! Mail

Step 1

Navigate to the Yahoo! Mail login website (see References). Sign in to your Yahoo! Mail account by providing your Yahoo! ID and password.

Step 2

Determine how many hours have passed since the email was deleted from your trash bin.

Step 3

Print or save all emails received after the time determined in Step 2. All emails you received after the selected recovery time will no longer be available once your email account has been restored.

Step 4

Navigate to the Yahoo! Mail Restore Help Form (see References). Click the "Please complete this form" link.

Step 5

Fill in your name, Yahoo! ID, email address and the time you would like to reset your account back to. Yahoo! breaks the recovery date down into two-hour increments. Click "Submit" when finished.

Step 6

Check your email for a confirmation from Yahoo! Technical Support. It should arrive within six to eight hours after you submit your recovery request, and your mailbox should be restored to the time you selected.

Microsoft Outlook Express

Step 1

Shut down Microsoft Outlook Express. Click "Start" on your computer's taskbar, and type "Regedit" into the "Search" or "Run" box. This will open Windows Registry Editor.

Step 2

Choose "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" and select the "+" to view the full menu. Choose the "Software" folder. Select "Microsoft," followed by the "Exchange" folder. Click on the "Client" folder and select "Options."

Step 3

Navigate to the "Edit" menu, and select "New." Choose "DWORD Value" from the menu. In the box labeled "Value Name," type in "DumpsterAlwaysOn" without spaces.

Step 4

Type in "1" for the "DWORD value." Click "OK."

Step 5

Open Outlook Express and select the "Trash" folder. Choose "Tools" on the menu bar, and click "Recover Deleted Items."

Mozilla Thunderbird Email

Step 1

Exit Mozilla Thunderbird email. Click "Start" on your computer's taskbar and navigate to "Profile Manager" under "Programs."

Step 2

Select "Create Profile." Type in a name for your new profile. Click "Choose Folder."

Step 3

Choose the file that contains the data you want to restore.

Step 4

Click "OK." Then click "Finish."

Step 5

Choose the profile you just created from the list. Restart Mozilla Thunderbird. All deleted emails will be available in the new profile.

Tips & Warnings

  • Act quickly. Yahoo! emails can only be recovered within 24 hours of deletion.
  • You must have a Microsoft Exchange account in order to retrieve permanently deleted emails.
  • Mozilla Thunderbird Email can only recover emails when a profile has previously been backed up.
  • Improper use of Windows Registry Editor can create serious, irreversible computer problems.